South African retailer Pick n Pay has been recognised on the world stage after being voted the world's best retailer.
Pick n Pay chief executive Nick Badminton accepted the award yesterday at the US-based National Retail Federation's (NRF) annual convention in New York.
The highly coveted international award, given to a retail firm that has achieved an international reputation for excellence and distinguished service to the retail industry, comes halfway through Pick n Pay's 24-month, R110 million brand makeover.
The award involves selection by global industry leaders.
Badminton said he was thrilled to receive the award on Pick n Pay's behalf.
"The NRF wrote to us last year saying we had been selected. It came out of the blue but it is nice to be recognised internationally.
"The chairman (Raymond Ackerman) has built a company that has fought all sorts of issues in South Africa, including apartheid and cartels. I am sure this is in recognition of past as well as present achievements," he said.
"This award is specifically an acknowledgement of an incredibly supportive board, management team and thousands of exceptional employees."
Badminton said the "state of the world economy" was reflected on New York shop windows, with signs announcing huge discounts.
"Pick n Pay is making a difference to building black business ownership by converting to black-owned stores. In a few years time this will go down as one of the big things we have done in South Africa. We can be proud of retailing in South Africa."
The federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership from all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, discount, catalogue, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, pharmacies and grocery stores.
The association represents more than 100 state, national and international retail organisations.
The federation's annual convention and expo brings together 18 500 of the world's retail executives and vendors from more than 50 countries.