Business planning, Growth, How I did it

By Dezign named Australian Independent Retailer of the Year

Michelle Hammond /

Furniture retailer By Dezign has been named Australian Independent Retailer of the Year, while eyewear company eyeclarity has been named Retail Innovator of the Year.

 

The awards, presented by the Australian Retailers Association, are designed to recognise the achievements of individual retail players.

 

By Dezign, which began operating in 2006, took out the national title of Eftpos 2011 Australian Independent Retailer of the Year, beating three other state winners.

 

By Dezign is a furniture and decorator retailer situated in Auburn in NSW. The core ideology of the business is to help customers create beautiful rooms without breaking the bank.

 

The business initially began operating at a home improvement centre before moving its business to what is now called Homemaker Megamall Auburn to continue serving its target market.

 

According to ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman, By Dezign encompasses all the qualities of a successful independent retailer.

 

“[It has a] focus on excellent customer service, smooth operations and a clear vision to provide products for the best quality rooms at the most affordable prices,” Zimmerman says.

 

By Dezign beat Victorian retailer eyeclarity, Queensland company Glitter and Dance Fabric Specialists, and Tasmanian business Young @ Heart Fashions to claim the national title.

 

However, eyeclarity was named 2011 Field Agent Retail Innovator of the Year. Located in West Melbourne, eyeclarity is an optical retailer that positions itself as “the eyewear experts”.

 

Led by managing director Jim Papas, it also has a slightly different business model to the rest of the optical market, by marrying the clinical service element with an excellent product range.

 

Kate Gorman, general manager of award sponsor Field Agent, an app that allows consumers to earn money while shopping, describes eyeclarity as a pioneer in the future of optical retailing.

 

“[eyeclarity is] implementing a business model which seamlessly integrates customer service, product innovation and technology to make for a truly amazing shopping experience,” she says.

 

“I am all praise for Jim Papas for his vision and leadership in driving his business forward… [Papas] had the confidence to implement a unique and successful business model.”

 

Last year’s innovation award went to Kogan Technologies, led by Ruslan Kogan.

 

Meanwhile, 7-Eleven was named 2011 Visa Australian Retailer of the Year, taking over from last year’s winner Smiggle.

 

Other national award winners included the 2011 Deakin University Australian Retail Graduate of the Year, awarded to Sherryl Munday, while Myer took out the title of 2011 Shopping Centre Council of Australia Retail Employer of the Year.

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