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Annah Stretton top NZ consumer award winner

September 1, 2005

Annah Stretton top NZ consumer award winner

Annah Stretton has been recognised as a leader in the high fashion industry even before the top 2005 NZ entrepreneur winner has been announced.

Stretton has been judged the top retailer in the Ernst & Young NZ Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The category winners were announced today but the overall winner will be named in Auckland on October 12.

The supreme winner will take part in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo next year.

Stretton’s road to the top is a fairytale journey for the Waikato-based clothing retailer. She is the founder-owner of Stretton Clothing which has 28 shops across New Zealand. All her fashion garments are 100 percent New Zealand made.

``This category success is a recognition of our business strength and excellence and is great for our profile and public awareness,’’ she said today.

``I have sought to bring creativity, ingenuity, courage and singular focus on growing New Zealand business enterprise.

``The award will also help sell more product as it has benchmarked us against other organisations and we’re thrilled with where we are placed at the moment. ``But we are not standing still. Our garments must still stand up and women still have to fall in love with our clothing label.’’

Stretton has five stores trading as Annah Stretton, and 23 as Annah.S stores, though nine of these are franchise-owned.

Her clothing is also sold in the UK, Ireland, Dubai, Europe, USA and Australia. The distribution of the Annah Stretton label in Australia has shown excellent growth, returning $ 2million this financial year.

Stretton is a board member of Fashion Industry NZ and keep close tabs on fashion trends across the country and overseas.

``The NZ fashion industry is in good heart. It has some excellent players. We have world-leading designers with excellent seasonal collections.

``The implications of the China Free Trade Agreement will challenge the chain store end of the market – dealing in commodity products. But designers will always be competitive and our success will rise and fall on the content of each season’s collection.’’

Stretton is the 2005 Her Business Woman of the Year. She has also been a finalist for two successive years at the Montana Wearable Arts Awards, achieving a ‘runners-up’ placing in 2004 in the Avant-Garde section.

Her high fashion company is aligned to three charities – the Breast Cancer Foundation , SPCA and True Colours Charitable Trust.

ENDS

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