Arboretum Logo

Rachel Wins Lifetime Achievement Award at

Retail Excellence Awards 2017


Retail Excellence has announced Rachel Doyle as the third ever Lifetime Achievement Award winner (and first woman to win) at their 20th prestigious retail awards event held in The Malton Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry. 

The glittering black tie event was attended by some 600 of Irish retail’s biggest names who gathered to mark the significant achievements of the finalists and winners.

Rachel Doyle, a graduate of horticulture, a Board Member of An Bord Bia and a former President of the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA).

CEO of Retail Excellence David Fitzsimons said “This is only the 3rd time ever in the history of the Retail Excellence awards that the Board of Retail Excellence voted to bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award on a very special person, Rachel Doyle of Arboretum”.

“She is a woman who has achieved hugely both in her business and family life and has managed to hold some of the highest positions in the Garden sector both within Ireland and internationally. Despite all of this, she remains one of the most encouraging and affable individuals I have ever met so it is fair to say she has her feet firmly planted on the ground”.

Rachel had no idea that she was going to get a Lifetime Achievement Award until a short film about her life, which included a message of congratulations from her five grandchildren, was shown onstage. The film documents the rise and rise of Ireland’s premier garden centre and ends with personal messages to Rachel from RTÉ’s Mary Kennedy, celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. A film crew had even secretly visited the Leighlinbridge centre the previous week while Rachel was out of the country.

“The first recipient of this Award over 15 years ago was Patrick Hanley, a man who grew up in Tipperary and went on to forge a magnificent retail career culminating in his appointment as CEO of Harvey Nichols. The second lifetime achievement award recipient, the award presented 10 years ago, was world renowned retailer and former Senator Feargal Quinn. So, it gives me great pleasure to bestow this honour on Rachel who deservedly follows in the footsteps of such luminaries.

 “Rachel’s family and the staff of Arboretum should be rightly proud of tonight’s achievement. Despite being around the retail industry for some time I continue to be inspired by the brilliant commitment and innovation of Rachel in all that she does.”

“I want to commend her for instilling the highest standards of service and engagement in her businesses and for continuing to be a great colleague, advisor and advocate for the industry” said David Fitzsimons, CEO, Retail Excellence.

Arboretum were also up for two other awards; Liam Kenny was up for Manager of the year and also Best New Website of the year.