Specsavers has been awarded the coveted 2013 Visa Australian Retailer of the Year award at the 2013 Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Australian Retail Awards on Tuesday.

The award was presented by Visa Australia country manager Vipin Kalra who congratulated Specsavers on the win.

“Specsavers represents a true success story, from its humble beginnings born on a table-tennis table in a spare bedroom of the Perkins’ family home, to now employing over 30,000 people and supporting over 1500 practices in ten countries around the globe. At Visa we are passionate about supporting best-in-class performance and excellence in retailing and Specsavers demonstrates exactly that,” he said.

The ARA Australian Retail Awards breakfast event brought together some of retail’s best, including winners, runner-ups and finalists of the 11 award categories. They were joined by Myer CEO and managing director, Bernie Brookes and minister Louise Asher, Victorian small business minister and deputy leader of the Liberal Party, who each delivered keynote addresses.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said this year’s awards have been more competitive than ever and extra categories were added to the line-up to reflect the changing nature of the retail sector.

One of these included the Kogan Australian Online Retailer of the Year award, which was awarded to Shoes of Prey.

Zimmerman said Shoes of Prey stood out from the crowd with its high quality submission that highlighted the organisation as a leader within the online retail sector, inspiring their peers and making a significant long-term contribution to the online retail industry. 

“Shoes of Prey are a ground-breaking website where shoppers can design their perfect shoes online. Using the unique online 3D Shoe Designer, customers choose the shape, colour and height of their shoes; their designs are then handmade within six weeks and delivered free worldwide,” he said.

“This retailer demonstrated to our expert judging panel a strong track record in building their business through superior customer service, cutting-edge marketing strategies and an innovative approach to pureplay online retailing.”

Other retailers that were honoured included the Australian Geographic Shop, which took out the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Retailer of the Year award – as determined by Roy Morgan survey results; and Specialty Fashion Group for the eBay Australian Multichannel Retailer of the Year.