The first two accolades presented both went to the innovative baby product retailer. Apart from “Best New Retail Brand of the Year”, Dubai-based JustKidding also picked up the award of “Rising Star of the Year”.
Top retail professionals from around the region gathered at the exclusive Monarch Hotel in Dubai, for a splendid evening, which started with a gala dinner, followed by the anxiously awaited award ceremony. As per the program, the Awards Running Order promised a possible early climax to the evening for a very excited JustKidding team, as both the awards for which the retailer was nominated were on top of the list.
The “New Retail Brand of the Year” is designed to recognise new product development skills shown by retailers. Entries needed to have developed an in-house label range or have introduced a new product category in the last 12 months. Judges looked for evidence of how this range or category was researched, developed, introduced in store and then successfully accepted by the customer. JustKidding – a retail concept developed from scratch by its founders, right here in Dubai clearly must have ticked all the boxes, and picked up the coveted award.
Annemarie Retera, JustKidding’s General Manager, said:
“achieving your goals is one thing, but being recognised for our achievements is a real crown on our work.”
JustKidding is ecstatic about the achievement – this will give our team a further boost to look into the future with a high level of optimism. “The Best New Retail Brand also will help us in our quest to roll out JustKidding as a retail concept throughout the region”, Annemarie adds.
The second award announced this evening was that of “Rising Star of the Year”. This important award recognises the entrepreneurial spirit, achievements and long-term ambitions of retail businesses in the Middle East region. New ideas are the lifeblood of the retail industry, and this category seeks to highlight new successful initiatives. The team behind the JustKidding brand, not only developed a vibrant, innovative baby store, but proved that successful retail does not necessarily need to be located in a high traffic shopping mall. The concept has proven to be a commercial success, attracting enough traffic to sustain itself as a mini shopping destination in its own right.
JustKidding owners Patrick de Groot and Ben Boenk were also present at the event. Proud of the achievements of his team, Ben commented “this award in fact poses a very important milestone in the development of the JustKidding brand. We are currently looking for ideal strategic partners to roll out the JustKidding formula in the Middle East region, and we can not wait to announce the next JustKidding store and prove our business case once again”.
Patrick commented: “Recognition by an industry panel of expert judges such as Dubai Duty Free’s Colm McLoughlin, Omniyat Properties’ Peter Walichnowski, and Majid Al Futtaim’s Mohammad Iqbal Alawi, amongst others, is important for us, as it shows that we are clearly doing something right, albeit different”.
“On the one hand JustKidding is an innovative retailer, which recently launched a cutting-edge web shop to service its Middle East customer base”.
De Groot adds: “On the other hand, we are very passionate about our non-commercial role as “Parenthood Central” a source of expert advise for new, first time parents. We look forward to be back at the awards ceremony again next year, as we see many other award categories in which we plan to make our mark”.
Thursday, April 30- 2009 @ 11:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.