SA’s Zyda Rylands scoops Woman of the Year award at World Retail Awards 2017 in Dubai

SA’s Zyda Rylands scoops Woman of the Year award at World Retail Awards 2017 – Dubai

Zyda Rylands, CEO of Woolworths South Africa

At the prestigious World Retail Awards 2017, staged in Dubai in April, South Africa’s Zyda Rylands, CEO of Woolworths SA, was honoured with the Woman of the Year award.

A tailor’s daughter who hails from Cape Town, Rylands joined Woolworths in 1996 and worked in the finance and store operation teams. She steadily worked her way up and was appointed the People and Transformation Director of Woolworths in 2005 and was appointed to the Board in August 2006.

All the winners of World Retail Awards 2017:

Future Retail Challenge

Winner: Fashion Retail Academy, London, UK

Woman of the Year

Winner: Zyda Rylands, CEO, Woolworths SA

Best Digital Customer Experience Initiative

Winner: Boyner Group (Turkey)

  • Boyner Group (Turkey)

  • Dress in the City (France)

  • El Corte Ingles (Spain)

  • Geant, (United Arab Emirates)

  • Marks and Spencer (UK)

  • Saudi Telecommunication Company (Saudi Arabia)

  • Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singapore)

  • Superdry (Berlin, Germany) and SeymourPowell (London)

Best Instore Customer Experience Initiative

Winner: Tommy Hilfiger (United States)

  • adidas, Checkland Kindleysides and Gensler, (New York, United States)

  • ‘Imagine’, Dubai Festival City (United Arab Emirates)

  • Galeries Lafayette and Sky Boy (Paris, France)

  • Globe Telecom (Philippines)

  • Hermès – petit h, Checkland Kindleysides and DML, (New York, United States)

  • L’Occitane en Provence and School House, (New York, United States)

  • PIRCH, (United States)

  • Selfridges (London, UK)

  • Siam Discovery-The Exploratorium (Thailand)

  • Tommy Hilfiger (United States)

Rodney Fitch Award for Innovation and Creativity

Winner: Marks and Spencer: Venture Labs (UK)

  • Cherine Magrabi, Creative Director of MAGRABi (UAE)

  • Dressipi, (UK)

  • Geetansh Bamania, Rentomojo (India)

  • Marks and Spencer: Venture Labs (UK)

  • Martin Darby – Celebrity Fitness, Indonesia


Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Winner: Alyce Tran, Co-Founder, The Daily Edited, (Sydney, Australia)

  • Ryan Goldston and Adam Goldston, Co-Founders, Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) – (United States)

  • Furqan Khan, Founder, Kixify (United States)

  • Roman Kirsch, Founder & CEO, Lesara , Berlin, Germany

  • Lana Hopkins, CEO and Founder, Mon Purse , Sydney, Australia

  • Alex Fenkell & Jordan Katzman, Co-Founders, SmileDirectClub, USA

  • Alyce Tran, Co-Founder, The Daily Edited, (Sydney, Australia)

  • Adam Schwartz, Co-Founder and COO, TeePublic (United States)

Store Design of the Year Award

Winner: Siam Discovery Exploratorium (Thailand)

  • adidas and Checkland Kindleysides and Gensler, (New York, United States)

  • Art Walk Mall N1, China (RCL)

  • Diesel, Milan (Wonderwall with Masamichi Katayama) (Italy)

  • L’Occitane en Provence and School House, (New York, United States)

  • Lune Croissanterie and Studio Esteta (Australia)

  • Magmode and Liu Kai (Hangzhou Kerry Center, China)

  • MAGRABi (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

  • Missguided and Dalziel and Pow (London)

  • Siam Discovery Exploratorium (Thailand)

  • The White Company and Household (London)

Retail Advertising Campaign of the Year

Winner: Marks & Spencer for “Christmas with love from Mrs Claus” – RKCR/Y&R (UK)

  • IKEA U.S. for “We Help You Make It” – Ogilvy & Mather (United States)

  • JCPenney for “Here I Am” – mcgarrybowen (United States)

  • Karaca for “We Have a Lot to Share” – Y&R (Istanbul)

  • Macy’s for “The Santa Project” – Figiulo & Partners (United States)

  • Marks & Spencer for “Christmas with love from Mrs Claus” – RKCR/Y&R (UK)

  • Myer for “Myer Christmas” – Clemenger BBDO Melbourne (Australia)

  • for “Magic is Real” – Mother Creative (UK)

  • Supercheap Auto for “The Best Performing Oils” (Australia)

Responsible Retailer of the Year

Winner: TOMS (United Arab Emirates)

  • Boyner (Turkey)

  • Carrefour Brazil (Brazil)

  • Flora & Fauna (Australia)

  • Jumia (Nigeria)

  • Myer (Australia)

  • Otto Group (Germany)

  • TOMS (United Arab Emirates)

  • Woolworths Holdings Limited (South Africa)

International Retailer of the Year

Winner: Sephora

  • Aesop

  • ASOS

  • Costco

  • Lidl

  • Media Saturn Group

  • Sephora

  • Steinhoff


Retailer of the Year

Winner: Amazon

  • Action

  • Amazon

  • Cotton On

  • Inditex

  • Walmart

  • Zalando

Outstanding Leadership Award

Winner: Mindy Grossman, CEO, HSNi

Retail Transformation and Reinvention Award

Winner: Kroger

Innovation Fellowship Award


Natalie Massenet

Mark Sebba

Jose Neves, Founder and CEO, Farfetch

Source: World Retail Awards 2017