The Inspired Home Show and the International Housewares Association (IHA), the global sponsors and organizers of the gia program, today announced the national gia winners for 2023-2024: 32 outstanding home and housewares retailers from 31 countries around the globe, including winners from totally new gia countries Kazakhstan and Peru.
The gia program was created by IHA and The Inspired Home Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. Since the launch of gia in 2000, there have been more than 500 gia retail award winners, from over 50 countries on six continents.
The 2023-2024 national gia winners are:
|Negro House and Pleasures
|Redl Glas – Porzellan
|Dhondt leef mooi
|CRISTALERIA LA PAZ
|Potten & Pannen – Stanek
|Pure Home + Living
|The Kitchen Whisk
|Smith & Caughey’s
|Sodimac y Maestro
|COTTOOK – Kitchen’s Life
|Home – Grupo Disco del Uruguay
|USA – Giftware Retailers
|Mix It Up Home & Gift
|USA – Housewares Retailers
|The Cook’s Shop
The gia competition is structured on a two-tier level, national and global, to honor independent and multiple location home and housewares retailers for excellence in several business categories:
- Overall mission statement, vision and strategy
- Store design and layout
- Visual merchandising, displays and window displays
- Marketing, advertising and promotions
- Customer service and staff training
Each national gia winner is invited to The Inspired Home Show in Chicago, where the global gia jury, consisting of three experts representing Asia, Europe and the Americas, plus a rotating group of co-sponsoring trade publication editors from around the world, will select up to five gia Global Honorees and the winners of the Martin M. Pegler Award for Excellence in Visual Merchandising and the gia Digital Commerce Award for Excellence in Online Retailing.
On Sunday, March 17, the national winners will be honored at a festive awards dinner where the gia Global Honorees and winners of the Martin M. Pegler and gia Digital Commerce Award will be announced. In addition, the national winners are featured with a special display at the Show.
gia is more than an awards program. Representing retailing excellence around the world, it is part of a larger education initiative that includes seminars by retail experts, columns in international housewares publications and educational sessions at events in sponsors’ home countries. As part of gia’s educational offering, on Monday, March 18, the four gia Expert Jurors, Anne Kong, Wolfgang Gruschwitz, Scott Kohno and Henrik Peter Reisby Nielsen will present a special session in the Show’s Inspiration Theater:
Innovate, Elevate, Captivate: Reinventing the Retail Experience
As retailers and suppliers navigate through the changing tides of consumer behavior, technological advancements and market trends, the gia Expert Jurors will dissect the intricate ways in which retailers are embracing innovation. From augmented reality shopping experiences to AI-powered personalization, this presentation unveils the cutting-edge technologies that are reshaping the retail ecosystem. The concept of elevation goes beyond just products on shelves. The gia Expert Jurors will delve into how retailers are elevating their spaces, services and overall brand image to create an immersive and unforgettable customer journey. From sustainable practices to community engagement initiatives, discover how retailers are enhancing their impact on both individuals and the world around them.
But innovation and elevation alone are not enough. To truly captivate the modern consumer, retailers must craft compelling narratives and experiences. The gia Expert Jurors analyze the storytelling techniques, experiential marketing and brand strategies that captivate audiences and foster lasting connections. Join them as they reimagine the future of retail, where innovation, elevation and captivation converge to create a retail experience that goes beyond transactions, turning every interaction into a memorable and meaningful moment for both retailers and consumers alike.
About the gia Expert Jurors
With a strong background and expertise in retail architecture and design, Wolfgang Gruschwitz leads his eponymous company, Gruschwitz, based in Munich. The design and realization office is dedicated to customer-oriented spaces, including retail (shops, showrooms), food (restaurants, food markets), co-working (offices, hotels, law firms, clinics) and co-living spaces. In 2005, Gruschwitz got its first international recognition with the brand world in Munich’s Allianz Arena Soccer Stadium. Over the years, Gruschwitz has served high profile clients such as Burberry, Gucci, Stone Island, UNIQLO, ZARA, Superdry, Jaguar/Land Rover and Red Bull. In addition, Gruschwitz has redesigned the Duty-Free shop at the Munich Airport.
Since 2021, Gruschwitz and his partner Thomas Frey have been devoting themselves to topics that are important for the future in their “Talk4Future” podcasts and are in regular contact with high-caliber representatives from retail, gastronomy, politics, industry, healthcare and other areas.
Wolfgang has been a member of the gia Expert Jury since 2003.
Scott Kohno is a retail executive and has developed several hundred million square feet of retail projects worldwide, in every continent from Asia to South America and from Australia to Europe. With projects in over 20 countries, Scott’s perspective is quite unique, and his passion for retail has been instrumental in the creation of groundbreaking concepts such as the NASDAQ Marketsite in Times Square in New York City.
Recently, with his family, he co-founded EJL Entertainment – a creative food, retail and delivery concept – bringing the “Wow” experience to customers with brands such as Sushi With Attitude. This concept started during the pandemic and has grown exponentially in two years, from a staff of four to a current staff of 80 in Los Angeles, California.
As a respected expert in the retail field, Scott has addressed conferences worldwide, including the National Retail Federation and The Asian Retailers Conference. He has been a featured expert in USA Today, INC magazine and Forbes magazine.
Scott has been a member of the gia Expert Jury since 2005.
Henrik Peter Reisby Nielsen
Henrik is the CEO and Founder of Reisby Consult – a consulting company with a strong focus on creating and delivering consumer centric solutions for the digital future.
Henrik combines old school virtues with new technologies and services. He has aided and created innovative and digital solutions for cities, retail chains and large international corporations such as AIG and Mastercard, and he is a popular international keynote speaker at tradeshows around the world.
Henrik formerly owned H.P. Nielsen, a home and housewares store in Denmark, running the family store in its 4th generation. In 2007, Henrik’s store H.P. Nielsen won the gia Global Honoree Award.
Henrik has been a member of the gia Expert Jury since 2010.
Anne Kong is an educator and designer specializing in Visual Merchandising, Exhibition Design, and Brand Activation. With over 20 years of experience, she develops design concepts and solutions for retail, showrooms, trade shows, and promotional events. Along with Martin M. Pegler, Anne co-authored the 7th edition of Visual Merchandising and Display for Bloomsbury Publishing.
As Professor and Program Coordinator for the Spatial Experience Design Program at Fashion Institute of Technology, she is best known for innovating professional collaborations between retailers and brands to enhance the classroom experience.
Anne is a partner of A+D Kong, her own design company that she shares with her husband, David Kong. Together they work with many clients to produce installations and product prototypes. She’s been recognized as a Design Influencer and Markopoulos Award winner. Anne currently serves as an advisory member for PAVE Global, innovating opportunities for design students nationally.
Anne has been a member of the gia expert jury since 2017.