Top Shop Judging Criteria 2017

This year each category will have a national winner, highly commended and runner up. All category winners are in the running for the Supreme National Top Shop Retailer of the Year Award.

First you're judged against retailers in your region with an in-store assessment. This is when you'll show off an excellent in-store (or online) experience, tailored to the category you entered. Based on that assessment a shortlist will be announced. Shortlisted applicants progress to the panel assessment judging round. From there, judges select 2 finalists for each category, in each region, who are in the running for the national awards.

You can find the judging criteria for all the categories below.


Based on a combination of in-store assessment and your online channels, including e-commerce, the judging panel will be looking for examples of:

  • How your business uses technology for a superior and seamless transactional customer experience.
  • How you integrate in-store technology to your supply chain strategy to ensure the right stock levels and stock availability.
  • Description of the channels employed to facilitate customer conversion.
  • What key technology initiatives have been implemented in the last 12 months to create a more seamless brand experience?
  • How you measure the benefits of technology use on the sales, profitability, competitive advantage and overall customer experience in your business?
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.

Best Large and Small Retailer entrants must demonstrate how, over the last 12 months, their business:

  • Has as grown from a financial perspective (retailers will not need to provide full financial details)*
  • Has strategies in place/planned to adapt to the ever-changing world of retail in New Zealand.

*Your business may not have grown financially due to investment in areas such as people, assets and stock. Demonstrating the strategies behind these initiatives/activities qualifies for this category.  

Based on a combination of in-store assessment and your online/social presence, the judging panel will be looking for examples of:

  • Your commitment to and engagement in your local community.
  • A demonstration of entrepreneurial ideas and initiatives within your business and its impact on business growth/profit.
  • An innovation and/or investment in your business which has increased customer engagement and customer experience.
  • Your use of digital and social media to engage customers/increase transactions
  • Your customer service expertise and quality product knowledge that demonstrates the ethos of your brand across all channels.
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.

Best Large and Small Retailer entrants must demonstrate how, over the last 12 months, their business:

  • Has as grown from a financial perspective (retailers will not need to provide full financial details)*
  • Has strategies in place/planned to adapt to the ever-changing world of retail in New Zealand.

*Your business may not have grown financially due to investment in areas such as people, assets and stock. Demonstrating the strategies behind these initiatives/activities qualifies for this category.  

Based on a combination of in-store assessment and your online channels (including ecommerce where applicable) the judging panel will be looking for:

  • How you create a unique in-store customer experience and point of difference.
  • The key strategies employed to create this in-store experience.
  • How you listen to customer's feedback and implement change brought about by this.
  • How you engage your customers to keep them coming back for more.
  • How the design of your store/website enhances the customer experience.
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.

The judges will be looking for:

  • How the core values of the business align, to create a positive impact technologically, socially and/or environmentally.
  • Initiatives you have implemented and the ways they have created a more positive impact for customers, employees and suppliers.
  • How you measured the overall impact of this initiative on your business, people and/or customers.
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.
  • Whether your customers understand, relate to or promote your business, as a result of a strong social and environmental conscience.*
  • What green technology initiatives, ethical processes and policies, and sustainable initiatives have been implemented.*

*Relevant to those entering this category based on sustainability/environmental.

Based on a combination of in-store assessment and your digital presence (if you have one), the judging panel will be looking for:

  • How you bring your customers’ senses to life and create a unique customer experience.
  • How do you use in-store theatre and technology to enhance the customer experience?
  • What makes your visual merchandising brave, innovative, unique and imaginative?
  • How you use colour, texture, signage, props, product groupings and/or lighting to grab attention.
  • Display of merchandise in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to purchase.
  • How your merchandising and/or digital display supports your brand.
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.
  • How the business, over the last 12 months, has implemented staff incentives, training and development to further enhance the business.
  • Evidence of ongoing professional development for yourself and/or your staff.
  • Investment to strengthen leadership capability where people are inspired and motivated to achieve their potential.
  • Managers lead by example to drive the business forward and put people at the heart of the business.
  • A commitment to employee recognition, creating a culture of appreciation where people are motivated to perform their best.
  • A focus on best practice, continuous improvement and response to change.

Nominees will need to show:

  • Excellent sales and service skills that make a person stand out from the crowd.
  • Evidence of ongoing professional development.
  • A commitment to opportunities for career development within the business.

People of any age who have been working in retail for less than four years and have completed, or are in the process of completing, a recognised qualification in retail are eligible.

  • Show specific details on initiatives and developments introduced over the last 12 months
  • Show clear communication of the product offering and positioning of the business
  • Demonstrate a seamless end to end online shopping and customer service experience – determined through an independent assessment
  • Demonstrate your social media strategy and its effectiveness in connecting and converting customers.
  • Demonstrate a depth of customer engagement and understanding through customer data centricity.

An award will be presented to one small retailer and one large retailer.

  • How the business has used its combination of channels to grow sales and profits
  • How the integration of multiple channels has provided a seamless end to end online shopping and customer service experience.
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.
  • Consistent channel integration through the convenience of a mobile optimised website, e-commerce, click & collection and delivery options.
  • How your store design embraces technology to enhance the shopping experience.
  • An excellent in-store experience determined through an independent assessment.