Excellence in Retailing
IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia)
gia – the IHA Global Innovation Awards program – is the world’s leading awards program honoring overall excellence, business innovation and creative merchandising in home goods retailing.
gia Retail — 20 Years of Excellence
View the Global Honorees & national winners
Trendy, inspirational and aspirational, the Paul French Gallery inspires a way of living, featuring an eclectic diversity of items for the home and for the individual. Excellence is in the simplicity and exoticism of styles that generate a unique sense of wellbeing. Paul defines a combination of textures, styles and cultures, with craftsmanship as its most valued treasure as it transforms products from the market to make them distinctive and unique.
With an artistic and sustainable spirit, the concept store offers a whole variety of experiences: a coffee shop, tea store, wine shop and flower shop, all together in the same space under an aesthetic curatorship.
MAKE Designed Objects strives to be one of the world’s great contemporary design stores by presenting its customers with an extensive, curated range of the finest homewares and personal accessories in beautiful environments both online and in the world of brick and mortar. Customers are kept engaged by replacing up to 1,500 products annually in the collection of over 4,000 items.
MAKE has not only built a loyal customer base but a community of design followers who value the business and its promotion of great design, engagement with the MAKE community, including product launches and competitions, and the annual MAKE Top 10 celebrating the best new products of the year.
Collaborations with major public institutions and internationally renowned designers have contributed significantly to the public’s awareness of the MAKE brand, and likewise important is the authentic content production including short film, designer interviews and blog posts.
Dupont Professional Food Equipment, a specialty store located in the small town of Zwevegem in western Belgium, is a Cooking Valhalla for food professionals, hobby chefs, foodies and culinary enthusiasts who are looking for professional and quality equipment to fully develop their culinary passion.
The store aims to inspire and inform with a carefully selected and exclusive range of kitchen equipment. There are monthly workshops and free demonstrations to share the store’s 35 years of experience and help customers discover their culinary talents. The passionate and professional on-site team is complemented by a strong online presence through social media and blog items.
Dupont even created its own brand and production of a wide range of plexiglas presentation trays for the professional food industry that is now distributed all over Europe.
The Chefs Shop in Bermuda is a family run business spanning 65 years and run by a husband-and-wife partnership for the last 20+ years. The store is a traditional hands-on kitchen store, yet unique in its extensive mix of commercial and domestic brands catering to both home cooks and professional chefs.
The style of the store may lean towards the rustic and chaotic but that’s what its customers love – to explore the narrow aisles looking through the multiple product offerings for the latest gadget or item they can’t live without!
The design and installation of the custom commercial kitchen and the introduction of cooking classes has allowed The Chefs Shop to foster great relations with its community, inspiring existing and new customers and supporting local chefs and restaurants.
Westwing was designed to provide customers with a new experience, offering impeccably curated, in-stock products arranged in rooms that are constantly updated. As in a real home, everyone is welcome and invited to explore the spaces as if they were in one of the Westwing website campaigns. Customers can take a closer look and check the quality of the materials, the texture of an exclusive fabric, or the sophistication of a crystal drinkware set. A professional is always there to offer customized tips and ideas. The space also hosts special events and workshops for customers and partners.
Keye Home Co., Ltd. was founded in 1996. After 23 years of development, it has become the exclusive agent of wallpaper, curtains, furniture and interior gifts cooperating with domestic and international top brands. With its high-quality products, excellent work team, professional design team, exclusive customization, installation and after sale, Keye Home has opened the doors to luxury homes for high-end Chinese consumers.
In the early 1970s, a young couple decided to become independent and set-up a business that would change the face of retail in the small island of San Andrés and Colombia. They imagined and built a retail experience that everyone would love. Since then, Miscelandia has been sought out by both locals and tourists who come from the mainland and all-over South America looking to find high-quality imported products and exceptional customer service. This family business is proud to continue to grow each day, both locally and through their state-of-the-art e-commerce that has been running successfully since 2009.
Over the course of almost half a century, Sinnerup has gone from being a 400 m2 (4300 ft2) lifestyle shop to an inspirational 3600 m2 (38750 ft2) furniture, fashion and lifestyle universe. In 1971, Sinnerup began its journey when Poul Sinnerup opened his first shop in Holstebro, Denmark. Today, his son Lars Sinnerup, who has been following the store's development since its beginning, continues the family business.
At Sinnerup, they communicate lifestyles in an inspiring way so that their customers can find their own style. They create new products and are passionate about interior design, which is presented in a synergy between webshop and store.
On a whim, Lau Dejente transformed an old barn in a small French village into La Maison Pernoise, an interior design shop capable of attracting worldwide customers. Channeling advertising and store management experience, Dejente carefully selects and displays products, creating an immersive, harmonious experience that evolves every three weeks according to her perception of trends and travel inspirations. The store also hosts masterclasses by European stylists alongside evenings of music and theater in their cozy courtyard.
La Maison Pernoise is the quintessence of a French lifestyle store, transcending into a place of life where experience is not an empty word.
Let yourself be surprised and advised! With a “best in class” attitude, Lorey has the passionate claim to curate the “most useful” and “best” products in individual categories, supported with excellent expert advice.
Lorey was founded in 1796 in Frankfurt as a small family craft enterprise specializing in self-made birdcages and kitchenware, later becoming a retailer. In 2020, the shop moved to a nearby mall, with a redefined brand and a new concept developed by the 7th generation of the family business. Tradition and zeitgeist are perfectly staged in the new location.
Customers are invited to linger and experience the new concept and there is a feel-good atmosphere that supports this promise. The expertise and passion for products around table, kitchen and living extend online - Lorey runs multi-channel with devotion and sees great potential for the future.
One of the leading companies in Hungary to sell cookware and cooking products, Kitchenshop was created from the passion for life and cooking. The retailer’s mission is to supply cookware and kitchenware of an outstanding level of quality and design, and it has the exclusivity to sell specific premium brands in Hungary.
With its loyalty card program, Kitchenshop Club, the store constantly presents its customers new promotions and novelties, tips, tricks and trends, and other promotions, including brand ambassadors, special events and product demonstrations, that add to the cozy, inspiring atmosphere of the store.
The company developed its own technology tailored system that enables checking and managing stocks and sales in real time. Techniques such as in-store screens offering access to the same products that are available online or the ability to search and order items while in the concept store provide the customers a true omni-channel experience.
HomeTown always looks upon the welfare of its customer because it values the time they spend in the stores. It is very much focused on innovation for customer service and a maximum retail experience to make customers’ shopping experiences memorable. Customer appreciation is the motivation that keeps Hometown going forward, and its innovation comes from customer feedback.
For more than 45 years, Stock Design has led the way in independent homewares retailing in Dublin. Throughout that time, Brendan Fagan has sourced new and innovative products from around the world and declares that he has never had a “boring day in retail!” From cookware, tabletop products and sustainability-focused goods to soft furnishings and barware, it’s all here in a landmark premise drawing on its unique history as two separate industrial buildings.
Oozing charm and passion, it’s little wonder that Stock Design has attracted three generations of loyal customers in search of the unique, the practical and the inspirational… or a mixture of all three!
The Shop first opened in 1986 and set the trend in their city as far as homeware is concerned. Being a family run business with a feminine feel, it has proven the ability to change and evolve in the 30 years since its beginnings. Every item is chosen with care to guarantee products where quality is the common denominator and the choice of style is just right. Their move into the digital age has allowed them to continue doing what they started all those years ago. Negozio Mori knows their customers well and through the products, it becomes a part of their homes, like one big family.
To directly provide the “just right” comfort of living to customers, KAWAJUN Co. Ltd., which designs and sells store fixtures and building hardware, launched a lifestyle brand with the theme of “living in Simple & Natural” in 2000. Today, with the positioning statement of The Original Lifestyle Store, the 60 KEYUCA stores provide a wide range of original products in six categories of household goods, daily life goods, furniture, curtains, apparel and sweets.
By making good use of the product development techniques cultivated since the company was founded, KEYUCA is expanding product selections and pursuing the “just right for me” impression to each customer with diverse values. The aim is to be a retail store that can solve customers’ problems of all types and enrich their lives through design.
In the summer of 2017, Woerdman Kookkado relocated to the city of Gouda to a location twice as big. This new store – with a magnificent view at the 15th century City Hall – offers much more opportunity as the benchmark for the amateur cooks in Gouda and the region. Because the store is easily accessible, many international tourists visit to experience its cozy look and feel. For “culinary entertainment,” Woerdman Kookkado organizes product demonstrations on a regular basis. The new shop has had instant success!
Established in 1892, the unique history of five generations of shopkeepers has made Hansen & Co. who it is today – a leading independent store in the Nordic interior and design scene. Their broad but carefully selected portfolio of brands and designers is presented in a traditional wooden house in the center of Kristiansand with the philosophy of it being the highlight of the customer’s day. The simple yet elegant expression crafted in natural materials is what characterizes Scandinavian design valuing clean lines, natural colors and functional design.
Miloo Home’s mission is to inspire with current trends and deliver solutions that help design exceptional interiors and exceed its customers’ expectations. In line with their brand claim “Every home has a story,” Miloo Home hopes to encourage the pursuit of beauty in one’s surroundings and create personal stories to define the places its customers hold dear by building a portfolio of original designs, excellent materials, unique and often handcrafted furniture and accessories, as well as delivering an ultimately fresh feel with each year’s collection.
What is more, timeless design and high quality of craft guarantee that the beauty enclosed in Miloo Home furniture is preserved for many years. For every home has its own story – and – one that’s not told in just a single day!
In&Out Cooking is a Portuguese store focused on improving the contemporary life experience. It is the perfect store with unique brands and internationally designed products: functional, timeless and remarkable. Offering interior and exterior luxury products for hotels, restaurants and home projects, In&Out Cooking promises a journey through the best of what’s happening in the world of design.
The idea for Di Murano came in 1994, when one of the founders repeatedly visited Venice on his business trips. Each time he admired the extraordinary beauty of Murano glass. For 25 years, working with a 1000-year-old artisan tradition remained only a dream. Finally, in 2010 the idea turned into a business. Today Di Murano represents the biggest chain of premium Murano glass in Moscow. Four boutiques are located at the finest luxury shopping centers in Russia. Di Murano offers exquisite sculptures, filigree vases, delicate miniatures – everything that the Venetian glassblowers have been famous for since the 10th century.
Aura has established itself as the go-to brand in the Gulf region for high-quality, modern and accessible furniture. A blend of East and West, Aura adapts Western trends to fit into the lifestyle of its Middle Eastern consumers. Priding itself on an innovative spirit, Aura creates custom-made Aura-branded collections with ranges that are built around the concepts of Modern Classic, Trend, Contemporary and Iconic. Each collection showcases different themes, colourways and styles to best suit the individual, giving its style-conscious customer base an array of affordable options with seasonal designs and fabrics.
Carrol Boyes, the late founder, creator and CEO of her eponymous store in Cape Town, was an iconic South African designer whose brand has deftly crafted a coveted and high-end product range of upmarket home and lifestyle items. She passed away in August 2019 after a brief illness. A former teacher turned artist, Carrol Boyes’ vision was to combine sculpture with functionality and the result is a range of absolutely gorgeous homeware and tabletop accessories. Her products are associated with style and finesse and are available throughout South Africa and in over 30 other countries around the world.
Today, Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd is a multi-cultural organisation that supports gender empowerment and is driven by a sincere commitment to the betterment and welfare of individuals in the community and workplace. The Carrol Boyes brand is recognised as an icon both locally and internationally.
Since 1983, La Oca has established itself as a brand synonymous with all areas of design, offering the latest within modern interior design and accessories. La Oca is the retailer for those passionate about decoration and home design in Spain. Their goal for the future will still be to set trends in decoration and offer flexible solutions in their shops.
Artilleriet The Kitchen offers a range of products that consist of a proprietary blend of classics, vintage and modern together with innovative design from around the world. They work with both well-known, high-quality brands and – equally important – lesser-known up-and-coming suppliers with great potential. The Kitchen presents beautiful handcrafted kitchen products, utensils and unique everyday objects, made for staying within families for generations.
The history of Sibler began over 180 years ago with the sale of glassware. Although the company still focuses on the household sector with sharp damascus steel knives from Japan, porcelain from France, Belgian pans and more, it also offers a wide range of products for the home, the office and children. About 7000 articles for every age group can be found at Sibler, for which the consulting team can give advice. Sibler belongs to Zurich just like the candle on the birthday cake, whether with this main shop at Münsterhof or the new little sister in Viaduktbogen 24.
hengstyle HENG LEONG HANG was established in 1960 as the distributor of camera and peripheral products. Now a small home appliance and housewares distributor, specialty retailer and a lifestyle brand, hengstyle aims to redefine new fine living for people possessing a passion for life. The merchandising in the hengstyle store aims to bring shoppers into a wonderland and is being updated quarterly, with a theme from each hengstyle magazine new issue, curated with books, plants and seasonal flavors and supported by music and scents.
Immersive experiences offered to customers include a fine dining pop-up and a variety of novelty classes such as “Reading the Food,” combining sharing a Latin travel book and cooking with similar ingredients that can be found locally, or “Stretch your Mind,” combining yoga, bowl singing and stretching.
The second generation, family owned ENPLUS is representing leading premium Cookware, SDA and MDA brands under one umbrella while creating a unique environment of customer experience and taste. ENPLUS acts with a flexible and visionary approach to this type of retail and is always inspiring also other companies and brands in Turkey and abroad. Their employees’ aim is to understand the end consumer and find and customize the right product for the individual. Taste, easy usage and healthy lifestyle are the topics of today’s kitchen, which is fully represented and hosted in the ENPLUS store environment.
Launched in 2003 with a mission of bringing home a new perspective of luxury that inspires a sense of comfort and flamboyance, DWELL provides inspirational interior design solutions for the home, from top to bottom, with full interior design services. Curated product ranges, exclusive products, a showcase of many European labels and specific Middle East sizing has further added to the success of DWELL across the GCC. Five new DWELL stores opened in 2021 with five more planned for 2022, and the retailer continues its online expansion with a new Dwell App and product extensions online and offline.
DWELL has bolstered its success over the last 15 years by offering a personalized shopping experience, putting customer service and product knowledge at the forefront, supported by customer-focused shopping events and master classes.
Through the reigns of nine monarchs, massive changes in the world of retail and business and two World Wars, Jarrold has played a part in the lives of generations of Norfolk families. With roots in shopkeeping, Jarrold then developed to become a leading printer and publisher during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the business is concentrated on retail activities in Norwich, with branches in Norfolk, and property development and business services in the city. It is still an independent and family-run department store that features five floors of everything you could possibly want from food and homeware to fashion and beauty. They also have a home store in Wymondham and a smaller department store in Cromer. A popular destination for all those who love luxury lifestyle, Jarrold is at the heart of Norfolk and is in the hearts of many of its customers.
Founded in 2016, Ehause Kitchen and Cooking was created with the idea of offering a unique experience for gastronomy lovers. The key to their success is using their own style, which is a mixture of the old with the contemporary modern. The ambient music played in the store is chosen for every moment of the day and situation. Additionally, the excellence of its warehouse, wine bar and coffee point transform the store into a unique proposal in the market – one that is different and passionate about serving all customers in the best possible way. Ehause Kitchen and Cooking was created #forfoodielovers.
When the Hammonds family purchased Paddington Station in 1992, they were escaping corporate gridlock of the big city and longing to provide a more genuine shopping experience. In the 26 years that followed, the Hammonds have redefined the meaning of family business and extended support beyond the four walls of their flagship store in Ashland, Ore. Here, the Paddington Family extends to the staff, the community and so much more. Soon to celebrate 50 years in business, their four stores are still evolving and adapting, providing an eclectic and innovative shopping experience, delighting customers with the prices and selection of a chain store and the charm and intimacy of a classic brick-and-mortar general store.
While unique may describe The Butler’s Pantry, it also sums up owner Jamie Butler’s career in the housewares industry. The business started a bit unconventionally — not in a brick-and-mortar location nor online, but in a fully stocked truck that became a staple at the local farmer’s markets. Butler then teamed up with her local gym to showcase tools, gadgets and cookware at the beginning of Boot Camp challenges the gym held several times per year. Brides also shopped the truck for their registry, then Butler would take it to their bridal showers — a one-stop shop for guests and a conversation piece, too. Butler took the truck to outdoor events, parked it on roadsides and brought it wherever she felt she could build a clientele.
A brick-and-mortar location opened in 2015. Through the past five years in the store, Butler has charted a course that may be a bit unusual for some. But, her constant innovation and desire to suit the evolving needs of her customer base — from product mix to store activities — is what keeps driving her business forward.
How to Participate
National gia sponsors make evaluation forms and instructions on how to participate available to any home and housewares retailers wanting to be considered a gia candidate in his/her country. gia candidates must be a financially stable home and housewares retailer being in business for at least two years. An evaluation form must be completed that addresses the following retail business criteria:
- Overall mission statement and strategy
- Store design and layout
- Visual merchandising, displays and window displays
- Marketing, advertising and promotions
- Customer service and staff training
In addition, gia candidates must submit a portfolio with visuals of their best merchandising settings.
All national winners and global honorees are extensively honored during The Inspired Home Show®, including at the gia awards dinner and at a special gia display at the Show. In addition, gia winners can receive extensive publicity in the national and global housewares trade press.
Retailers located in countries with a national gia sponsor are encouraged to contact their respective sponsor to be considered for the national gia award.
Retailers located in countries without a sponsoring trade publication should contact Tina Genualdi of the IHA for advice on how they can participate in the gia competition.
Our Expert Jurors
Retail Element LLC
A + D Kong
Henrik Peter Reisby Nielsen