Lee Valley’s Robin Lee and the Lee Family Announced as 2018 RCC’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient - Retail Council of Canada

Lee Valley’s Robin Lee and the Lee Family Announced as 2018 RCC’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

April 25, 2018

An unwavering 40-year commitment to selecting hard-to-find quality tools that help people do what they love shapes family-run retailer’s outstanding success


Toronto – April 25, 2018: Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is excited to select Lee Valley’s President and CEO, Robin Lee and his family, founders Leonard and Lorraine Lee, as the winner of the Excellence in Retailing Awards (ERA) 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

RCC’s Excellence in Retailing Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a family or an individual in retail who has demonstrated outstanding business success and community service throughout their career, and who has left an indelible mark on the industry through innovation and commitment to customers and employees.

In a time of unprecedented local and global competition, Robin Lee’s preservation of his family’s focus on unique products, a “customer-first” philosophy and a commitment to integrity, fairness and respect for all has continued to grow Lee Valley’s brand. In the 15 years since Robin took over as President and CEO, Lee Valley has expanded from being recognized for high-quality woodworking and gardening tools, to now include new lines of products for outdoor, home, kitchen, leatherworking, cabinet hardware and power tools. Today, Lee Valley has more than 1,000 employees who serve a growing brick-and-mortar presence, as well as a substantial, highly engaged online community.

“RCC is honoured to recognize Robin Lee and his family with this Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “Lee Valley has kept a visionary approach to retail for more than 40 years. Like his father Leonard, Robin has upheld the tradition of personally approving the highest-quality products and investing significantly in staff to ensure they are highly knowledgeable, supportive and able to create life-long loyal customers. This commitment is evident in Lee Valley’s continued success.”

Robin Lee joins a distinguished list of past recipients from across Canada, such as Founders of Roots Canada, Michael Budman and Don Green; Founder of The Brick Warehouse Corporation, Dr. William H. Comrie; Founders of Canadian Tire Corporation, the Billes Family; and most recently, former Vice-Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Bonnie Brooks.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Robin Lee at Retail Council of Canada’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala on May 29, 2018 at the Toronto Congress Centre, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm ET. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit retailawards.ca/gala-tickets.

The Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala will close the first day of Canada’s biggest retail conference, STORE 2018, which will feature more than 80 speakers and attract more than 2,500 retail leaders from across North America. Media are also invited to attend STORE 2018, from May 29 to May 30, 2018. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit StoreConference.ca/register.

About Lee Valley
Founded in 1977 by Leonard and Lorraine Lee, Lee Valley established itself as the source for quality woodworking and gardening tools, and continues to expand its unique offering to creators of all kinds. Lee Valley’s culture was grounded in the family’s belief in integrity, fairness and respect for all, including staff, customers and vendors. Staff are empowered to provide the best advice to the customer, even at the expense of a sale, and company profit is shared with employees. Today, with more than 1,000 employees, store expansion and a new digital experience under development, Lee Valley continues to expand its footprint and recognition in the Canadian retail market.


About Retail Council of Canada:
Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $369 billion in 2017. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. RetailCouncil.org