Success stories

Smiggle crowned Australia’s top retailer

By Oliver Milman
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Smiggle has been named as Australia’s top retailer in 2010, with the company praised for its focus on staff development and growth.



The stationery brand, which started in Melbourne in 2003, took out top prize at the Australian Retailers Association Awards.


Other category winners include Coles in the food, drink and grocery section, David Jones in the department store category, JB Hi-Fi in the households goods division, TS14+ in clothing and footwear and Grill’d in the restaurants category.


Smiggle won the top award following a three-year period in which the retailer has grown by 70%. The retailer has also ramped up its online offering in this time.


Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, told StartupSmart that start-ups could take several lessons from Smiggle’s success.


“A lot of retailers get the latest technology available to them but if you don’t have the most important ingredient, which is people, then that’s where you will lose business,” he says.


“Smiggle has an internal staff awards process. They see training and rewards as important and they go the extra mile for their people.”


“Smiggle also donates funds to charitable causes, it has reduced its plastic bag production by 50%, it sees online as a competitive space and it has an innovative product that they’ve almost made into a new category.”

“Smiggle has looked at a range of things, from sales to people to production. They’ve had incredible growth over the last few years.”

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