By James Wells

SYDNEY: Over 60 retailers have selected five finalists for the Best Product of the Year Award which will be presented at the Electrical Retailing Awards (ERAs) this evening in Sydney.

The ERAs, co-presented by Appliance Retailer magazine and GfK Australia, are the first local electrical industry awards to celebrate the performance of volume and value by retailers and manufacturers.

Three flat panel products were selected by judges – Panasonic Viera television, Sony Bravia television and LG Electronics plasma television.

“A split in the votes between the three flat panels will make the final voting very interesting,” said one retail judge after the finalists were announced earlier today.

The other two finalists are the JVC Everio camcorder with built in hard drive and the Dyson DC15 upright vacuum cleaner, known as ‘The Ball’.

The criteria used to judge the best product award included its design and innovation, its ability to open up a new market as well as unique selling points.

Judges commented on the innovative design of this product and its ability to provide a real shake-up in its category. Its approach to this category has been completely different to its competitors. Judges comments included: “this product features real innovation which is totally different”, “has generated large customer demand” and has “pioneered a new market segment”.