- H&M voted ‘International Retailer of the Year’
- Fast Retailing scoops overall ‘Retailer of the Year’
- John Lewis wins ‘Omnichannel Retailer of the Year’
- Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massenet and Mark Sebba, presented with ‘Outstanding Leadership Award’
Swedish multinational fashion chain H&M was named ‘International Retailer’ of the year, at the World Retail Awards gala dinner in Paris last night.
Fast Retailing, the Japanese retail group behind brands such as UNIQLO, Comptoir des cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam, scooped the prestigious award for ‘Retailer of the Year’. The accolade comes shortly after its announcement of UNIQLO’s plans for major expansion of its kidswear line. The group follows in the footsteps of prestigious past winners including Whole Foods and Inditex.
Two of the biggest names in UK retailing also scooped awards. John Lewis beat stiff competition to be named Omnichannel Retailer of the Year, and Sainsbury’s won the award for the best advertising campaign of the year for its ‘Christmas in a Day’.
South Korea’s department store group Lotte Shopping won CSR Initiative of the Year, following the launch of its rewards scheme to encourage customers to buy eco-friendly products.
The World Retail Awards, now in their 8th year, celebrate inspiring retail excellence. They were presented during the World Retail Congress, which is being attended by up to 1,500 delegates over three days this week in Paris.
Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress, commented: “We’ve had another fantastic shortlist of winners, and this year in particular they reflect how the retail landscape is changing. The diversity of entries and countries, and the level of innovation, reinforces the huge groundswell of change in the global retail world.”
Over 500 senior figures from the global retail industry gathered at the Salle Wagram in Paris for the awards ceremony. Key attendees at the gala dinner included Paolo de Cesare, CEO of Printemps, Ray Kelvin, CEO and Founder of Ted Baker, Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis & Jose Gomez, Senior Group Vice President of Mango, amongst many others.
The award winners are decided by a team of 12 Global CEO's. This year’s judges included: Terry Duddy, Home Retail Group; Concetta Lanciaux, Lux Advisory; Gordon Campbell, Spar International; Rick Darling, Li & Fung US; Richard Simonin, Limoni Group.
Sir Philip Green, the owner of Arcadia Group, is backing the team from a London college who are competing in a worldwide student challenge at the World Retail Congress in Paris next week.
Peter Jones, Josie Reeve, Dan Swanepoel and Yasmine Alom were chosen from 700 students at the Fashion Retail Academy, which is supported by retail giants including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Next and Sir Philip’s Arcadia.
The four will take on rival teams from New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Ancona in the Retail Futures Challenge which is now in its 6th year.
They will present their vision for a Samsung store of the future. It must meet all the demands of today’s consumers who expect to be able to shop via physical stores, online, mobile, or social media. The Samsung Life Store must also demonstrate how technology can make people’s home lives more comfortable, productive and entertaining.
They will present their blueprint to over 1,000 retail executives who will gather in the French capital for the 8th annual Congress.
The judging panel will include retail industry experts:
- Gerald Reitmayar, head of retail Europe, Samsung
- Robert Thiemann, founder and editor-in-chief, Frame
- Bernie Brookes, CEO, Myer Holdings Ltd
- Nora Fehlbaum, CEO, Vitra
- Alexander Salzer, COO, Liganova – the BrandRetail Company
Peter Jones, 18, from Milton Keynes, said: “We’re aiming to win. We’re a strong team and determined to give it our best shot.”
Josie Reeve, 19, from Bexley, Kent who has just started working for fashion chain Oasis said: “It’s a great opportunity. We want to grab it with both hands.”
Former air stewardess Yasmine Alom, from Bedford, said: “I’ve been to Paris a few times before. It’s such a vibrant city. It’s very exciting.”
Dan Swanepoel, 23, who is originally from South Africa wants to be a store designer so said the challenge was “right up my street”.
He added: “It will be nerve-racking presenting to such a high-powered panel but it is a wonderful opportunity and we need to seize it.”
Sir Philip wished the students good luck but urged them to make sure that they had “done their homework”.
He added: “They need to make sure that they have thought of everything that would make shopping the store a great experience but it also needs to be commercial.
“These are big purchases so they need to have done their homework so that they can talk confidently about the products and educate the customer. If they win, it could be the springboard to bright futures in retail.”
Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress said: “We are very pleased that London is going to be represented again at the Retail Futures Challenge. The competition has grown to become one of the high points of the WRC and it is fantastic to see these future leaders of retailing setting out their ideas in front of an audience of retail professionals. I wish them the best of luck for the final.”