Women's activewear brand Lorna Jane has taken out the top honour at the National Retail Association (NRA) Young Retailer of the Year awards 2012.
The retailer's NSW, ACT & Victorian state sales manager, 22-year-old Stephanie Tam, won the award after working for the fitness chain for six years.
The event, for retailers under the age of 25, was created to promote retailing as a career of choice for young people and recognise their outstanding achievements and was held at Gala Dinner at the Rydges Hotel in Melbourne.
Target Australia managing director Dene Rogers contributed as as a guest speaker, with 25 finalists vying for the top spot this year, from brands such as Carla Zampatti, Harris Scarfe, Jeanswest, Kmart Australia, Myer, Pumpkin Patch, and Target Australia.
As the 2012 NRA Young Retailer of the Year, Tam is now entitled to a free place on the 2013 Westfield World Study Tour to be held early next year, valued at close to $17,000.
Commenting on her win, Tam said she hoped the achievement would encourage other young retailers going forward.
“Retail has shaped my loyal work ethic. I want to prove that a drive for success and a lifelong career in retail can be fuelled by the right attitude,” she said.
NRA executive director Gary Black added that Tam is an inspirational role model with a promising retail career ahead.
“Stephanie’s passion and drive to help grow the brand will guarantee her national and international success on any path she may follow in the future,” he said.
“For many young people, a retail job is the first step on their road to professional success. Those who diverge from these careers garner success from learning critical employability skills through retail.
“The NRA is proud to support career development in Australia’s retail sector, and is greatly encouraged by the emergence of so many talented and motivated young professionals like Stephanie Tam.”