And a Few More Things………

The Retail Council of Canada has selected Birch Hill Studio in Vernon, British Columbia as the winner of the Excellence in Retailing Awards 2018 Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year.  Birch Hill Studio, is a family-run lifestyle boutique and gift shop, founded by Sierra Harris. It offers a curated collection of brands from leading Canadian designers as well as their own brand, Haus Of Birch. "Birch Hill Studio is a remarkable retailer not only because they've become one of downtown Vernon's leading businesses, but because they have achieved this by finding fresh ways to support local artists and designers while staying committed to selling solely Canadian products," said Diane J. Brisebois, President, CEO, Retail Council of Canada. "Birch Hill Studio also offers a unique customer experience that extends beyond its store; their playful posts and growing community on social media are also an indication of that unique customer experience."  The Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year Award will be presented to Birch Hill Studio at RCC’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala on May 29th at the Toronto Congress Centre.  The gala will close the first day of the STORE 2018 retail conference. (Birch Hill Studio – 250/541-7557 www.birchhillstudio.com).......

Canadian lifestyle brand Roots Corp. has won Gold at the 2018 Shop! Awards in the Softline Specialty Store 3001 to 7500 square foot category for its Yorkdale Shopping Centre enhanced experience store in Toronto. The Roots 'Cabin' store concept was designed to capture the distinct character and heritage of the Roots brand while drawing shoppers into a space where they can interact with product in a visually stimulating and socially connected environment to provide an enhanced experience. Roots chose architecture and design firm CallisonRTKL to bring the 'Roots Cabin' concept to life. CallisonRTKL's vision and execution proved hugely successful with the flagship Yorkdale store.  Roots has followed with ‘Enhanced Experience’ locations in Vancouver's Pacific Centre Mall, Taipei 101 in Taiwan and is rolling out two new stores this Summer in Halifax Shopping Centre in Nova Scotia and Boston's Natick Mall. The 'Cabin' store will serve as benchmark inspiration for all Roots store designs. Shop! is a global trade association with more than 1500 member companies from 30 countries dedicated to enhancing retail environments and experiences.  (Roots Corp. – 416/781-3574 www.roots.com)..............

SmartCentres REIT and the Penguin Group of Companies, owned by Mitchell Goldhar, has announced that construction has started on the first two towers of Transit City Condos in partnership with CentreCourt. Located in SmartCentres Place in Vaughan, next to the new subway station in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Transit City Condos consists of three towers of 55 storeys each, totaling over 1700 units. All the units in each of the three towers are sold out and financing is in place. An official groundbreaking ceremony for all three Transit City Condos buildings is scheduled for later next month.  “With the topping off next week of our mixed-use building consisting of a YMCA, City of Vaughan library and recreation space, and PwC office space, the SmartCentres Place York Region Bus terminal opening shortly, the opening of the new VMC subway station and now the start of construction of Transit City Condos, Vaughan’s new downtown is emerging fast and ahead of schedule,” said Goldhar, Executive Chairman of the Board of SmartCentres. (SmartCentres REIT – 905/326-6400)………

On Saturday, Giant Tiger celebrated the official opening of its new store in St. Thomas in Southwestern Ontario. The new 23,300 square foot store is at Elgin Mall at 417 Wellington St. The unit features a large selection of affordable, on-trend home and family fashions, brand-name groceries and everyday necessities. The Canadian-owned family discount chain has over 240 locations operating across Canada. (Giant Tigerwww.gianttiger.com)........

Last week, international omni-channel retailer of branded vintage luxury handbags and accessories LXRandCo Inc. announced that current independent director, Steven Goldsmith, has been appointed President and CEO with responsibility for all aspects of the company's activities. Goldmsith joins LXRandCo from Brookstone, a U.S.-based product developer and retailer of wellness, entertainment, and travel products with more than 200 retail locations, as well as more than 2000 locations with retail partners, where he served as CEO and President. The company also announced that Frederick Mannella, Co-Founder and CEO of LXRandCo, has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Development Officer.  In the newly created role of CDO, Mannella will be responsible for LXRandCo's business development activities, growth of the company's e-commerce and wholesale channels, and new initiatives. The appointments are expected to be effective on or about April 30, 2018. (LXRandCo Inc. – 800/764-0521 www.lxrco.com)........