State retail winners to battle it out for top national award

Posted by James Ferre on 11th August 2008

The Australian Retailers Association has announced the state winners of Independent Retailer of the Year and Young Retailer of the Year, with the food industry well represented.

Jaclyn Connelly won the Vic Young Retailer of the Year Award for her work at Muffin Break. The 24 year old became the Muffin Break’s Northland franchisee in 2006 at just 22 years of age. Gemini Catering Equipment and Uniforms took out the Victorian honour for Independent Retailer of the Year.

Anvers Confectionery took out the prize for leading Independent Retailer in Tasmania. Juanita Lowry Retail Manager of Latrobe’s Anvers Confectionery (who make their products fresh on the premises) emerged victorious in the face of strong competition from runner-up Wills the Quadrant Pty Ltd (Launceston).

In Western Australia, Supa IGA (Denmark) took out the honour of Independent Retailer of the Year. The winners in the state competitions will not compete for the award as National Independent and Young Retailer of the Year. The 2008 ARA Retail Award national winners will be announced on Tuesday 12 August 2008 in Sydney as part of the National Retail Forum. Other awards presented on the night will be ARA Retail Innovation and National Retailer of the Year. The companies chosen to contend for National Retailer of the Year are: David Jones, JB Hi Fi, Noni B, Rebel Sport, Super Cheap Auto, Sussan Group, The Reject Shop and Woolworths.

ARA Executive Director Richard Evans said the new ARA Retail Awards Program was the first and only national awards program celebrating Australian retailing and was an example of the peak body’s national focus and commitment to representing the diverse retail sector. “The ARA retail awards program is designed to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the growth and development of their businesses and their contributions towards retailing right across Australia,” Mr Evans said.

Awards by state: (Y=Young Retailer of the Year; and I=Independent Retailer of the Year)

VIC: Jennifer Puppa – Gemini Catering Equipment & Uniforms (I); Jaclyn Connelly – Muffin Break (Y)

NSW: David MacLaren – Wood Works Gallery (I); Ian Sackett – Camera House (Y)

TAS: Juanita Lowry – Anvers Confectionery (I)

WA: Supa IGA (Denmark) (I); Aimee Johns – Keith & Lottie (Y)

SA: Jackie Leo – Flourish (I); Kate Cocks – The Reject Shop (Y)

QLD: Ken O’Dowd – Busteed Building Supplies (I); Dean Robson – The Reject Shop (Y)