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Three Canadian Retailers Recognized for Innovation and Leadership

Date Published: September 18, 2017

Three innovative retailers from across Canada will accept awards in Halifax during National Retail Week. Presented by the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services, located at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, the Retail Innovation Awards recognize outstanding leadership in the retail sector.

“I commend the David Sobey Centre for recognizing and celebrating innovation in retail in tandem with Retail Week,” says Diane Brisebois, President & CEO of the Retail Council of Canada and David Sobey Centre advisory board member. “Retail is an important economic and employment engine in Canada and the David Sobey Centre is providing key tools to ensure business growth and success in a period of disruption in the sector.”

The three winners are:

  • Hillberg & Berk is a Regina-based jewelry company whose work has adorned the Queen, and which empowers women “one sparkle at a time”.
  • Brika is an upscale craft business in Toronto that has helped the Clinton Foundation save African elephants, and whose community of more than 400 makers has seen the company move from online to three stores.
  • Uncommon Group comprises retail stores that celebrate Nova Scotian products and history, led by the business leader who walked away from Wall Street to remind Halifax to love local.

Gordon Stevens of Uncommon Group said, ““It’s funny to think of what we do as innovation – we love this city and province, and we think promoting and celebrating them is just smart business. This award was a surprise. But it’s an honour to be recognized with two other interesting, growing retailers from across the country.”

October 2-6 is Retail Week in Canada. Awards will be handed out at a gala on October 5, 2017. These represent the first annual awards presented by the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services.

“The David Sobey Centre was founded the purpose of supporting, celebrating, creating and researching innovation in the retail sector,” said Centre director Dr. Ramesh Venkat. “These awards allow us to bring together cutting edge businesses, our students, and our researchers, and celebrate existing innovation. This in turn will inspire the next generation of retailers.”

The David Sobey research centre was created in 2014 and hosts student competitions, funds research and offers executive education opportunities related to retailing.

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