LCBO’s Dr. George Soleas Named Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year - Retail Council of Canada

LCBO’s Dr. George Soleas Named Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year

April 25, 2024

TORONTO, April 25, 2024:  Retail Council of Canada (RCC) proudly announces Dr. George Soleas as the recipient of the Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year Award, part of its prestigious Awards of Distinction within the Excellence in Retailing Awards program. This esteemed accolade recognizes Dr. Soleas’s exceptional leadership as President & CEO of the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario), one of the world’s largest retailers and wholesalers of beverage alcohol.

With more than a decade of experience in the Canadian wine industry, Dr. Soleas began his journey at LCBO in 1997 as the Director of Quality Assurance, gradually assuming more senior leadership positions until his appointment as President & CEO in 2016.

Throughout his tenure, Dr. Soleas has been the driving force behind remarkable business achievements, fostering innovation, and championing community support. Under his guidance, the LCBO has undergone a profound transformation, modernizing its operations and pivoting towards customer-centric practices in an increasingly competitive market. Initiatives such as the expansion of its online presence and delivery options, the ability to set and respond to trends and customer preferences, a focus on loyalty and a personalized experience, and the kick-off of a multi-year program to catalyze change through industry-leading processes and technologies, have positioned the LCBO as a beacon of innovation, committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences. In 2018, Dr. Soleas created LCBO’s first comprehensive social impact platform, Spirit of Sustainability, which articulates the company’s goals to support the well-being of its communities, minimize its environmental impacts, and lead positive change in the beverage alcohol industry. Together with its generous customers, LCBO provided more than $14 million last year for its charity partners whose programs and initiatives support the health and well-being of diverse communities across Ontario.

“George Soleas embodies the qualities of a visionary retail leader,” remarked Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO of Retail Council of Canada. “And while the LCBO operates exclusively in the province of Ontario, its dedication to excellence, innovation, and community engagement, spearheaded by George, has been recognized throughout the retail industry in Canada. We are thrilled to recognize his achievements with this prestigious award.”

“I am deeply honoured to receive the Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year Award. This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our entire team, including the thousands of employees across Ontario who deliver exceptional experiences to customers and help to give back to the communities in which we live and work,” said George Soleas, President & CEO, LCBO. “We remain committed to working alongside our industry partners to build on our rich history and drive innovation in the retail industry.”

The Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year award will be presented to Dr. Soleas at Retail Council of Canada’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala on May 28, 2024, at the Toronto Congress Centre from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET.

Tickets to the Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala can be purchase at:

The Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala will close the first day of RCC STORE 24, Canada’s biggest retail conference, from May 28 – May 30, 2024. RCC STORE 24 will feature 75+ speakers and is attracting more than 2,000 retail leaders from across North America and around the globe.

Media are welcome to attend this prestigious event celebrating Dr. Soleas and other esteemed award recipients.



About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2.3 million Canadians working in our industry. This sector is a major economic contributor, generating more than $93 billion annually in wages and employee benefits. In 2023, core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) exceeded $502 billion. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members account for more than two-thirds of these core retail sales and 95 per cent of the grocery market. Our membership extends across the country, embracing over 54,000 storefronts in diverse formats such as department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, online merchants, and quick service restaurants. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, RCC, a not-for-profit, industry-funded association, proudly represents retail businesses of all sizes, from small independents to large national chains, in communities nationwide.


Branka Stavric, Senior Director Marketing Communications and Research