Sports megastore Rebel has taken home the major prize at the 2021 Retailer Awards presented by Commonwealth Bank, winning the award for Customer Experience of the Year in a medium to large business.
The retail giant beat to the punch finalists Jurlique, Kathmandu, Cotton On and Barbeques Galore thanks to its strong understanding of its customers, according to judge and senior marketing lecturer at Swinburne Business School, Dr Jason Pallant.
“Rebel is a very deserving winner of Customer Experience of the Year, having clearly understood the experience their customers desire across channels and being at the forefront of key trends,” Dr Pallant said.
At the height of the pandemic, Rebel launched its highly immersive and experiential RCX store concept in Melbourne and Sydney, featuring customisation zones, an indoor basketball court, a football pitch, interactive zones, state-of-the-art technology and more.
“The new store format in particular is a perfect example of experiential retail that is meaningful to a brand and its products that clearly resonates with customers,” Dr Pallant said.
According to judge and associate professor Jana Bowden from Macquarie University, Rebel taps into its customers’ underlying sporting aspirations, and builds on this connection through strong engagement.
“By helping them to achieve their sporting passions and ambitions through the brand, product and overall in-store experience, Rebel lives and breathes this unique value proposition,” Bowden said.
“Rebel succeeded in shaping itself as the home of sport in consumers’ minds and they have done this through their laser-like focus on expertise, range, visuals, and the personalised journey that they deliver to their customers.
“Their successful RCX approach means that the brand is now synonymous with sport.”
Rebel also took home the Store Design of the Year award.
The next big winner of the night was furniture business Coco Republic, which picked up the award for Customer Experience of the Year for a small business.
And, in a year where e-commerce was more important than ever before, online marketplace The Iconic was named the Online Store of the Year, while Petbarn won Omnichannel Retailer of the Year.
Inside Retail would like to thank all the judges for taking part this year including Commonwealth Bank national manager of retail Jerry Macey, The Growth Activists managing partner Rosana Iancono, Swinburne Business School’s Dr Jason Pallant, Macquarie University’s Associate Professor Jana Bowden, as well as Inside Retail’s Jo-Anne Hui-Miller and Robert Stockdill.
See the full list of the award winners below:
Customer Experience of the Year (Medium to Large): Rebel
Customer Experience of the Year (Small): Coco Republic
Loyalty Program/Campaign of the Year: Vinnies Victoria
Online Customer Service Initiative: Athlete’s Foot
In-Store Customer Service Initiative: Repco
Best Customer Service Team: Recpo
Retail Supplier of the Year: The General Store
Omnichannel Retailer of the Year: Petbarn
Store Design/Concept of the Year: Rebel
Online Store of the Year: The Iconic