Excellence in Retailing Award Winners Part 2: Retail Council of Canada Recognizes the Best of the Best

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Retail Insider would like to join Retail Council of Canada in recognizing the winners of this year’s Excellence in Retailing Awards which were held on May 31, 2022. The awards celebrate innovation and the best of the best in the Canadian retail industry.

This is part two of a three-part series where we’ll showcase this year’s winners in the categories of In-Store Experience & Design, Pop-Up Experience and Design, Environmental Leadership, and Supply Chain Innovation.

The following is a breakdown of each of the Excellence in Retail Awards winners in these categories, as well as some background on their outstanding achievements.

Lowe’s team. Photo: Wade Muir Photography

In-Store Experience & Design: Lowe’s Canada

Lowe’s Canada was honoured for its launch of Myredvest, an intuitive platform that provides customer flexibility. Lowe’s says that with its omnichannel mindset it is constantly looking for ways to offer an optimized and seamless customer experience across all channels. The approach led Lowe’s Canada’s IT teams to actively work on a new platform called Myredvest that interacts with many internal systems to simplify cash register usage, making it possible to offer a user-friendly self-checkout service. 

What set the project apart in the retail industry is the collaboration that led to designing and managing the new interface in-house, allowing Lowe’s Canada to tailor it to their complex needs. Everything is easy and simple: customers can choose the way they want to be served for the last step of their journey in store, and always benefit from an outstanding experience.

Mobile Klinik team. Photo: Wade Muir Photography

Mobile Klinik: Project Reimagine

Rapidly-growing Mobile Klinik has rebranded and repositioned themselves to evolve their business beyond cell phone repair into the destination for “All things Mobile”. Its ‘Project Reimagine’ has created a new retail experience defined by the four key pillars of the brand, Buy, Sell, Repair, Connect, to provide the complete wireless solution and bring the enhanced brand promise to life for their customers and employees.

Congratulations Mobile Klinik on winning this award for the latest in innovation.

Canadian Tire team. Photo: Wade Muir Photography

Pop-Up Experience and Design: Canadian Tire Corp., Christmas Trail

Canadian Tire recognized the need to keep people safe during the pandemic while also wanting to celebrate the holiday spirit. Building off the success of the 2020 Canadian Tire Christmas Trail, Canadian Tire saw the opportunity to help even more Canadians celebrate the season safely in 2021. The Trail, a one-of-a-kind, interactive drive-along Christmas experience located at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, officially returned for a second year, providing new and unique Christmas experiences complete with Santa Claus, show-stopping lights, elves, festive music, and treats – all from the safety of guests’ vehicles.

Canadian Tire successfully brought the holiday spirit to many.

Walmart team. Photo: Wade Muir Photography

Environmental Leadership: Walmart for eliminating 680 million plastic bags from our environment

In August 2021, Walmart Canada embarked on a nationwide initiative to remove single-use plastic checkout bags from stores and omni operations. The retailer’s latest contribution to regeneration is projected to prevent more than 680 million plastic bags from entering circulation annually. That’s enough bags to circle the earth approximately 10 times.

Walmart says that it made this change three years ahead of schedule, surpassing its goal of reducing single-use plastic checkout bags by 50% by 2025. Walmart Canada is on a transformative path to become a regenerative company, being one that works to restore, renew, and replenish in addition to preserving our planet, while encouraging others to do the same.

“We’re so proud to receive an RCC Excellence in Retailing Award for Environmental Leadership, recognizing our initiative to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags at Walmart Canada.  Being recognized amongst our peers is an honour – and an opportunity not only to celebrate the work that’s been done by our cross-collaborative Walmart team, but also to inspire our peers as we walk this path to eliminate single-use plastics together.”

Michael Hill team. Photo: Wade Muir Photography

Supply Chain Innovations: Michael Hill Jewelers for its Project Raptor – delivering a quality supply chain transformation

Australia-based jewelry retailer Michael Hill has about 300 stores across three countries including 85 in Canada, 155 in Australia, and 50 in New Zealand, as well as an online presence in all countries. In 2019, its existing supply chain created service and cost challenges in an expanding store and e-commerce operation, particularly in Canada. A key first phase in Michael Hill’s supply chain transformation journey was a requirement to improve distribution capability in Canada.

The transformation initiative was named Project Raptor, after the success of the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, in the hope that the project would deliver similar success. Given the adversity facing the project during the COVID-19 pandemic, the collaboration between Michael Hill and its partners Kuehne + Nagel, and the resulting deliverables of cost reduction, service improvement, and technical efficiency, was indeed a championship effort.

The delivery of Michael Hill’s Project Raptor transformed and future-proofed its business. The retailer says that it applied to the Excellence in Retailing Awards for Supply Chain Innovation because it wanted the talented people behind Project Raptor to shine.

Three key aspects of the Michael Hill Raptor project include:

1. The great collaborative effort of the Michael Hill team, not only internally between departments, but with their third party provider, Kuehne + Nagel.

2. Team Michael Hill’s ability and drive to deliver this project remotely despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. The amazing benefits delivered commercially for Michael Hill, but more importantly, for the Canadian customers as enhanced service experiences.

There are a lot of exceptional retailers in Canada and to be awarded this prestigious recognition by industry peers is a huge achievement. Congratulations to everyone. Stay tuned for part three of this series next where we profile more winners from this year’s Excellence in Retailing Awards.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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