Lifestyle wins ICICI 'retailer of the year' award

NEW DELHI: The 1st ICICI Bank Retail Excellence awards

2005, with 21 award categories, extended the 'retailer of the year' award to Lifestyle, whereas BS Nagesh of Shoppers' Stop was awarded with the 'retail professional of the year' title.

The 'mall of the year' award went to Inorbit, and Reliance Webworld was bestowed with the 'fastest growing retailer of the year' and 'launch of the year' awards.



The 'retailer of the year' award was handed over to the Lifestyle team by ICICI bank MD & CEO KV Kamath yesterday at a function coinciding with the KSA Retail Summit here.

The awards were instituted along with India's leading consultancy firm in the retail segment, KSA Technopak, as the knowledge partner.

The first ICICI Bank Retail Excellence awards 2005 honoured not only the top retailers and retail professionals, but also recognized innovations and best in class operations in the industry.

Among the new award categories included for the first time in the country were 'loyalty program ', 'global operations', 'fastest growing retailer', 'forecourt retailer', 'luxury retailer', 'e-retailer', 'exclusive brand retailer', and 'home and lifestyle retailer'.

Interestingly, for the first time in India, direct consumer feedback

was taken at retail stores for the short-listed entries of the first ICICI Bank Retail Excellence awards, before being presented for the final evaluation to a jury.

"Retailing in India has seen a paradigm shift with a focus on providing better, efficient, faster and economical services to the customers. These awards provide a platform to recognize retailers who are consistently seeking to innovate to satisfy and retain customers, while increasing profits at the same time," said V Vaidyanathan, senior GM & head of retail business, ICICI Bank.

The selection and evaluation process of the awards had three phases. In phase I, entries were invited from retailers who had to provide detailed information on retail presence, merchandise on offer, total sales at MRP, net profit, total operating costs, average footfalls, loyalty club membership, and other details specific to each category.

Based on the evaluation of these forms, 5 nominees were short-listed

for each award category.



In phase II, direct feedback was taken from 50 consumers at the stores of each of the short-listed nominees. For the 'mall of the year' award category, opinions of five different brands present in the Mall were also taken.

In phase III, the results from the evaluation and consumer research were presented to a jury for final evaluation of the winners for each award category.

"Although organized retail is expanding rapidly across India, it needs

to factor in the changing dynamics of consumer buying behaviour very sensitively at every stage. After all, the best and most successful

retailers are those who can keep the consumer coming back. Our

evaluation of the awards has, consequently, focused on consumer

satisfaction and retention," explained KSA Technopak Indian chairman Arvind Singhal.

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