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The Middle East Retail Academy Awards - Retailers

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 3 June 2008

The Middle East Retail Academy Awards, held in conjunction with Digital Consumer Channel (DCC) Middle East & Africa (MEA), introduced live electronic voting to channel awards.

The glittering awards ceremony was an exciting and action-packed evening. Channel EMEA brings you full details of the retailer and distributor award winners as voted for live by more than 100 senior executives from the vendor community.

"The inaugural Middle East Retail Academy Awards, held in conjunction with DCC, were a huge success," said Farouk Hemraj, CEO and co-founder of DISTREE Events - the organiser of DCC MEA. "This was the first time that live electronic voting has been used to determine the winners of channel awards in this region. This transparent and fair voting system was a huge hit with all the attendees."

Carrefour claims award

The first retail-focused award of the evening at the Middle East Retail Academy Awards was for Hypermarket / Big Box Retailer of the Year. Two retailers dominated the voting with Carrefour (1) eventually taking the accolade with 37%. Sharaf DG - a company that has made significant strides with the introduction of Big Box retail outlets in the region - came second with 31%. Emax, Saudi-based Jarir Bookstore and Lulu finished third, fourth and fifth respectively.

The second award for Mall-based / Specilaist Retailer of the Year saw regional retail and distribution giant i2 (2) take top spot with UAE-based Plug-Ins finishing second and Jumbo grabbing third place. Virgin and Jacky’s took fourth and fith place.

Prior to the awards ceremony, an executive committee of 20 top vendor executives from across the region had taken part in a blind selection process to come up with a shortlist of five nominees for each retailer award category.

The awards for Hypermarket / Big Box Retailer of the Year and Mall-based / Specilaist Retailer of the Year were based on the following criteria: customer satisfaction; sales growth; corporate social responsibility; profitability; store experience; vendor relations, innovation and service levels.

Sharaf DG doubles up

The third retailer award for Store Concept of the Year evaluated innovation and creativity in store design and its impact on footfall. Sharaf DG (3) won comfortably, securing 51% of the vote thanks to its innovation in destination big box retail with its flagship Times Square outlet in Dubai. Emax finished second, Compume third, while digital home specialist Eon and Jacky’s Express took fourth and fifth place.

Not content with one award, Sharaf DG (4) then went on to claim the Best Retailer for Marketing / Promotion prize with 43% of the votes case by vendor executives. Virgin Megastore finished second with Jacky’s claiming third. Jarir Bookstore and Plug-Ins were also nominated by the executive vendor committee for this award.

In the individual award category, retail executives from Carrefour, CompuMe / i2, Jacky’s, Jarir and Sharaf DG went head-to-head for the Retail Executive of the Year accolade. In an incredibly tight vote, Carrefour’s NR Ganesh (5) pipped Sharaf DG’s Nilesh Khalkoo by just 1%, picking up 36% of the votes.

The Middle East Retail Academy Awards also included one prize for Retail Distributor of the Year voted for by retailers attending the gala dinner and awards ceremony. Regional distribution giant Redington picked up the award with 37% of the votes. The other four distributors nominated by the retailer executive committee were Delta, Emitac, ITE and Source IT.

2009 planning underway

Hemraj added: "The feedback for the Middle East Retail Academy Awards was overwhelmingly positive but we plan to refine and develop the concept for next year."

"This will see the introduction of country-specific awards for fast-growing markets such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We will take careful note of the feedback we have received and strive to continuously improve the awards format and structure," he concluded.

The Middle East Retail Academy Awards will return in 2009. For more information on the awards e-mail Farouk Hemraj

For full details of The Middle East Retail Academy Awards Vendor winners click here

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