.99 to lead the applause

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Retail agency .99 will spearhead the sponsorship line-up at this year’s Top Shop Retail Excellence Awards in a new alliance with the Retailers Association (NZRA).

The awards, which recognise the best New Zealand retailers and retail professionals (across a range of categories), employ a mystery shopper system to identify those who most exemplify principles of best practice.

In its role as principal sponsor, .99 will lend its name and clout to the awards’ top honour, the Overall Top Shop award, across each of the five regions in which the awards are run – Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury, and Otago/Southland.

“.99 prides itself on having created an agency model for the future that exists today, one that caters to retailers who are looking to have a closer, deeper relationship with their customers,” said .99 and justONE managing director Ben Goodale, in a statement today.

Included within .99’s suite of integrated retail solutions are competencies in retail advertising and brand development, in-store activation, photography and ecommerce. Its partner justONE has complementary expertise in loyalty programmes, big data, mobile and digital.

“We are synonymous with retail, and the Top Shop Awards are devoted to celebrating excellence in this arena, so our new partnership capitalises on that synergy,” Goodale said. “We can’t wait to get involved by recognising and promoting New Zealand’s top retailers.

“We’re seeing many retailers return to telling brand stories, emphasising a recovering economy where quality starts to be more important again, not just price.  So one of the many things we’re excited about with this partnership is uncovering the best of the best, as they say, and the stories behind the rise to the top for these shops.”

NZRA ceo Mark Johnston said: “The team at .99 know the retail landscape inside and out, and are widely acknowledged as New Zealand’s leading retail brands agency, so we’re delighted to have them on board and be able to make the most of their extensive retail sector knowledge.”

Award entries are now open, with mystery shopping rounds taking place from late June until 29 August. Regional award events will be held throughout September and October.

For more information on the awards, or to enter, go to www.topshop.org.nz.

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