The winners of the World Retail Congress Awards were announced during the second dayof the three day annual gathering of retail industry members. Among the winners named were Swedish fast-fashion chain H&M, Japanese apparel company Fast Retailing and British department store group, John Lewis.
“We've had another fantastic shortlist of winners, and this year in particular they reflect how the retail landscape is changing,” commented Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress. “The diversity of entries and countries, and the level of innovation, reinforces the huge groundswell of change in the global retail world.”
H&M was voted the 'International Retailer' of the year during the award ceremony, whilst Fast Retailing, parent company of fashion labels such as Princesse Tam Tam and Uniqlo was given the 'Retailer of Year' award, and is said to be following in the footsteps of previous winners of the prize, such as Inditex. John Lewis was named 'Omnichannel Retailer of the Year.'
South Korean department store group Lotte Shopping was given the CSR Initiative of the Year, after the launch of its in-store rewards scheme which designed to encourage shoppers to purchase eco-friendly products. The winners of this year's award were selected by a team of 12 international CEO's, which included Terry Duddy, Home Retail Group; Concetta Lanciaux, Lux Advisory; Gordon Campbell, Spar International; Rick Darling, Li & Fung US; Richard Simonin, Limoni Group.
The World Retail Congress also revealed the winners of its global student competition, the Retail Future's Challenge, who were asked to create an idea for a Samsung store of the future. Five teams from leading fashion, design and technology colleges in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Ancona were selected and the team of four from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology were named the winners.
The winning team, Paula Cushman, Cassandra Napoli, Victoria Kulesza and Alison Rebozo, presented their blueprint to over 1,000 retail executives gather in Paris for the 8th annual congress. “Once again the standard of entries from these young students has been fantastic and their ideas for creating a shop of the future are groundbreaking,” added McGarrigle. “The competition has grown to become one of the high points of the Congress and it is inspiring to see these future leaders of retailing setting out their ideas in front of an audience of retail professionals.”