7-Eleven Australia has taken out the top award at the Australian Retailers Association’s Retail Award.

The retailer was awarded the ARA’s Visa Australian Retailer of the Year award, overtaking from last year’s winner Smiggle.

7-Eleven CEO Warren Wilmot said the award is a testament to the company’s hard work.

“In 2010 we purchased the Mobil Retail Fuels business, adding more than 200 additional stores to our network. I’m pleased to say that in 2011 we successfully converted more than 175 stores from Mobil to 7-Eleven, opening an average of 5 stores per week,” he said.

“Thanks to the strength of the 7-Eleven brand and offer, and the hard work of our Franchisees and corporate team, these stores are performing very strongly once converted, despite the challenging economic conditions other retailers are experiencing.”

At the same time, eyeclarity was awarded the winner for 2011 Field Agent Retail Innovator of the Year.

Field Agent general manager Kate Gorman said: “eyeclarity is a pioneer in the future of optical retailing by implementing a business model which seamlessly integrates customer service, product innovation and technology to make for a truly amazing shopping experience.”

Other national award winners announced at the 2011 ARA Australian Retail Awards included the eftpos 2011 Australian Independent Retailer of the year awarded to By Dezign, the 2011 Deakin University Australian Retail Graduate of the Year awarded to Sherryl Munday, as well as the 2011 Shopping Centre Council of Australia Retail Employer of the Year awarded to Myer.

The ARA Australian Retail Awards program recognises the outstanding achievements of individual retail players, the growth and development of retail businesses and contributions towards retailing in Australia.