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Finalists emerge as some of Australia’s most innovative ‘next gen’ retailers

July 03, 2018

The National Retail Association’s (NRA’s) prestigious 2018 National Retail Awards line-up of finalists is proving to be one of the most innovative and diverse in the event’s long-running history.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said this calibre of entrants this year in particular, highlighted how quickly Australian stores were pivoting in such a rapidly-changing environment, to embrace more unique and inventive strategies brought forward by lateral-thinking teams. 

“Retailers who’ve been in the game for a long time know that the landscape has changed, so there’s been remarkable opportunities for those who really think outside the box, to dive in and lead well-established retail teams onto entirely new pathways, to great success,” Ms Lamb.

“The 2018 Awards line-up is a reflection of just how much this game has changed, and a wonderful chance for retailers to stand up and thank these movers and shakers, who are collectively shaking up the entire industry,” she said.

“It’s really exciting to see so many of these incredibly ambitious retailers in the line-up, and to hear about some of the remarkable ideas they are rolling out across the nation, and to such great success!” she said.

As the most anticipated category, the Young Retailer of the Year award has again attracted the highest number of entries overall, with 25 finalists now selected to progress to the next round of judging.

The winner, who’ll be announced during the gala event in Sydney on August 23, will score an all expenses paid trip to New York City to visit one of the world’s largest retail expos, the National Retail Federation Big Show in January, where they will learn from some of the world’s best leading experts.

The CEO of the Young Retailer of the Year prize sponsor, National Online Retail Association (NORA), Paul Greenberg, hopes the award will encourage a new generation of thought-leaders to choose the retail profession.

“We are deeply supportive of retail being chosen as a career. Our best and brightest young retailers are the key to harnessing technology-led, customer-centric, global retail opportunities.”

Given the extra high volume of Store Manager of the Year award entrants, the NRA has decided to expand the category to recognise the Top 10 finalists.

The finalists are:


Social Responsibility Champion of the Year 

HoMie Street Store

Vinnies Shops NSW

BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing

Customer Experience Champion of the Year

Peregrine Corporation Pty Ltd

Perfect Potion

Supercheap Auto

Innovation Champion of the Year

Target Australia

HWKR Melbourne


Lifetime Achievement Award (30+ yrs of service)

Mary Booth – Wine Glass Gallery

Yvonne Badham – Freedom

Donna Seaman – NIB Retail Centre

HR Manager of the Year Award

Caterina Kidd – Freedom

Nicole Benneyworth – HG Retail Group

Alina Bidewell – Coles

Franchisee of the Year

Karnon Enterprises Pty Ltd 

Baskin Robbins North Lakes

Plenty Luck News & Lotto


Small Retailer of the Year

Arlo and Co

Foster & Black Specialty Coffee

The Party People Megastore

Simply for Strings

SportsPower Bunbury & Eaton Fair

Medium Retailer of the Year

Perfect Potion

St Frock


Large Retailer of the Year

BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing

Peregrine Corporation Pty Ltd


News Xtend Online Retailer of the Year

Supercheap Auto

Arlo and Co

The Athlete’s Foot

Roubler Store Manager of the Year Award

Madison Keynes – Target

Christine Rogers – Supercheap Auto

Jason Bortolazzo – Supercheap Auto

Melissa Jones – Supercheap Auto

Paul Sangster – The Co-op

Mason Roberts – Australian Geographic

Narelle Beech – Target

David Cartwright – Target

Steven Plant – WHSmith

Ricky Sinclair – Surf Dive n Ski

REST and NORA Young Retailer of the Year

Anthony Bebee – OTR
Christopher Doo – City Beach
Christopher Grant – Australian Geographic
Connor Buckley – Australian Geographic
Corey Partridge – Rebel
Daniel Boxall – Surf Dive n Ski
Elise Woolfe – Mitre 10 Kilmore
Emily Nuske – Rebel
Holly Brailsford – Super Retail Group
Jacinta Farrell – BCF
Jade Dale – Rebel 
James Meade – Supercheap Auto
Joshua Coventry – IGA 
Kelly Duke – Target
Khristopher Guru – Surf Dive n Ski
Lauren Dick – Aje
Lloyd Strydom – Target
Louise Stephens – OTR
Morgan Ashley – OTR
Nicholas Pearce – HoMie
Oliver Cooksey – Target
Peta McAllan – Target
Samuel Risk – Target
Tiffany Paterson – Rebel
Tom Kirchner – Betta Home Living



Judging will continue for the next two weeks before winners are announced at the gala dinner event on August 23rd, 2018.

The gala will take place at the exquisite Myer Mural Hall – an iconic ballroom within Myer’s Bourke St building.

Full finalist details can be found online– http://www.nationalretailawards.net.au

The dinner is open to the public and tickets can be purchased through the NRA website www.nra.net.au 

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