Following the success of the inaugural World Retail Awards held in Barcelona in March 2007, the organisers have announced that the 2008 competition site is open for online entries, with the closing date confirmed for 9 November 2007.

The awards are designed to highlight and reward excellence across the key areas of retail skills and operations. Entries are now being invited in the following seven categories:
Responsible Retailer of the Year; Innovative Format of the Year; Emerging Market; Retailer of the Year; Marketing Campaign of the Year; Retail Destination of the Year; Employer of the Year; Multi-channel Retailer of the Year.

In addition, the organisers have revealed that two further categories will again be selected by the grand jury, namely the Multi Market Retailer of the Year and Retailer of the Year. Nominations for these categories will come from the judging panel, with the award winners chosen by the competition’s grand jury.

The grand jury comprises a broad spectrum of CEO level, respected retailers from around the world, together with senior representatives from academia, FMCG companies and suppliers. 

The grand jury will meet to review the short listed entries across all categories during the World Retail Congress at the CCIB International Convention Centre on 8 April 2008.

“There has long been the need for a global event to celebrate and highlight some of the outstanding practices and significant progress made by retailers around the world every day,” says Ian McGarrigle of the World Retail Awards.

“In 2007, not only were the number and standard of entries beyond our expectations, but the feedback that we’ve received on the impact of the awards on winners’ businesses has been incredibly positive. We are delighted to be building on this success in 2008, and look forward to generating even greater excitement.”

This year, the awards were attended by more than 700 members of the global retail community. The winners were: Inditex (Retailer of the Year); IKEA (Multi Market Retailer of the Year); Marks & Spencer (Responsible Retailer of the Year); American Girl Place (Innovative Format of the Year); Pantaloon (Emerging Market Retailer of the Year); Sainsbury’s “Active Kids” (Marketing Campaign of the Year); Mall of the Emirates (Retail Destination of the Year); Vodafone (Best Use of Technology); Kate Moss (Consumer Icon of the Year).

In addition, three outstanding individuals were nominated for entry into the Retail Hall of Fame for their exceptional contribution to retailing, including Ingvar Kamprad, founder and chairman of IKEA; Masatoshi Ito, honorary chairman of Ito Yokado, and Gordon Segal, founder and CEO of Crate & Barrell.

The nine winners for 2008 will be announced at the World Retail Awards gala dinner, on 10 April 2008 at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona. 

Online entry is open until 9 November 2007 at [].