Niche focus helps eyeclarity take out Independent Retailer of the Year award


A host of retailers have claimed titles at the 2012 Australian Retail Awards including Oroton, Pandora, Lenard’s Chicken and eyeclarity, which was named Independent Retailer of the Year.


The awards, hosted by the Australian Retailers Association, were presented this morning at a breakfast, where attendants heard from Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes.


The award for 2012 Independent Retailer of the Year was presented to eyeclarity, an optical retailer offering professional eye care and eyewear fashion.


Since the original store opened in 1986, eyeclarity has grown to encompass five stores and has won a number of industry awards.


According to ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman, eyeclarity encapsulates the essence of what it is to be a successful independent retailer.


“Eyeclarity… punches well above its weight when it comes to carving out a niche market and responding to consumers’ needs both now and in the future,” Zimmerman said in a statement.


Jewellery chain Pandora was named 2012 Australian Retailer of the Year, while Lenard’s Chicken was named 2012 Australian Retail Innovator of the Year.


“Pandora is a well-established retailer and has used product innovation, concept stores and a watertight marketing strategy to expand its brand offering and stand out,” Zimmerman said.


Kate Gorman, business development manager of The Realise Group, which sponsored the innovator award, commended Lenard’s Chicken on its efforts.


“[Lenard’s Chicken] launched a system which delivered improvements across the entire business including operations, profitability, [and] franchisee and staff satisfaction,” Gorman said.


“It’s this type of innovation that helps retail businesses make leaps forward, even in tough market conditions. It delivers efficiencies, which obviously impact the bottom line.”


“Providing customers with what they want, when they want it, and allowing staff to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time with customers are crucial ingredients in a successful retail operation, and this innovation delivered on all of these.”


Jeanswest was named Australian Retail Employer of the Year, while Oroton was named 2012 Australian Multichannel Retailer of the Year, one of two new awards introduced this year.


Zimmerman said Oroton is to be commended for its insight into the needs of tech-savvy consumers.


“Oroton has left no stone unturned when it comes to connecting with new and existing customers on their terms and in the spaces they operate, which include cyberspace,” Zimmerman said.


Hamish Moline of eBay, which sponsored the multichannel retailer award, said the Oroton brand is well known for superior quality, fashion and beautiful merchandising.


“Walking into an Oroton shop front has always provided a delightful retail experience,” Moline said.


“This experience now carries to all of their online properties, making a mobile, desktop, tablet or in-store experience as special and consistent as one another.”


“They stand out from the crowd and are well positioned to meet the needs of today’s hyper-connected consumer.”