The Retail Excellence Ireland Awards 2017

The Retail Excellence Ireland Awards 2017, i.e. the retail Oscars equivalent, took place at the beautiful Malton Hotel in Killarney last Saturday the 11th of November and was presented by the very popular Hector Ó hEochagáin.

On the night, where a number of businesses, organisations, and individuals were celebrated, it was clear to the members or Retail Excellence just how much the organisation invests in its members. Retail Excellence provides an excellent array of resources and opportunities to help retailers to learn and to grow. They further the industry as a whole through acknowledging, rewarding, and celebrating the developments of its members, the retailers in Ireland which overall encourages and propels the industry forward. The night of the awards provided an opportunity for 600 Irish retail industry executives across the country to come together to celebrate the success of the industry, and of course everyone was delighted to have the opportunity to get into their best – StudioForty9 were happy to anyway.

Awards granted on the night included the National Store of 2018 which was granted to Garvey’s Supervalu Tralee. Given the multichannel direction in which retail is swiftly moving in, there was of course a Website of the Year award which was won by Co-Op Superstores, who employ none other than Crystal Swing’s Derek Burke, who was kind enough to give us a quick performance of the Huckle Buck.

We would like to congratulate the two runners up, who just happen to be two of our own clients Tony Kealys and Carrolls Irish Gifts; with whom we are very proud to work with. Not only are the sites designed to be aesthetically pleasing to customers, the functionality and features on these sites adds to their online retail experience. 

Can we also congratulate Sandra Devenney from McElhinneys on winning Manager of Year, and to Evergreen Health Store on being selected in the Top 30 Stores in the Country.

A very notable award on the night was the third ever lifetime achievement award which was awarded to none other than the very well deserving Rachel Doyle, founder of Arboretum. There were a few tear jerking moments during the presentation of this award when a video was projected of Rachel’s family and friends bursting with pride while narrating the success story of Arboretum. Rachel Doyle received a standing ovation on accepting the award deservingly. Rachel has built her business to be the success it is – having won National Company of the Year 2016, and National Store of the Year 2015 by Retail Excellence – reflecting the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in the management of the store – but she also has brought her two sons along the Arboretum journey, with them now working alongside her in both furthering the growth of their family business, and ensuring that they hire only the best in order to ensure their continued success.

Supplier of the Year 2017 was an achievement StudioForty9 were honoured to win last year; the award now takes pride of place in our Cork offices. Can we offer a huge congratulations our friends at Wolfgang Digital on winning the title of Supplier of the Year 2018.

The full list of the awards winners can be found here.

Though the Huckle Buck from Derek Burke was definitely one of the highlights from the night, the entertainment was most certainly not in short supply. We also were graced with the presence of none other than Den veteran and Eurovision contestant Dustin the Turkey, Michael Healy Rae, and we were all left dumbfounded by mentalist David Meade.

This year the role of Chairperson within the board members of Retail Excellence, is being passed from Colm Carroll, Carroll’s Irish Gifts, over to JP Kennedy, Tilestyle. We would like to personally congratulate Colm on an amazing job, its has been an honour to work with you both through REI and through Carrolls directly. We would like to wish JP all the luck in the world in his new position.

It is clear that the organisation’s growth from strength to strength is a reflection of the fantastic management from the members on the board. From having 1,650 of the leading and most progressive and innovative retailers in Ireland as members of the organisation, to the 2018 Awards drawing more finalists than ever before – there was an extremely strong sense of pride on the night and the awards not only congratulated Irish retailers on their efforts, the awards set the benchmark and presented to retailers the bar to be raised in the year to come, which undoubtedly will continue to raise.

Thank you to David, Helen, Antoinette, David, Keelan, Lorraine and everybody at REI for hosting a great night, we eagerly await the Awards night in 2018.

Jean Langford
Jean Langford |