Registration Open

Breakfast and Networking Hall Open

Opening Remarks

Sonny Brar

Sonny BrarVice President, Member Programs & Services, Retail Council of Canada

Kevin Graff

Kevin GraffGraff Retail, President

Member Update:
USMCA & It’s Impact on Canadian Retailers

Diane J. Brisebois

Diane J. BriseboisPresident & CEO, Retail Council of Canada

Why Experiential Retail is Necessary for Brick and Mortar Retail

As the global leader in made to measure apparel, INDOCHINO has developed the shopping experience of the future. In this session Allen Langdon, sits down with Drew Green, CEO of INDOCHINO to explore their unique experiential approach to retail, and how a retailer can achieve both expansive growths and a profitable EBITDA while investing in experience.

Drew Green

Drew GreenPresident and CEO, INDOCHINO

Allen Langdon

Allen LangdonPresident and CEO, Encorp Pacific

Retail Evolution: By Humans, For Humans, By Being Human.

Customers are more demanding than ever, and to meet their demands, the retail environment is evolving at an ever-faster pace. Whether through enhanced services, frictionless shopping, or a greater digital presence, we attempt to keep up through a myriad of complex technology ecosystems. The truth is, the only thing smart and fast enough to keep up with these demanding humans is other humans. At the heart of retail is the human ecosystem: the overarching web of collaboration and connection between employees and customers, and Mat Povse, Senior Vice President of Best Buy Retail and Geek Squad Services at Best Buy Canada joins us to share how the technology retailer is delivering tangible results by tuning into the potential of the most important aspect of all: human beings.

Mat Povse

Mat PovseSenior Vice President of Retail and Geek Squad Services, Best Buy Canada

Direct-to-Consumer Retail: The Hard Truth

Everyone in business is looking for ways to cut out the middleman to save costs and the internet has made it easier for companies to go directly to the consumer. Ashley Freeborn, Founder of popular Vancouver based brand Smash + Tess will highlight the good, bad and ugly sides to their business journey. How they started with direct to consumer, and their ability to branch out from there as well as the highs and lows of online shopping.

Ashley Freeborn

Ashley FreebornFounder / Principal / Managing Director, Smash + Tess

Change Is Just The New Norm

We've all been accustomed to the near daily stories of new retail concepts arriving on the scene, and tired old ones departing. It's a story of change that has retailers moving faster than ever before. In this revealing interview, Kevin Graff and Jim Caldwell will share insights on how an 'old' industry (automotive repair and tires) can evolve to meet the new market demands. The lessons learned here will apply to every business, regardless of size and category. The key role of leadership, digitization of traditional models and more will be discussed.

Jim  Caldwell

Jim CaldwellPresident and CEO, OK Tire Canada

Kevin Graff

Kevin GraffGraff Retail, President

RCC's "Fast Five" Thought Leadership Series

How to Know Which Customer Problems Impact Your Revenue
There is a blind spot. Retailers rarely know which negative customer experiences are causing customers to reduce their spend, trip frequency, or worse, defect altogether. In this Fast 5 presentation, Paula Courtney, Product Founder at WisePlum, will demonstrate how retailers can effectively identify the negative customer experiences in their stores and their competitors’ stores and zero in on those that have the biggest financial impact. You’ll know what to fix and where to focus to improve your top line.

Paula Courtney

Paula CourtneyProduct Founder, WisePlum

Networking Break

A.M. Concurrent Session

Drive Sales, Not Impressions with a More Effective Digital Strategy
In many cases, digital campaigns are set up to drive “activity” metrics like impressions, clicks and click-through-rates instead of doing what they are supposed to – to drive sales!

During this fun and entertaining session, we will share learnings from our experience with more than 400 brands in 20 countries to show you how you can connect digital marketing to real-world store traffic and revenue generation. We will also walk through a case study which outlines how M&M Food Market used digital media to generate measurable on-the-ground sales.

Kirk Allen

Kirk AllenCOO and Co-Founder, Reshift Media

Derek Weidl

Derek WeidlDigital Marketing Strategist, M&M Food Market

A.M. Concurrent Session

Creating the Customer Experience of Tomorrow; How Retailers are Staying Ahead of the Curve
Today’s retailers understand that success is dependent not only on the products and services they offer, but also on the customer experiences they deliver. The widespread adoption of digital and mobile technologies has led to an increased demand for convenience and seamlessness at every interaction. To deliver, retailers are fusing online and offline strategies to improve in-store experiences, increase sales and ultimately stand out from the competition. In this session, Kimberly Kuzmak from American Express, shares new Canadian retail data insights on the adoption of current payment technologies among retailers and explores what to prioritize in order to deliver the customer experience of tomorrow.

Kimberly Kuzmak

Kimberly KuzmakDirector of Client Management - Western Canada for Global Merchant & Network Services, American Express

A.M. Concurrent Session

Future-Proofing Your Retail Business with Effective, Affordable Technology
In the constantly evolving retail environment, it can be a challenge for independent retailers to understand which technology investments will provide the most impact to their business. Join Eric Matusiak, National Retail Leader at BDO Canada as he discusses cost affective strategic technologies, both front and back office, that independent retailers should be focusing on to stay relevant and competitive today and tomorrow.

Eric Matusiak

Eric MatusiakPartner, IT Solutions & National Retail Leader, BDO Canada

Lunch and Networking

P.M. Concurrent Session

IKEA Canada: Engaging Canadians on its Path to Become Circular
The nascent shift from a linear to circular economy presents many challenges and opportunities for retailers, but today most efforts focus on product & packaging design and collection & recycling – the beginning and end of the value chain. This session will outline how IKEA Canada is focussing in between, supporting Canadians to extend the life of IKEA products, maximize their value, and create more frequent and meaningful interactions with the IKEA Brand.

Brendan Seale

Brendan SealeHead of Sustainability, IKEA Canada

P.M. Concurrent Session

Cannabis in Canadian Retail: The New Frontier
On October 17th Canada official launched the legalization of recreational Cannabis across the country. Since the initial announcement of the plan to legalize, both federal and provincial governments have scrambled to develop business standards, laws and regulations to support and manage this new frontier. At the same time, smart business people immediately started developing Cannabis operations for the eventual goal of retail consumer sales. Depending on which province you live, the rules for selling Cannabis are different. However, despite these challenges, companies have not only grown, but flourished. Now, they are preparing to open their doors across Canada.

In this session, the top Cannabis Retailers in Canada come together to discuss the new and innovative retail journey that they’ve begun. They have acknowledged that to succeed they must better understand retail in Canada and recognize the need to connect with smart retail people and suppliers who can help them flourish. They will also discuss how Cannabis retail is unique and does not fit into traditional retail models.

Jesse Cheetham

Jesse CheethamVice President, Human Resources, Fire & Flower Inc.

Rob Fisher

Rob FisherPrincipal, JRoss Retail Recruiters

Eleanor Lynch

Eleanor LynchVice President, Retail, Aura Cannabis

Aussie Jiwani

Aussie JiwaniDirector of Sales, Chooom

P.M. Concurrent Session

The Retail Revolution – what lies ahead
The world of retail has changed more in the last 5 years than at any time over the last few decades. In the next few years, that rate of change will only increase. One thing that remains consistent is that the business needs to adapt in order to meet the needs of the customer, for they are the ones driving this change. In this session, Dave Rodgerson, the Retail Industry Executive for Microsoft Canada, will share his insights on the changes still at hand and examples of how some of the world’s leading brands are charting a path for the future.

Dave Rodgerson

Dave RodgersonRetail Industry Lead, Microsoft

Networking Break

RCC "Fast Five" Thought Leadership Series

The Future Consumer Now:
What Consumer Future Are You Designing For?

We have all heard the phrase “the consumer of the future” and that retailers must evolve and adapt to future consumer demands. However, the reality is, many retailers change a little bit, over a long period of time. The consumer of the future has already changed the essence of retail itself, and the fate of many retailers will be determined in their ability to re-invent themselves for their customer. In this session, Ted Salter, Partner at Ernst and Young will review eight forces that will shape the future consumer. Then, Ted will sit with progressive innovators that have re-defined some of the most traditional retail segments in Canada.

Peter Van Stolk

Peter Van StolkCEO, spud.ca

Lauren Wong

Lauren WongVice President, Sales and Marketing, Hello Fresh

Ted Salter

Ted SalterNational Consumer Sector Leader, Ernst & Young

Here to Play, Here to Stay – Here to Win! Rebuilding the Iconic Toy Retailer in Canada

Customer confusion was at an all-time high when Toys “R” Us Canada’s US parent company shut down. Redefining itself as a Canadian owned and operated brand, and reassuring customers they are “here to play, here to stay”, learn how Toys “R” Us Canada is focused on strategy and in-store experience to “WOW” Kids, Parents and Grand-givers! Dave Mathews and Melanie Teed-Murch discuss the brand’s strategy as it charts a new path, including new store concepts, the right media mix, use of data and analytics, and other core ingredients for future success.

Melanie Teed-Murch

Melanie Teed-MurchPresident, Toys R Us Canada

Dave Mathews

Dave MathewsManaging Director / Partner, Prospect Media Group Ltd.

The Cannabis Effect:
Brick and Mortar Retail Innovation

In an environment where regulation determines the feel & look of your brick and mortar business, you would think the result would be a sterile experience. However, new rules also cultivate creativity. Major cannabis retailers come together to talk about the creativity and innovation they are bringing to the table. Is there anything in this for you? You bet!

Nick Whitehead

Nick WhiteheadVice President of Market Development, Aurora Cannabis

Mike Vioncek

Mike VioncekChief Operating Officer, Fire & Flower Inc.

Lori Bailey

Lori BaileyHead of Retail, Canopy Growth Corporation

Closing Remarks

Sonny Brar

Sonny BrarVice President, Member Programs & Services, Retail Council of Canada

Networking Reception