Ottawa Citizen:

Gordon Reid, one of Ottawa’s most successful retail entrepreneurs, may be 76 but he still drops in on the competition and chats up their customers.

Corporate spying is too strong a word, but he’s proud of the fact he’s trying to glean any shred of information that might give his Giant Tiger Stores an edge.

That same kind of attention to customers’ wishes has stood him in good stead for a long time, although the time has passed pretty quickly in his eyes.

It’s been nearly 50 years since Reid founded Giant Tiger, and the company’s CEO and chairman Wednesday was given a lifetime achievement award by the Retail Council of Canada, which he will receive at a dinner in Toronto May 31.

Reid founded the company with one Ottawa store in 1961. Today, the chain has 193 franchised stores across Canada with more than $1 billion in annual sales employing more than 7,000.

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Photo: Pat McGrath / The Ottawa Citizen.