The Retailers Association of Massachusetts Awards of Excellence were created in 1998 by retail expert Rick Segel, retail trainer, distinguished author and 2010 inductee into RAM's Retail Hall of Fame. Developed as a way to acknowledge retail excellence in the Commonwealth, the RAMAES have grown during the past nineteen years, capturing the attention of the media and retail community alike. Throughout their history, the RAMAES have honored small and large retailers, rookies and veterans, identifying hidden gems from all corners of the state.

20 years of RAMAE Winners


Want to get involved? Nominate an outstanding business! All Massachusetts retailers and restaurants are eligible, and winners are chosen due to their creativity, enthusiasm, and commitment. Financial strength is not a factor in the judging process. RAM membership is not necessary to nominate or to be nominated. We encourage entries from all segments of the retail community and all parts of the state. Know a deserving store? Have a favorite restaurant, book shop, food store, or boutique? Show your appreciation and nominate these stores today!

How it all works

We will be mailing nomination information to members during the summer. The judging process usually begins in September when the RAMAES judges meet to discuss the nominees. The panel typically includes RAM staff, retailers, Board members, and retail consultants. After an initial overview, judges will call the nominees to set up a store visit, or they may choose to visit the store anonymously. During these visits the judges will be looking for attentive customer service, attention to detail, the level of creativity evident in the store layout, visual interest, and other factors. Once all the site visits are completed, the panel will meet to determine the winners. The winners will be notified and interviewed prior to the awards program.

Winners are invited to attend the RAMAE Luncheon in November, as guests of RAM. At the ceremony they are honored with a slide show presentation and receive an engraved award and framed plaque.


Retailer of the Year
Awarded to the business that has it all and does it all. “Retailer of the Year” worthy businesses are those that continuously go above and beyond to provide their customers with an exceptional product, unparalleled service, and that demonstrate originality in all they do.

Restaurant of the Year
Awarded to the restaurant that continuously provides their patrons with exceptional service, menu selection, and a pleasurable overall experience. These restaurants successfully combine cuisine, service, and atmosphere.

Community Service
Awarded for innovative community involvement efforts.  These businesses are a fixture in the community, providing outstanding service and a commitment to giving back.

Creative Concepts in Retailing
Awarded to the business that meets and serves a niche market, by offering and providing a unique service, product, concept or idea to their customers.

Rookie of the Year
Awarded to the business that is between one and four years-old and demonstrates outstanding achievement and creativity in it's development. This category encompasses both retail and restaurants.

Retail Hall of Fame
The Retail Hall of Fame is home to businesses that have earned distinction in their field for providing the best that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has to offer.

Click here to nominate your favorite retailers for 2021.

Please contact Andi Shea at 617.523.1900 or [email protected] for questions.