Retailer of the Year

Charting New Horizons

Thursday, October 19, 2023
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (EDT)
* Registration open until 10/16/23 at 12:00 PM (EST)
* Registration open until 10/16/23 at 12:00 PM (EST)
Sponsorship Opportunities
Category: Signature Events


We are so excited to launch Retail Alliance's 16th Retailer of the Year Awards!

As we embark on this journey to honor outstanding achievements, we are thrilled to announce that the award ceremony will be transformed into a memorable and vibrant party experience. This will be an opportunity for retailers to come together, celebrate their successes, and let loose in a joyous atmosphere.

This year, we will have nine total awards that you will have to apply or be nominated for in order to win. Some you may recognize, some are new. We've also created a great prize package that you can see below!

  • Retailer of the Year Award
  • Ray's Rising Star Award
  • Customer Experience Award
  • Employee Excellence Award
  • Best Window/Interior Seasonal Display Award
  • Community Impact Award
  • Environmental Advocate Award
  • Retail Ally Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Retailer of the Year (approx. value $5500)

Ray’s Rising Star & Lifetime Achievement (approx. value $2700)

  • $500 cash prize
  • Segment on WKTR’s Coast Live
  • 1 year BizConnect membership
  • 1 year Retail Alliance membership
  • One free ticket to Retail Recess in 2024
  • Premier listing on Retail Alliance directory
  • Germono Advertising Company social media consulting time 

All other categories (approx. value $2000)

With the theme "Charting New Horizons," we encourage applicants to share their stories of exploration, adaptation, and growth. Whether it's through groundbreaking initiatives, sustainable business practices, community outreach, or transformative customer experiences, we invite you to demonstrate how your retail brand is boldly charting new paths in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Get ready to groove to the infectious tunes of Tidewater Drive, the sensational band set to light up ROTY's stage. Known for their high-energy performances and exceptional musicianship, Tidewater Drive is guaranteed to bring the fun. Whether you want to sing along to nostalgic tunes or dance to the latest chart-toppers, this band has got you covered.

We'll be serving heavy hors d'oeuvres and giving everyone two drink tickets.  

1. Who can apply for the Retailer of the Year Awards? Any current Retail Alliance member. 

2. What are the categories for the Retailer of the Year Awards? Our new and improved ROTY awards,  cover a wide range of categories to recognize excellence in various aspects of the retail industry. The categories are:

  • Retailer of the Year Award
  • Ray's Rising Star Award
  • Customer Experience Award
  • Employee Excellence Award
  • Best Window/Interior Seasonal Display Award 
  • Community Impact Award
  • Environmental Advocate Award
  • Retail Ally Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award*

*Please note that this award is not open for external applications.

3. How are the winners selected? Once all applications are received, a panel of experienced industry experts with a variety of backgrounds will evaluate the applications based on predetermined criteria.

4. How do I access the award applications? Follow this link to see the award descriptions and applications. 

5. Can I nominate someone for the awards? Yes, you can nominate a Retail Alliance member (whether it is the business or an individual). Please refer to our Member Directory to make sure that the nominee is a current Retail Alliance member.

6. Can I nominate myself or my business? Yes, as long as you are a current Retail Alliance Member. We encourage nominees to complete their own application to provide comprehensive information about their accomplishments and qualifications.

7. Can I apply for multiple categories? Yes, you can apply for multiple categories if your retail business meets the criteria for each of those categories. However, it is important to ensure that the information provided in each application is tailored to the specific category being applied for.

8. How do I know that my application was received? You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Please make sure to keep an eye out for it, as it will also include a promo code for 15% off one ticket.

9. When is the application deadline? 11:59PM on September 1, 2023.

10. What do I receive if I win? A prize package is currently in development, so stay tuned!

11. When and where will the winners be announced? The winners will be announced at the 2023 ROTY Awards held on October 19, 2023. We will be holding this year's awards in Norfolk at the Harbor Club. 

12. Can I attend awards ceremony even if I didn't apply for an award? Yes, the awards ceremony is open to all who wish to attend. It is an excellent opportunity to connect with industry professionals and celebrate the success of fellow retailers. Please purchase your tickets here. 

13. How does this year's ROTY compare to previous years? Apart from adding new categories and how winners are selected, this year's ROTY will have more of a relaxed atmosphere. Think of it less as a stuffy corporate event, and more of a casual celebration. But our core mission is the same: recognizing outstanding retailers.

14. What is the event's dress code? Come dressed in your business casual attire and be prepared to dance the night away!

15. Whom can I contact for further inquiries about the Retailer of the Year Awards? For further inquiries about the Retailer of the Year Awards, you can contact Jess Haley ( or Abby Schiano (

The Venue: Harbor Club
Parking Info:
Parking will be available in the Waterside garage across the street. Take the footbridge across Waterside Dr. to the second floor entrance. 
About the venue:
Located on the second floor of the Waterside District, The Harbor Club has stunning views of the Elizabeth River. With a beautiful outdoor terrace, you can feel the gentle breeze and enjoy the captivating views of boats gliding along the water. The Harbor Club's outdoor spaces provide a perfect retreat for mingling, networking, or simply taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of the waterfront setting.
The Band: Tidewater Drive 
With showmanship and personality as big as their sound, Tidewater Drive is a performance powerhouse on any stage. This nine-piece party band features electrifying vocals, colossal brass presence with larger-than-life horns, and dazzling choreography for a show-stopping experience.
Their high-energy sets delight guests of all generations with a mix of modern covers, vintage Motown, R&B and classic rock while their engaging stage presence guarantees guests will be on their feet and on the dance floor. With stunning vocal range and charisma, Tidewater Drive’s soulful female leads are a show unto themselves. When joined by their male counterparts, they deliver breathtaking harmonies. Add an incredible horn section, and their powerful sound rivals the best of any show band.  
In addition to their undeniable musical skill, Tidewater Drive brings industry experience, professionalism and incredible attention to detail at each and every event. The band doesn’t just play music, they satisfy on and off stage. And that creates the perfect atmosphere for any occasion.
With an all-out commitment to making events unforgettable, Tidewater Drive puts their heart and soul into entertaining guests and bringing them together on the dance floor, every night. You can count on Tidewater Drive for your big event. Because the best party bands make the best parties. 
* Registration open until 10/16/23 at 12:00 PM (EST)
* Registration open until 10/16/23 at 12:00 PM (EST)
Sponsorship Opportunities
Ray's Rising Star Award Sponsor
Music Sponsor
Bar Sponsor
Community Impact Award Sponsor

Employee Excellence Award and Customer Service Award Sponsor
Environmental Advocate Award

Retail Ally Award Sponsor
Celebration Sponsors

Prize Package Sponsors 

For More Information:

Retail Alliance Logo 838 Granby Street
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
United States