The National Retail Association (NRA) has revealed its finalists for the 2019 National Retail Awards, with Store Manager of the Year receiving the most entries of any category for the first time.

In previous years, the Young Retailer of the Year Award has received the most entries.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the spike in Store Manager entries shows how invested retailers are in their staff.

“Retailers are starting to take note of how important a strong leader is, and investing in their team to ensure that the needs of the customer are being met at the highest level,” Lamb said in a statement.

The Young Retailer of the Year Award is often the most anticipated, with 20 finalists proceeding to the next round of judging this year.

The winner will be flown to New York to visit one of the world’s biggest retail expos, the National Retail Federation Big Show.

Young Retailer of the Year prize sponsor, National Online Retail Association executive director Paul Greenberg, said he hopes that retailers nationwide will take note of the opportunities available.

“We are deeply supportive of retail being chosen as a career.” he said . “Our best and brightest young retailers are the key to harnessing technology-led, customer-centric, global retail opportunities.”

This year the Training Retail Executive Award has been established as an extra category to recognise trainers’ efforts.

Across the board over 40 finalists have been shortlisted including:

Social Responsibility Champion

Customer Experience Champion

Innovation Champion

HR Professional of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Training Retail Executive Award

Franchisee of the Year

Store Manager of the Year

Small Retailer of the Year

Medium Retailer of the Year

Large Retailer of the Year

Online Retailer of the Year

Judging will continue for the next two weeks before winners are announced at the gala dinner event at the Star in Sydney on September 4.

It will be preceded by a professional development and networking luncheon for Young Retailer and Store Manager of the Year finalists.

Tickets can be purchased through the NRA website

For the latest retail industry news and insights straight to your mailbox sign up to RetailBiz’ weekly newsletter. If you have any news or feature tips or know a retail who would make a good retail profile please email Georgia Clark at