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Auckland Top Shop Entries High

MEDIA RELEASE
17 August 2005
For immediate release

Auckland Top Shop Entries High

Entries for the Auckland Top Shop awards have closed with over 300 entries.

The entries were well spread over the seven categories, which cover most retail businesses from food to footwear and health to homeware, with over 20 exceptional stores in the Start Up Business category signaling a strong future for retail.

The Auckland Top Shop competition is run by New Zealand Retailers Association. Northern Regional Manager Russell Sinclair was thrilled with the high number of entries this year. “The Auckland Top Shop Awards are held in high regard by retailers and are a great annual celebration of excellence in retail,” he says.

“The Awards give retailers an opportunity to see how they compare to others in the industry, find out what they are doing well and where they could improve,” said Mr Sinclair.

Entrants will now undergo the first round of judging, being mystery shopped by Fieldforce Limited. Anne Barrowclough, Managing Director of Fieldforce Ltd, says in previous years the standard of entries in the Auckland competition has been high. “We have seen some wonderful examples of well trained staff and great customer service, and we expect this year to see retailers raise the bar again. There are always areas of service focus, presentation and the customer experience that can continue to improve,” she says.

Following the mystery shopping the finalists will be re-judged, by a panel of retail experts with extensive backgrounds in the retail industry, to find the category winners. The category winners will be judged once more to find the Overall Top Shop Winner, sponsored by Auckland Top Shop’s principal sponsors, The New Zealand Herald and The Aucklander.

The finalists and winners will be announced and the awards presented at a gala dinner event, with MC Frankie Stevens, at the SkyCity Convention Centre on Wednesday 1 November.

Five special awards will also be presented, the “Heart of the City”Service Award, Best Store in a Westfield Shopping Centre, Westfield Young Retailer of the Year, The Retail Hall of Fame and Exceptional Leadership in Retail.

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AUCKLAND TOP SHOP 2006 CATEGORIES AND SPONSORS

Retailers will be able to be nominated and enter into one of seven categories for the Top Shop 2006 Awards. These include;

1. Start Up Business Award – Sponsored by Paymark Eftpos
A new shop concept and new shop brand in the Auckland market that has commenced trading after 1 May 2005. (Not eligible for Top Shop Overall Winner)
(New stores of existing franchises or chain stores not eligible)

2. Giftware & Homeware – Sponsored by Telecom
Retail shops that predominantly sell giftware and homeware (i.e. gift shops, homeware linen,
jewellery).

3. Specialty Food & Beverage – Sponsored by NZFSA (New Zealand Food Safety Authority)
Cafes, restaurants, liquor stores, specialty food shops, fresh produce stores etc. up to 500 sq metres

4. Large Format stores over 500 sq metres – Sponsored by Visa International
Mass merchandisers, department stores, furnishing stores, hardware stores, supermarkets etc.

5. Specialty Stores up to 500 sq metres– Sponsored by Five Star Consumer Finance
For stores not listed in any other category: furniture, floor coverings, home furnishings, linen, appliances, service outlets etc

6. Fashion Apparel & Footwear – Sponsored by VIVA 98.2FM
Womenswear, menswear, sportswear, activewear, unisex and all types of footwear excluding specialist sports footwear stores.

7. Lifestyle, Health & Fitness – Sponsored by Provenco
Pharmacies, beauty salons, hairdressers, optometrists, outdoor activity stores, fitness centres and specialist sporting footwear stores

Overall Top Shop Winner – Sponsored by The New Zealand Herald/The Aucklander
Winner selected from all finalists of eligible categories shown above except the Start Up Business
category

Special Category Awards

'Heart of the City' Service Award – Sponsored by Heart of the City
This is a special service award for any store trading within the Heart of the City defined trading area of the Auckland CBD who has entered one of the seven eligible Top Shop categories and has demonstrated exceptional service.

Best Store in a Westfield Shopping Centre – Sponsored by Westfield
Any shop in a Westfield Shopping Centre in the Auckland Top Shop region can enter this category as well as one of the seven eligible Top Shop specialty categories. Winning one of the six eligible specialty categories provides the opportunity to go forward for the Overall Top Shop Winner Award.

Westfield Young Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by Westfield
Finalists for this Award are selected from each Westfield Shopping Centre throughout New Zealand. The finalists and the winner are announced on the night of the Top Shop Awards evening in conjunction with the Westfield Best Store Award.

Retail Hall of Fame – Sponsored by MYOB
Awarded to a person or organisation that has made a major contribution to retail in Auckland over time.

Innovation Excellence in Retail – Sponsored by Westpac
Awarded to a retailer that has demonstrated innovation which has resulted in the achievement of excellence in retailing.

ENDS

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