Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics was awarded retailer of the year at this morning’s Australian Retailers Association eftpos Australian Retail Awards.
The awards judges said the international beauty manufacturer and retailer was chosen for its impressive employee education programs, focus on employee wellbeing, and corporate social responsibility.
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Peta Granger, director of Lush in Australia, thanked Lush’s customers and “extremely passionate and hardworking staff” in accepting the award.
“You guys are just so fearless and so passionate about what you do and you have really pushed us to make much braver choices about what to stand up for,” she said.
Lush produces and sells fresh handmade natural cosmetics and has a global policy to not use any paid advertising instead relying on word of mouth.
The business has 29 stores in Australia and one factory and turned over $36 million in 2014.
Granger used her speech to also thank the growers, farmers and producers of the raw materials, fresh fruit and vegetables Lush uses in its products.
“Alongside them, we have been investing a lot in permaculture infrastructure training and it’s phenomenal what you are able to achieve through that, from creating really amazing, transparent and sustainable supply chains, trying to end the cycle of poverty for farmers and even reverse environmental destruction,” she said.
The latest ABS Retail Trade figures demonstrate that in trend terms Australian retail turnover rose 4.4% in April 2015 compared with April 2014, caused by lower cash rates and flow through consumer confidence showing some nice signs.
Lush director, Peta Granger
Granger told SmartCompany she believes the retail sector is on the up.
“Personally, I think it’s thriving and exciting we have more and more customers walking in every day,” she says.
“Whenever I read about the disappointment people are feeling in the retail industry, I feel the opposite, I think it’s thriving.”
Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, said the retail sector has shown itself to be resilient.
“The Australian retail sector continues to go from strength to strength, with the diversity and calibre of entries this year showing the tenacity and innovation of retailers in this evolving and increasingly competitive environment,” said Zimmerman.
Jodie Fox, co-founder of retailer Shoes of Prey, gave the keynote speech at the awards and there were significant opportunities available for retailers.
“The Australian retail industry is at a tipping point whereby the elements we’ve long wished for are all becoming available to us,” Fox said. “It’s never an easy road to build a successful business – and there are plenty of failures along the way, but I’m optimistic about what we as a nation of retailers can achieve.”
Other winners this morning were:
- Wilson Retail’s Saltwater Wine and Stormriders for The Realise Group independent retailer of the year;
- The Good Guys, NORA multichannel retailer of the year;
- Paul Baker, NRMA Insurance, REST Industry Super individual retailer of the year; Cannings Butchers, MasterCard retail payments leader of the year;
- eyeclarity, Pronto Software retail innovator of the year;
- Stormriders, Shop for Shops retail store fit-out of the year;
- Charmaine Wilson, Super Retail Group, FCB retail HR rising star of the year; Leanne Stone, Beacon Lighting, Expr3ss! Staff Selection Software retail graduate of the year;
- True Value Hardware, Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction retailer of the year; and
- Specsavers, BDO retail employer of the year.