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

Large Format – sponsored by Visa Food and Beverage – sponsored by Dish & NZRetail Magazines
Countdown Botany Downs Ashore Fine Food & Wine, Birkenhead
Farro Fresh, Mt Wellington Dante’s Pizzeria, Kemeu
Lincoln Pak ‘n’ Save Delissimo Delicatessen, Queens Arcade
Mitre 10 Mega Henderson Devonport Chocolates, Devonport
New World Albany Devonport Chocolates, Ponsonby
New World New Lynn Didas Victoria Park
Noel Leeming Westgate Glengarry City Store
Noel Leeming Manukau Glengarry Devonport
Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket Glengarry Elliot Street
Sylvia Park Pak ‘n’ Save Glengarry Jervois Road
Warehouse Stationery Manukau Glengarry Kingsland
Westgate Mitre 10 Home and Trade Glengarry Mt Eden
Glengarry Parnell
Glengarry Ponsonby
Glengarry Remuera
Glengarry Victoria Park
Glengarry Westmere
Kiwiana, Epsom
Lounge Café, Birkenhead
New World Green Bay
Prenzel of Whitford
The Little Grocer
The Prenzel Shop
The Sweetest Little Chocolate Shop

Fashion, Footwear and Accessories – sponsored by Student Job Search Lifestyle and Wellbeing – sponsored by Westpac
AGATHA Paris, Vulcan Lane 2XU Newmarket Performance Centre
Bendon Outlet Pukekohe Auckland Rockshops
Bendon Outlet Westgate Botany Rockshop
Harlem, High Street Camera Corner
Heavenly Soles, Devonport Chantal Landais Hair Studio, Herne Bay
John Franich Jewellers, Westfield Ecostore
Kid Republic, Newmarket Henderson Rockshop
Minx, Rumuera Jo Malone
Mr Vintage, Grey Lynn L’Occitane En Provence Botany
Natalie Chan, Parnell L’Occitane En Provence Chancery
Orsini Fine Jewellery, Parnell L’Occitane En Provence Newmarket
Rodd & Gunn, St Lukes L’Occitane En Provence St Lukes
The Artist Goldsmith L’Occitane En Provence Sylvia Park
Ziera (Kumfs) Botany Massey Amcal Pharmacy
Progear Limited, Newmarket
Servilles Ponsonby
The Athletes Foot Sylvia Park
The French Art Shop, Ponsonby
Titirangi Golf Shop Ltd, New Lynn
Visique Glen Eden Optometrist
Walk on Wheels 2010 Ltd, Penrose
Yee Haa Fishing Ltd

Specialty – sponsored by Advantage Business Giftware and Homeware – sponsored by Viaduct
Classic Curtains & Furniture, Epsom AB FABrics
First Class Classics Best Blooms Ltd
Havana House Cigars, Customs St West Canvas, Bombay
Kidzspace, Epsom Chambers Home and Living, Ponsonby
Lahood Window Furnishings, Mt Eden Chambers Linens and Gifts, Ponsonby
Mama Mias, Milford Shopping Centre From N to Z
Rinke Design Ltd, Newmarket T2
Seedling Kids Store Remuera The Complete Garden Silverdale
Seedling Kids Store Takapuna The Poi Room, Newmarket
SpazioCasa Albany Toi Toi Floral Boutique
Telecom Retail Store Botany Wallace Cotton, Newmarket
Telecom Retail Store Dominion Road WildZone Gift Shop at Auckland Zoo
Telecom Retail Store Shore City
Telecom Retail Store West City
Telecom Retail Store Westgate
Telecom Sylvia Park
The Bead Hold
The Haven
The Hemp Store Aotearoa
The Whisky Shop
Wise Cicada

Start Up – sponsored by Paymark Online Retailing – sponsored by Telecom
Crave, Birkenhead Ashore Fine Food & Wine www.ashore.co.nz
Kiwiana Fish & Chips Belly Beyond www.bellybeyond.co.nz
Printinc Manukau Bennetts Chocolate Shop www.bennettsofmangawhai.com
Stomp Kids Shoes, Botany Dream of Italy www.dreamofitaly.co.nz
Tiny Space, Auckland Formé Spa www.formespa.co.nz
Verdo Nails Parnell Glassons.com www.glassons.com
Gorgeous Creatures www.gorgeouscreatures.co.nz
HUE www.hue.co.nz
Overland www.overlandfootwear.co.nz
Paper Room  www.paperroom.co.nz
The Sleep Store www.thesleepstore.co.nz
Toyplanet & Toyhire www.toyplanet.co.nz

About Author

Comments are closed.