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The National Retail Association (NRA) has announced a list of finalists - including staff from Esprit, Myer, Carla Zampatti and Pumpkin Patch - who will vie for the NRA Young Retailer of the Year Award 2012.

The award ceremony, will be held at a Gala Dinner at the Rydges Hotel in Melbourne on August 1, with Target Australia managing director, Dene Rogers. confirmed as a guest speaker at the event.

All finalists for the awards are retailers under the age of 25, with the event created to promote retailing as a career of choice for young people and recognise their outstanding achievements.

Those who made the final cut in fashion retail include:

  • Caitlin Allen, Esprit, store manager (QLD)

  • Christian Squires, Target Australia, store manager (QLD)

  • Deborah Sargant, Harris Scarfe, store manager (VIC)

  • Hannah Wiseman, Best and Less, store manager (NSW)

  • Jason Hough, Kmart Australia, inventory coordinator - footwear (VIC)

  • Jessica Gavin, Myer, men’s youth product development assistant (VIC)

  • Kristie Evans, Jeanswest, store manager (VIC)

  • Niki L Roche, Kmart Australia, General Merchandise Manager (WA)

  • Rachel Hodgson, Pumpkin Patch, store manager (NSW)

  • Stephanie Beehag, Carla Zampatti, senior store manager (NSW)

  • Stephanie Tam, Lorna Jane activewear, sales manager (for NSW, VIC & ACT)

Judge Kim Joubert said she was pleased to see such a diversity of retail positions in the nominees.

“We have nominees from assistant, training and management roles on the shop floor to head office positions such as supply chain analyst and operations manager. Some applicants are as young as 19 years and most have been working in retail since they were old enough to start working,” she said.

Going forward, award finalists will undergo a telephone interview, a panel interview in Melbourne, and they will also be required to present at the workshop.

The workshop will showcase speakers from major retail groups including Master Trainers Institute Australia, Ripe Maternity, Pro Space Design, Jeanswest, Retail Doctor Group, and the 2011 Young Retailer of the Year from Kmart, Jennifer Skeahan-Heugh.

The winner and runner-up will be awarded a trophy and $1,000 for their success in front of their peers and close to 200 retail executives, with the winner to also win a place on the 2013 Westfield World Retail Study Tour.

Visit ragtrader.com.au later this week to read a blog from Skeahan-Heugh, the 2011 Young Retailer of the Year from Kmart, on her experience from the 2012 Westfield World Retail Study Tour.

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