Supercheap Auto took out the retail industry’s top honour when they were crowned the 2008 Australian Retailer of the Year at the ARA Retail Awards last night at the Argyle Venues at the Rocks, Sydney.

Founders Reg and Hazel Rowe opened Supercheap Auto’s first store in 1974, today Supercheap Auto is thriving with 250 stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Camera House’s Wollongong trainee manager Ian Sackett was also recognised as the 2008 Young Retailer of the Year. The 22-year-old Ian Sackett started with Camera House on a 12-month traineeship in 2003 and since then has shown commitment to establishing a career in retail by completing accredited training in retail operations.

Bungendore Wood Works Gallery was named 2008 Independent Retailer of the Year. Opened in 1983, the gallery specialises in exhibiting and promoting Australian wood art, sculpture and furniture and attracts an average of 120,000 tourists and visitors each year.  

IGA received the 2008 Retail Innovation Award accolade for its commitment to environmental sustainability, displaying innovation and leadership to reduce plastic bag usage through government acceptance of a joint education campaign. The campaign increased recycle content of all plastic bags from zero to 30 per cent across one billion bags sold, and created new sales of two million alternate carry bags.

Sponsored by the Shopping Centre Council of Australia, the ARA Retail Awards ceremony is designed to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the growth and development of their businesses and their contributions towards retailing in Australia. For further information and nomination details please visit