Best of times, worst of times as Auckland's Top Shops recognised

  • Marketing
  • September 6, 2010
  • StopPress Team
Best of times, worst of times as Auckland's Top Shops recognised

Despite the 'uncooperative' economic conditions, entries for the Auckland round of the New Zealand Retailer's Association Top Shop Awards were up 34 percent on the 2008 edition. And 123 of those entries  have been chosen as finalists across eight different categories.

Given the well-publicised difficulties currently being experienced by some retailers in the region, and the fact that Statistics New Zealand figures for June showed core sales in retail rose 1.5 percent in June, some finalists could potentially consider being nominated for a retailing award as bittersweet. But Russell Sinclair, the New Zealand Retailer's Association’s northern regional manager says it's about thinking long-term, so "shops need to strongly emphasise customer service, store and product presentation and actively encourage staff participation in good relationship building" with their customers to create a point of difference.

"The standard of entries has been very high this year but customers still want quality service above all else," he says. "It’s the shops that focus on exceptional customer service standards and delighting their customers that will provide a competitive edge and increase market share which they will retain when the expected upturn occurs.”

Following a five week period of mystery shopping by customer service research company Market Pulse International, an independent panel of judges will choose the winners, which will be announced on 12 October at a gala event at SkyCity Convention Centre. During their visit the mystery shoppers observed and reported on the presentation of the store, the ambience and delivery of the service and the relationship building that was displayed by the staff member during the short, in-store contact period.

Slightly perplexingly, given the current climate, the mystery judges weren't asked to judge price, range or promotions, which are three very big buying considerations. Positive word of mouth is also a huge factor in business success, of course, so the focus of the mystery visit was on presentation of product or services, as well as the presentation, knowledge, availability and customer service experience delivered by staff.

Judging for the finalists in the Sustainable Retailing Category, sponsored by Meridian Energy, and the Retail Modern Apprentice, sponsored by the Retail Institute, is ongoing and successful participants will be announced within the next few weeks.

The Auckland region is Pukekohe to Orewa. The northern boundary is Orewa on the east coast and Kumeu in the west.  In the south the eastern boundary is Whitford through to Clevedon and heading west takes in Papakura and Pukekohe with the western-most town being Waiuku








































































































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New World AlbanyDevonport Chocolates, Ponsonby
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Lahood Window Furnishings, Mt EdenChambers Linens and Gifts, Ponsonby
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Rinke Design Ltd, NewmarketT2
Seedling Kids Store RemueraThe Complete Garden Silverdale
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Stomp Kids Shoes, BotanyDream of Italy www.dreamofitaly.co.nz
Tiny Space, AucklandFormé Spa www.formespa.co.nz
Verdo Nails ParnellGlassons.com www.glassons.com
Gorgeous Creatures www.gorgeouscreatures.co.nz
HUE www.hue.co.nz
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Paper Room  www.paperroom.co.nz
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