Canadian Retailers Honoured at National Excellence in Retailing Awards Event



    TORONTO, June 5 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) awarded 18
prestigious industry awards at the annual Excellence in Retailing Awards
Dinner last night. These awards recognize the retail industry's top achievers
and were presented as part of STORE 2007 - Canada's Retail Conference.
    "Retailers of all sizes from coast to coast are accomplishing some
amazing initiatives in the areas of corporate social responsibility, employee
training, retail marketing, multi-channel retailing and online retailing,
among other areas. RCC is proud to showcase these achievements at the annual
Excellence in Retailing Awards event in front of their industry peers," says
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada.

    AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

    Mario Pilozzi, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Canada, accepted the 2007
Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year award. This award recognizes a
retailer who has consistently demonstrated community commitment and
contributed positively to the greater society.
    Walter J. Hachborn, President and Co-Founder of Home Hardware Stores
Limited was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. This
award is presented to retailers who dedicate their lives to the betterment of
retail in Canada. Nominees have no less than 25 years of consecutive service
at an executive position in the retail sector.
    The Visa Ambassador Award went to independent Newfoundland and Labrador
retailer, Bidgood's Supermarket, in recognition of its contribution to its
community and to the retail industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    EXCELLENCE IN RETAILING AWARDS

    In addition to these Awards of Distinction, retailers take part by
submitting entries for other awards, which are chosen by an industry panel of
judges. Here is a list of the other award recipients:

    Retail Employee Training Award: Given to a retailer that exhibits a
comprehensive recognition and training program for sales and customer service
staff.
    The Mid-size Category winner is Bonnie Togs for its comprehensive
employee development program, which includes systems for hiring, sales
training, sales management, and performance coaching. The program has improved
customer experiences, led to stronger retention of staff and improved the
company's overall sales.
    The Large-size Category winner is Shoppers Drug Mart for "The Beauty
Learning Show," an employee learning tool that uses satellite television and
communication technologies to provide training to its 1,000 stores to ensure
employees are knowledgeable, helpful and unbiased when offering beauty advice
to customers.

    Retail Marketing/Advertising Award: Presented to a retailer that has
developed a creative and successful marketing campaign by integrating two or
more tactics.
    The Mid-size Category winner is Easyhome Ltd., for its successful "A New
Way to Look at Buying" campaign designed to educate customers about the
benefits of leasing. The campaign increased revenues, improved customer
relationships, and had a positive impact on overall customer satisfaction.
    The Large-size Category winner is Richmond, B.C.-based, Bootlegger, for
its "Generation B" campaign in which the company celebrated the achievement of
local community role models by encouraging customers to visit Bootlegger's Web
site and vote for the role model from their area. The campaign generated
increased sales and significant media impressions.

    Retail Loss Prevention Award: Honours a retailer that has successfully
implemented a loss prevention strategy in order to combat loss.
    The winner is Toronto-based, Danier Leather Inc. for its successful loss
prevention program, which focused on decreasing the total amount of shrink
through a number of different initiatives.

    Retail Store Design Award: Honours a retailer that has used innovation to
create a visually enticing layout and design.
    The Mid-size Category winner is Mendocino, for the design of its flagship
location in Toronto by design firm Perennial. The new location captures the
essence of Mendocino's unique brand character and customer experience.
    The Large-size Category winner is The Home Depot Canada for its new store
concept in Mississauga, Ont. This new location provided the opportunity to
implement redesigned departments and store concepts to create an enhanced
shopping experience for customers.

    Online Retailing Award: Presented to a retailer who offers the consumer
an outstanding e-retailing experience.
    The winner is Sears Canada Inc., for its redesigned www.sears.ca Web
site. The goal was to improve the search and navigation features, as well as
to encourage greater customer participation.

    Retail Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative Award: Given to a
retailer who develops a new, or advances its current, corporate social
responsibility (CSR) initiative, which demonstrates innovative and proactive
solutions to societal and environmental challenges.
    The Mid-size Category winner is the Mississauga, Ont.-based, Cotton Ginny
Limited, for launching a new direction for the brand by supporting a
sustainable lifestyle and organic products. Cotton Ginny successfully
converted to organic sourcing for its products and encouraged its employees to
volunteer for community programs.
    The Large-size Category winner is BC Liquor Stores, for its various
corporate social responsibility initiatives. Programs include the support of
dry graduation celebrations, as well as its "Share-a-Bear" program in which
customers purchase a plush bear and BC Liquor Stores donates the bear's "twin"
to childrens' charities.

    Retail Supply Chain Award: Given to a retailer that implements a new
strategy, tactic or technology to improve the supply chain operation.
    This year's winner is Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), for its
"New Item Submission System," a Web portal that enables stakeholders to
collaboratively manage new product submissions, resulting in savings and new
product revenue.

    In-store Retail Merchandising Award: Presented to a retailer that
effectively develops an innovative merchandising strategy for a specific
product line, a brand, a season or a department.
    The Mid-size Category winner is Toronto-based, The Second Cup Ltd., for
its "Holiday Pleasures" merchandising campaign, which heightened brand
awareness, produced the first-ever Second Cup Gift Catalogue and increased
sales.
    The Large-size Category winner is Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC)
for its implementation of the "Cool Zone," a retail area with refrigerated
beverages where customers can browse, shop and interact with employees.

    Canada Post Multi-Channel Retailing Award: Honours a retailer who
successfully satisfies the ever-increasing consumer appetite for retail
channel choice.
    This year's winner is Burnaby, B.C.-based, Future Shop, for its most
successful holiday performance by focusing on increasing market share and
conversion to sales through in-store and online channels.

    Direct Energy Business Services Retail Energy Efficiency Award: Given to
a retailer that demonstrates significant achievements in the area of energy
efficiency.
    The winner is Richmond Hill, Ont.-based, STAPLES Business Depot for its
energy efficiency program, in which the company audited energy spending,
developed a baseline to measure energy consumption and retrofitted stores to
reduce consumption.

    About Retail Council of Canada

    Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail.
It is a not-for-profit association representing more than 40,000 stores of all
retail formats, including independent merchants, regional and national mass
and specialty chains, and online merchants.

    Media are invited to attend STORE 2007.





For further information:

For further information: Meredith Smith, Account Manager, Pipeline
Communications, (416) 694-2777, ext. 223, e-mail:
meredith@pipelinecommunications.ca; or Stephanie Petroff, Manager, National
Public Affairs, (416) 922-0553, ext. 228, e-mail: spetroff@retailcouncil.org.


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