DUBAI – All roads led to the Joharah Ballroom at Madinat Jumeirah as the second edition of the hugely popular RetailME Awards, held under the patronage of Sheikha Lubna bint Khaled Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy, were announced at a glittering ceremony.
Fifty-four entries from across the Middle East were short-listed as the finalists for RetailME Awards 2006, one of the most coveted events in the region, instituted last year to recognise excellence in the retail industry.
Azizia Panda, Daiso Value Store and The One, who won the Middle East Retailer, International Retailer and Lifestyle Retailer respectively, walked away with the top honours at this year’s awards, which were judged by a panel comprising internationally well-established names in the industry before being independently collected, collated and audited by Ernst & Young.
“After the huge success of the inaugural edition of the awards last year, the expectations were sky high this year and we can proudly claim that the RetailME Awards 2006 has turned out to be an even bigger success,” said Pierre Pereira, director, Concept Media – publishers of RetailME.
A high-spirited Thomas Lundgren, Inventor of THE One, commented:
“This is amazing! We are so honoured that we received two RetailME awards for the second year running, especially considering the fact that competition in the market, and therefore also for these awards, is growing stronger by the day.”
Eminent personalities in the jury for this year’s awards included Saeed Mohammed Al Nabouda, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), UAE; Colm McLoughlin, managing director, Dubai Duty Free, UAE; John Stanley, director, John Stanley Associates, Australia; Ian Watt, chairman, International Council of Shopping Centres, International Advisory Committee, South Africa and Peter Walichnowski, director, Skylan Properties, Seoul, Korea, (ex-CEO of MAF Investments).
Commenting on this year’s event, Saeed Mohammed Al Nabouda said:
“The Middle East’s retail industry which is already growing at an unprecedented pace is poised for greater growth in the coming years.
“The region will set a benchmark in retailing practices which the rest of the world will strive to achieve and awards such as these will go a long way in bringing out the best among Middle East retailers.
“This year we have seen many new entrants from across the Middle East, this is a reflection of the healthy competition that exists in the region’s retailing sector, which is set to reach new heights in the years ahead.”
The second edition of the Awards registered a marked increase in the number of entries, especially from retailers from the Middle East, clearly indicating the popularity and significance of this award to the entire region.
For the second year in succession, Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, the developers of the City of Arabia, were the title sponsors of the event while Burjuman, HP, In Retail, Apparel Group, and Ernst & Young marked their second consecutive year as category sponsors.
This year’s edition also saw four new partners, Aldar, Precise, Crown Corporation and Grand Optics who came in as category sponsors as well.
Winners in each category are:
- Rising Star – Dune – Shoe Plaza
- New retail brand – H&M – M H Al Shaya
- Business excellence – Aldo – Apparel Group
- Grocer of the Year – Spinneys
- Store manager – Abeer Mreihel, Al Yousuf Electronics
- Loyalty program – Cozmo – Jordan Centre
- Mall of the Year – Mall of the Emirates
- Customer Service Initiative – Aptec Mobiles
- Marketing campaign – Splash
- Retail Technology Initiative – The One
- Online Retailer – Aptec Mobiles
- Store Design – Etoile La Boutique
- Lifestyle Retailer – The One
- International Retailer – Daiso Value Store
- Middle East Retailer – Azizia Panda – Hyper Panda
The RetailME Awards is an exclusive property of RetailME, the first B2B magazine in the Middle East dedicated to the retail industry.
With its focus on local and international retail trade, RetailME provides editorial coverage on all aspects of the supply chain from manufacturer to consumer as well as customer relations, merchandising, design, category management, information technology, FMCG, property and consumer trends.
Published by Concept Media in Dubai Media City, RetailME operates under license from Emap Communications, UK’s second largest publishing house, and shares an exclusive relationship with their two leading titles – Retail Week and Retail World.