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Search on for Wellington’s top shop


Search on for Wellington’s top shop - the tough get going

Tough times on main street and in the malls are an opportunity for good retailers to shine, says New Zealand Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson.

Announcing the launch of the association’s 2008 Wellington TOP SHOP awards today [19 May], Mr Albertson said the retail excellence awards sought out shops which had great staff offering fantastic customer service, were focused on presentation, were innovative and who just stood out from the competition.

“Doing the basics well is important in the current environment.

“The shops which have been around a while have seen down turns before – they know how to deal with them and they’ll do alright,” he said.

Association chief executive John Albertson says the awards are open to all shops.

“They have been around 21 years now and have a well established track record of improving customer service.

“For the shops, TOP SHOP is an opportunity to concentrate on service, bond their staff and cost effectively benchmark themselves against other similar shops.”

Mr Albertson said winning the award not only gives public recognition to the best, but also has been proven to make a difference regarding where people shop with winners reporting more customers coming through their doors.

“Being a Top Shop sets a standard that is hard to maintain and staff have to be aware all the time of the high level of expectation coming from our customers,” says Antonio Cacace, founder, La Bella Italia in Petone, winner Wellington 2007 TOP SHOP awards, food and beverage category.

“I was surprised to see that the 90 percent of our customers were proud to buy stuff from us, to be somehow part of this recognition and this gave them another reason to speak about us to their friends”

Lance Bills, Director of Harrisons Country Gardenworld in Waikanae, winner Wellington 2007 TOP SHOP Large Format category says that “As a winner, it does not mean you are the best, but that you were better than others at a particular point in time.

“If you do succeed in TOP SHOP, you don’t want to slip from that point. You want to maintain the standards you have achieved.”

The overall winner of the Wellington 2007 TOP SHOP was the Railway New World Metro.

A key test for TOP SHOP entrants is the mystery shopper exercise during which staff from a specialist mystery shopper company make unannounced visits to entrants’ shops to provide judges with information on criteria such as service and presentation.

Other criteria include doing the basics well, innovation and the ‘wow’ factor.

TOP SHOP is open to all retailers and entries for the Wellington regional awards close on 11 July. The winners will be announced on 1 October.

The awards also run in the Waikato, Christchurch and Auckland regions.

Shops enter in categories such as supermarket, fashion, footwear and accessories and start up. From the winners from these categories, an overall winner is selected.


The Wellington 2008 TOP SHOP region is from Waikanae and Upper Hutt down to Eastbourne and Wainuiomata.

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