Innovative, resourceful, self-starting, and downright talented. These are the words used to describe the crop of incredible retailers who’ve made it through to be named Finalists in the National Retail Association’s (NRA’s) 2016 Rewards for Excellence.

The NRA has today revealed who’s in the running for the most prestigious Awards in the country, which acknowledge and reward thought leaders in their fields, and promote the diversity of viable career opportunities in this quickly-evolving industry.

This Awards program is considered amongst the highest of accolades and those named as Finalists are deemed the best in their field.

NRA Chief Executive Dominique Lamb said this year’s judging panel had a tough gig narrowing down the field of individual and business entrants in the 13 categories.

“This year’s nominees were an incredibly impressive bunch, from small businesses right through to some of the biggest national and international retail giants,” Ms Lamb said.

“Congratulations are in order to all our Finalists, and we are looking forward to announcing our 2016 winners at our Rewards for Excellence Rio-themed Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Sydney on September 14,” she said.

Congratulations to the following 2016 NRA Rewards for Excellence Finalists.

Franchisee of the Year Award Finalists:
• Boost Juice Bars Sunnybank, Toombul, Morayfield and Mt Ommaney
• Eagle Boys Kirwan, Deeragun and Tewantin
• Inspirations Paint Gold Coast
• Michel’s Patisserie Toronto

Small Retailer of the Year Award Finalists:
• Bambella Designs
• Conscious Creative Incorporated – HoMie Street Store/HoMie Apparel
• My Cube Australia Pty Ltd
• Ocean Grove Home Timber and Hardware
• Peterborough Newsagency

Medium Retailer of the Year Award Finalists:
• Build-A-Bear Workshop
• Kit and Ace
• Murphy’s Mitre 10
• Vinomofo
• Wheel & Barrow

Large Retailer of the Year Award Finalists:
• Boost Juice Bars
• EB Games Australia
• LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
• Myer
• Supercheap Auto

Multichannel Retailer of the Year Award Finalists:
• EB Games Australia
• Freedom
• Kit and Ace
• Officeworks
• Supercheap Auto

Employer of the Year Award Finalists:
• Burger Urge Pty Ltd
• Minor DKL Food Group Pty Ltd
• The Co-op
• Vinomofo
• Yum! Restaurants International – KFC

Training Excellence Award Finalists:
• City Beach
• Michael Hill
• The Coffee Club
• The Co-op
• Yum! Restaurants International – KFC

Innovation Excellence Award Finalists:
• Baskin-Robbins (Palm Oasis Ventures)
• Boost Juice Bars
• Kit and Ace
• Myer
• Ocean Grove Home Timber and Hardware

Sustainability Excellence Awards Finalists:
• Country Road Group
• Dymocks Belconnen
• Eco Chic Coolangatta Store
• Kathmandu
• LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Safety Excellence Award Finalists:
• City Beach
• Eagle Boys
• Harris Scarfe
• Jeanswest
• Supercheap Auto

Young Retailer of the Year Award Finalists:
• Laura Ambrose, Online Merchandise Officer, Myer
• Andrew Bentzen, Store Manager, Supercheap Auto
• Elisse Bottari, Cluster Manager, Mimco
• Alex Bray, Applications Support Specialist – Physical Store, Super Retail Group
• Andrew Campbell, Store Manager, PETstock
• Emma Clarke, KFC Graduate Leadership Program – Restaurant Operations Compliance Specialist, Yum! Restaurants International – KFC
• Jessica Davies, Flagship Store Manager, Witchery
• Alexandra Dowling, Campaign Coordinator, Harris Scarfe
• Caitlin Farrelly, Customer Service Representative, The Co-op
• Brady Hann, Trainer and Assessor, Peregrine Corporation
• Gemma Kariotoglou, Store Manager, Fossil Group
• Andrew McInnes, Manager – Customer Care Team, The Co-op
• Justin Merrett, Store Manager, Supercheap Auto
• Adrian Mineo, Assistant Planner of Bathroom, Harris Scarfe
• Marianne Mylonas, Store Manager, Target
• Biljana Omcikus, Store Manager, Best & Less
• Luke Parish, Area Manager NSW West, Boating Camping Fishing Ltd
• Michelle Perry, Store Manager, Supercheap Auto
• Hannah Rafferty, Store Manager, Best & Less
• Zachary Snow, KFC Graduate Leadership Program – Restaurant Project Officer – Extended Trade, Yum! Restaurants International – KFC
• Lindsay Smith, Area Manager, Peregrine Corporation
• Lachlan Street, Store Manager, Amart Sports
• Amy Vrtaric, Clothing Department Manager – Shift Supervisor, rebel
• Kate Weller, SA Retail Support, PETstock
• Emily Willmett, Shop Director, Kit and Ace

HR Practitioner of the Year Award Finalists:
• Brea Cornwell, Senior HR Advisor, City Beach
• Amanda Donohoe, National HR Manager, The Co-op
• Kerrie Gapes, Group Human Resources Manager, Kresta Holdings Limited
• Trystan Lloyd, National Operations Manager, Build-A-Bear Workshop
• Tammy Ryder, General Manager – People, Minor DKL Food Group Pty Ltd

The CEO of the Year and Supreme Retailer of the Year will be announced at the Gala Dinner.

The 2016 NRA Rewards for Excellence Rio themed Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony is shaping up to be an extravagant evening.

Tickets are available and can be purchased online here. $3 from every ticket sold will go towards TLC for Kids; a children’s charity dedicated to giving practical and emotional support to sick kids and their families across Australia.

Don’t miss your chance to attend the biggest retail Awards event of the year.