Retail’s top achievers recognized at Retail Council of Canada’s 2021 Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala - Retail Council of Canada

Retail’s top achievers recognized at Retail Council of Canada’s 2021 Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala

September 14, 2021


During one of the most challenging years ever for retailers, excellence prevailed.

Sixteen of Canada’s most innovative retailers took home top accolades today at the 2021 Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala (ERA) which is widely regarded in the retail industry as the pinnacle of achievement and recognition. Joining these outstanding retailers on the virtual podium was also the winner of the 2021 Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year award as well as fifteen up-and-coming young superstars who were awarded Retail Council of Canada Retail Education Scholarships to continue and their academic backgrounds for careers in retail.

Competition for the coveted ERA trophies was especially fierce this year. Ties for first place were seen in an unprecedented six categories: eCommerce Experience, Health, Safety and Wellness, Omni-Channel, Philanthropic Leadership and, Retail Marketing, and Talent Development.

“Retailers in Canada have experienced a challenging year. They have had to change, adapt, and grow quickly, yet they are also motivated by the challenge of change. They are constantly innovating and proving their winning creativity,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of Retail Council of Canada. “The year’s ERA recipients have demonstrated ingenuity and steadfast commitment to superior customer service, progressive business solutions, and operational leadership.”

Ms. Brisebois added: “I also join the industry in saluting the recipient of this year’s Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year award. Evio Beauty Group has made game-changing contributions and leaves a lasting, positive imprint on their employees, customers, peers and the communities they serve. Retail in Canada is better because of them and their vision, passion and business acumen.”

The Excellence in Retailing Awards program, sponsored generously by Google Canada, is one of the highlights of Retail Council of Canada’s (RCC) STORE 2021 Conference that began on September 13, 2021 and runs until September 16, 2021.

To view the complete list of this year’s winners, visit:


Excellence in Retailing Awards Winners

  • E-commerce Experience (two winners tied for first place)
    • London Drugs
    • Save-On-Foods
      Sponsored by:  Google
  • Environmental Leadership
    • Federated Co-operatives Limited
      Sponsored by:  Call2Recycle
  • Health, Safety and Wellness (two winners tied for first place) 
    • Ardene
    • Longo’s
  • In-Store Experience & Design 
    • Canada Goose
    • Sponsored by:  Cineplex Digital Media 
  • Loss Prevention
    • Best Buy Canada
  • Omni-Channel (two winners tied for first place)
    • Lowe’s Canada
    • Mastermind Toys
      Sponsored by:  Salesforce
  • Philanthropic Leadership (two winners tied for first place)
    • Aritzia
    • Sobeys Inc.
  • Pop-Up Experience and Design 
    • Canadian Tire Corporation
      Sponsored by:  Maven Podcast Group
  • Retail Marketing (two winners tied for first place)
    • Lee Valley Tools Ltd.
    • Sephora Canada
      Sponsored by:  Google 
  • Talent Development (two winners tied for first place)
    • The Home Depot Canada
    • Michael Hill Jeweller
      Sponsored by:  Graff Retail

2021 Award of Distinction Recipient

  • 2021 Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year Award
    • Presented to Evio Beauty Group, founded by Toronto-based Brandi Leifso for her visionary approach to bringing a culture of kindness to the beauty industry and an outstanding product which is ethical and clean to a more socially conscious consumer.

Retail Education Scholarship Winners 

  • Also recognized at the Gala were the fifteenRetail Education Scholarship
    • Samantha Kobitowich, received the top award, Canadian Retail Hall of Fame Scholarship ($3,000)

Sponsored by:  Retail Council of Canada and its members



About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer.  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.


For more information or to schedule media interviews, contact: 

Branka Stavric, Senior Director, Marketing & Communication