Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jo Malone a winner in Auckland

They are celebrating at Jo Malone in The Chancery. Ro’s Lovemark store won New Zealand’s Top Shop award in the Health and Beauty category (I guess by now most of you know that Ro is my wife). Jo Malone also toddled off with the Innovation Excellence in Retail Award.

The store absolutely drips with mystery, sensuality and intimacy and is a theater of dreams for many loyal Jo Malone fans. The Chancery in Auckland is based on Beverly Hills' famed Rodeo Drive, and the store was inspired by Jo Malone’s original Sloane Street store in London (made famous by the patronage of Madonna, Donatella Versace and Elton John!!). The layout inspires trust, faith and confidence which is elevated into the world of Lovemarks through sight, sound, smell and taste. The experience is fabulous, with customers being encouraged to create their own fragrance on the spot, and being treated to a relaxing hand and arm massage by Jo Malone staff.

What I most like is that when you enter the store, you immediately become a friend, not a customer. The experience is second to none. It’s enhanced by beautiful packaging and thoughtful presentation. Today, the Jo Malone box rivals the famous Tiffany blue box in its instant appeal.

At the black-tie Top Shop dinner held at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre, Ro, Bex and the Jo Malone team found themselves seated at a table near the back as the Oscar-like award ceremony took place. They figured their table position was a sign that they hadn’t won anything. How wrong could they be. Iloa, Raewyn, Minal, Lisa, Ro and Bex were settling back and enjoying the evening emceed by Mark Ferguson, a New Zealand TV veteran. In true Oscar style, the envelope for Top Shop in the Health and Beauty category was opened by Jennie Ryan, Head of Partner Channels at Telecom. She announced Jo Malone. The table went berserk. Ro and Bex quickly realized that the table placement had been arranged so that they had the longest possible walk up to the stage, and the longest opportunity to walk on air and enjoy the applause. The team were delighted. As they settled in to enjoy the rest of the show they were staggered to hear the Jo Malone name again for the Innovation Award, which was across all categories of all stores in New Zealand. More celebration ensued as the team collected their second award for the night.

These Top Shop awards are international and I think they are a tremendous inspirational tool for driving excellence in customer service. Everyone likes to compete; to test themselves against the very best. And winners are grinners!