14 September 2018: Last night, hundreds of business leaders from the UK’s leading retail brands gathered at East Wintergarden in London to celebrate the winners of the 2018 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards.
Nine inspirational winners were selected by a judging panel of industry heavyweights including senior women from Stella McCartney, Burberry, Tesco, Specsavers and Amazon. After debating “What makes a retailer in today’s world?” and “How do we define it?”, judges handpicked the trailblazers who are redefining retail to be more than the simple exchange of goods and services.
In the course of their deliberations, they discovered women fusing STEM skills with fashion, entrepreneurs blurring the lines between retailer and content provider, and innovators who are driving personalisation by seamlessly incorporating people’s lifestyles, interests and even their personalities into each bespoke product.
The overall Woman of the Year perfectly illustrates this changing retail landscape. Niamh Sterling, the Founder of Recipe Guru, proved herself to be more than just a traditional content provider, by re-imagining how creative content can produce tangible retail sales. She transformed a simple idea into a business that is now the trusted partner for some of the leading global publishers to digitize and syndicate recipe content to the Smart Appliance, Food Brand, FMCG and Grocery Retail sectors in the U.S., UK and European Markets. With Recipe Guru, Niamh takes traditional cookbooks and turns them into revenue generating, bite-size digital content delivering access to new audiences and increasing basket value. By solving the problem of sourcing celebrity chef influencers & white label recipe content at scale, Recipe Guru allows retailers to deliver personalised and relevant online experiences like never before.
Not only is she a successful businesswoman, but also a mentor for the Founders Institute, helping young companies become “investor-ready”. Through her work with Trinity College “LaunchBox”, she also ensures young women develop entrepreneurial skills and unparalleled business acumen.
This year’s other category winners include the founders of fast-growing brands offering bespoke services and women spearheading the most complex operations at some of the country’s largest retailers, such as Co-op and Gap. Also celebrated were the rising stars at the beginning of their career journey, already contributing to unprecedented increases in sales, and the Male Agent of Change actively supporting the advancement of women in the sector.
The 2018 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards category winners are:
Above & Beyond Award
Customer/User Experience Excellence Award
Entrepreneur Award – Sponsored by Amazon
Executive Leader Award
Tina Mitchell, Divisional Managing Director – Co-op, Manchester. Under her leadership, the overall performance of approximately 10,000 colleagues has improved, absence has decreased, and employee turnover has reduced significantly. Her phenomenal work extends to managing Co-op’s “Aspire Women’s Network”, which ensures more women are represented at senior levels.
Innovator Award – sponsored by IBM iX
Leader of Change Award
Male Agent of Change Award – sponsored by Specsavers
Rising Star Award – Sponsored by Tesco
Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founder of everywoman, comments: “This year, everywoman and Barclaycard were determined to showcase the individuals reimagining the traditional idea of retail. As the industry evolves, so do the role models we celebrate. The diverse range of success stories shared by this year’s winners will inspire the next generation to pursue the ever-widening range of career opportunities that this industry offers.”
Anita Liu Harvey, Director of Strategy, Barclaycard added: “Huge congratulations to all of the winners, who have proven what it means to re-imagine the traditional retail landscape. From the use of technology to create better fitting clothing, to crafting a bespoke customer experience, each winner has showcased fantastic innovation within retail. Barclaycard is delighted to be partnering with everywoman in celebrating the success of these individuals and we look forward to what next year’s candidates will bring to the table.”