Global retailers including Harrods claim top prize in Chicago

During a fabulous dinner at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago last Saturday, the 2018 gia global honourees for retail excellence were announced.

This year again the quality of retail was outstanding with stores such as Harrods from the UK, Bensimon Concept Store from France and Australia’s own Opus Design battling it out for top honours.

Tugo from Colombia, Manufacturn from Germany, Pollman sinds 1890 from the Netherlands, the UK’s Harrods and the Chopping Block from the US were eventually chosen as gia Global Honourees.

The global gia jury, consisting of four retail/visual merchandising experts and seven editors and publishers of co-sponsoring housewares trade publications from around the world, selected the gia Global Honorees from the winners previously chosen in their respective countries by the national gia sponsors.

In addition, the Martin M. Pegler Award for Excellence in Visual Merchandising was awarded to Harrods from the UK and the gia Digital Commerce Award for Excellence in Online Retailing was awarded to Paper Plane of New Zealand.

While Australia didn’t make the top five this year, Opus Design director Chris Tourgelis says it was an honour to be part of the awards and that he found it really valuable.

“Some of the retail stores that participated in gia were absolutely stunning and we have seen great products at the housewares show as well,” he says. “It has just been the best experience.”

The gia program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. Since the launch in 2000, there have been over 400 gia retail award winners, from 47 countries on six continents.

Thirteen housewares suppliers ranging from well-established brands to first-time exhibitors were also honoured as Global Honourees of the IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) for product design. Companies such as Joseph Joseph, Eva Solo and Australia’s own Dreamfarm won prizes for outstanding design in their categories, picked from nearly 500 products.

“Congratulations to these winners of the IHA Global Innovation Awards for product design; they are excellent representatives of the cutting-edge innovation and creativity that is driving the housewares industry today,” says Phil Brandl, IHA president and CEO.

“Our world-renowned gia program is the ultimate awards event in the industry, honouring excellence in both housewares retail and product design.”

By Marion Gerritsen