Canadian Retailers Honoured at National Excellence in Retailing Awards Event

    TORONTO, June 3 /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 2008 - Canada's Retail Conference.
    "These impressive initiatives being honoured at Retail Council of
Canada's Excellence in Retailing Awards are a true testament to the creativity
and ingenuity taking place in the Canadian retail industry," says Diane J.
Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. "In a business where
loyalty is a valued commodity, these winning retailers and their industry
partners have demonstrated that loyalty to our customers is the true source of


    Laurence Lewin, Co-Founder and President, La Senza Corp., accepted the
2008 Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year award. This award recognizes
a retailer regarded as a leader and an innovator in the retail community.

    Dr. William (Bill) H. Comrie, O.C., LLD., Founder of The Brick Warehouse
Corp. 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 two independent, family-run retailers:
United Cycle of Edmonton, for its longtime support of sports and recreation in
Alberta; and Dayle's Dept. Store of Amherst, N.S., a department store known
for its support of many worthy charities in northern Nova Scotia.


    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 Development Award: Presented to a retailer that exhibits
a comprehensive recognition and training program for sales and customer
service staff.

    The Mid-size Category winner is Black Photo Corp. for its successful
efforts in transitioning its sales staff into a new age of digital

    The Large-size Category winner is Wal-Mart Canada Corp. for its
innovative use of podcasting technology to educate store associates about
products sold in its stores.

    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 Tabi International Ltd., for its
successful "Fall Into Classics" campaign, proving the importance and relevance
of a catalogue campaign in a digital age.

    The Large-size Category winner is Holt, Renfrew & Co. Ltd., for its
Twenty8Twelve campaign, held in conjunction with the Toronto International
Film Festival and leveraging the festival's glamour to promote a new line of
designer wear.

    Retail Loss Prevention Award: Honours a retailer that has successfully
implemented a loss prevention strategy in order to combat loss.

    The winner is Montreal-based Birks & Mayors Inc. for its successful loss
prevention program, which focused on decreasing the total amount of shrink and
providing a safe working environment through a number of different

    Retail Store Design Award: Presented to a retailer that has demonstrated
innovation in creating a visually enticing layout and design.

    The Mid-size Category winner is Umbra Ltd., for the design of its
striking flagship store on Toronto's trendy Queen West strip, which
successfully showcases the company's line of housewares while allowing
customers to interact with in-house designers.

    The Large-size Category winners are Holt, Renfrew & Co. Ltd, for its
newly opened Holt Renfrew store in Vancouver, and Hbc, for its Waterdown,
Ont., Zellers location that incorporates the latest in green technology.

    Online Retailing Award: Presented to a retailer that offers the consumer
an outstanding e-retailing experience.

    The winner is Sears Canada Inc., for leveraging its strength as a
multi-channel retailer to enhance merchandise selection at its
Web site.

    Retail Corporate Social Responsibility Award: Presented to a retailer
that develops a new or advances its current corporate social responsibility
(CSR) initiative, demonstrating innovative and proactive solutions to societal
and environmental challenges.

    The Mid-size Category winner is Vancouver-based Please Mum Inc., for
partnering with The Tides Canada Foundation to create the Please Mum
Foundation Fund, which contributes to fun and healthy extra-curricular
activities for children in communities across Canada.

    The Large-size Category winner is The Home Depot Canada, for its
financial support and its associates' volunteer support of Habitat for
Humanity's home ownership program.

    Retail Health & Safety Award: Presented to a retailer that...

    This year's winner is Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC), for
developing and implementing an innovative Occupational Health and Safety
Management System that meets the requirements of the new best practices
standard established by the Canadian Standards Association.

    Canada Post Multi-Channel Retailing Award: Presented to a retailer that
successfully satisfies the ever-increasing consumer appetite for retail
channel choice.

    This year's winner is The Shopping Channel, for using its 20th
Anniversary Birthday Week Celebration to reach out to customers in every
retail channel possible.

    About Retail Council of Canada

    Retail Council of Canada ( 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 2008.

For further information:

For further information: Meredith Roberts, Account Manager, Pipeline
Communications, (416) 694-2777, ext. 223, e-mail:

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