Remarkable Retailers 2019

Insights from innovative retailers across Australia

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Success stories from innovative Australian retailers

  • Icons Product PRODUCT
  • Icons Customer Experience EXPERIENCE
  • Icons Sustainability SUSTAINABILITY
  • Icons Community COMMUNITY
  • Icons Vend Veteran VEND VETERAN

Independent retailers Australia-wide are breaking the mould

Australia is home to thousands of innovative independent retailers, who are the fabric of communities across the country. In collaboration with the National Retail Association, we’ve handpicked nine ground-breaking retailers who are doing things differently.

Some focus on creating memorable in-store experiences, some on sustainability, and all embrace modern tools and technologies. We’re shining a light on their unique stories as a result of their innovative and inspirational journeys.



  • Founded: 2003
  • Located: Queensland, five stores
  • Retailer: Tracey Bailey, founder
RR Biome

"We are driven by doing what's right for the community, not what's easy or most profitable. We operate at a level which recognises the environmental impact of businesses and holds them accountable for it."

Tracey Bailey, founder

Iconic retailer Biome offers consumers a range of zero waste, toxin-free, ethically sourced products and is Australia’s only 100 per cent palm oil free and cruelty free store. Everything stocked is safe for consumers and for the planet and every supplier is carefully researched.

Since the inception of the brand, Australia has become synonymous with an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

“When we started Biome 15 years ago, we were the only eco-store in Australia and at that point, the internet was in its infancy,” Tracey, founder and Managing Director, explains. “Now, the connectedness of the world and the rate at which people can access information has contributed to the exponential growth in conscious consumerism.”

“We helped customers save over 10 million single-use plastic items from waste, launched Australia’s first zero-waste beauty bar and implemented a TerraCycle recycling program.”

LUC Design


  • Founded: 2013
  • Located: Tasmania, one store
  • Retailer: Lucy Given, founder
Luc logo s
RR Luc Design

"Although I was a very small store when I started, I wish I had adopted the right technology much earlier. You think small retailers need not worry about it, however, it’s been invaluable to help keep track of things, such as inventory, reporting and our detailed customer bank."

Lucy Given, founder

LUC Design is an innovative one-stop interior design shop, which stocks an impressive array of high-end items from established brands, alongside eclectic pieces sourced from around the globe.

Founder Lucy Given opened her brick and mortar store in 2013 with the aim to inspire people to make considered choices when they purchase items. In 2018, LUC Design expanded its range and launched its own brand LUCASA. The brand collaborates with other local businesses and explores the idea of Tasmanian brand identity.

“Our motto is ‘buy once, buy well’. That doesn’t always mean spending more, it meansbuying something that brings you joy, that you will care for, and even later on, pass it on to someone else,” Lucy says.

The Tasmanian tourism industry is booming like never before, and businesses like LUC Design keep people coming back for a mix of local culture and new-age design.



  • Founded: 2007
  • Located: Seven stores across Australia
  • Retailer: Johann Kim, founder & Managing Director
Pigeonhole s
RR Pigeonhole

"Good customer service really stems from being part of customers' lives, so we showcase our loyal customers on social media and engage with them by re-posting their images."

Johann Kim, founder & Managing Director

In the humble beginnings of his business, Johann sold his handcrafted jewellery out of a suitcase while at university. His original plan was to sell enough to support upcoming travels across Asia, but, he explains: “When I came back to Australia I felt inspired to open a store of my own selling the jewellery that I made and showcasing the cool products I picked up during my travels.”

Since then, the retailer has scaled up considerably, with seven successful brick and mortar stores across Australia, and plans to expand internationally, following the launch of a successful ecommerce site.

Beyond Pigeonhole’s brick and mortar stores, the retailer has a knack for setting up pop ups at breakneck speed, particularly around seasonal shopping dates. Johann explains, "We rely heavily upon a nimble pop-up model alongside our permanent locations which are open all year round. For Christmas, we pop up in high-traffic locations across the country, sometimes opening up to six stores in the space of a few weeks.”

Status Anxiety


  • Founded: 2004
  • Located: NSW, two stores
  • Retailer: Will Sked, founder & Managing Director
Status anxiety s
RR Status Anxiety

"When I think about what it is that makes us successful, it’s undoubtedly the product. We’d like to think we offer very well constructed pieces in premium leather that won’t cost the earth."

Will Sked, founder & Managing Director

Will Sked, founder of Status Anxiety, may have wallet design in his genes: “My grandad, from Scotland, used to sew leather wallets as a side hobby and sell them to neighbours and friends,” he explains.

In fact, Status Anxiety started off with a single design that was inspired by the wallets his grandfather made 70 years ago.

Fast forward to 2019, the Sydney-born retailer offers minimalist accessories handcrafted from sustainable, premium leather sourced as a by-product of the food industry.
Will explains, “We’re proud that every Status Anxiety piece is handcrafted in ethically sourced, predominantly Italian and Brazilian leather. There's leather, and then, there's leather. Our tanneries develop ours just for us, just the way we like it.”

In partnership with NRA


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