Stephanie Tam, a 22-year-old Lorna Jane state manager, has been recognised as the 2012 Young Retailer of the Year, which was award to her by the National Retail Association.

The NSW, ACT and Victorian state sales manager, who has worked for the Lorna Jane Active Wear brand for six years, took out the award despite being in the running with representatives from companies including Dick Smith, Kmart, Woolworths and Myer.

National Retail Association executive director Gary Black said Tam is an inspirational role model with a promising retail career ahead.

“Stephanie’s passion and drive to help grow the brand will guarantee her national and international success on any path she may follow in the future,” he said.

As the winner, Tam will take part in the Westfield World Study Tour to be held early next year, valued at close to $17,000. The trophy was awarded by the competition’s Head Judge, Jack Hanrahan, General Manager Retailer Relations, Westfield Group.

“Retail has shaped my loyal work ethic. I want to prove that a drive for success and a lifelong career in retail can be fuelled by the right attitude,” says Stephanie.

“This year’s top finalists were amongst some of the most forward thinking in the industry, submitting store improvement plans that understand and deliver on the wants and needs of their customers and the broader community, while strengthening the brand and inspiring their staff,” Black said.

“For many young people, a retail job is the first step on their road to professional success. Those who diverge from these careers garner success from learning critical employability skills through retail.

“The National Retail Association is proud to support career development in Australia’s retail sector, and is greatly encouraged by the emergence of so many talented and motivated young professionals like Stephanie Tam.”