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Breakfast & Exhibits Open

Opening Remarks

Avoiding Massive Online Cross-Border Shopping at all Cost. Why RCC is fighting for you at the NAFTA table!

The greatest issue of concern to retailers is the de minimis level, below which courier or postal shipments into Canada are exempt from sales taxes and duties. US-based online merchants and the US air freight industry have been pushing hard for an increase to the $20 de minimis level, asking for a level of up to $200. RCC speaks forcefully to this issue noting that a major increase to the de minimis level would initiate massive online cross-border shopping and consequent losses of sales and employment in Canada.

Join the President & CEO of Retail Council of Canada, Diane J. Brisebois, as she provides detailed information on the NAFTA negotiations, on de minimis and other important matters such as credit card merchant fees.

Diane J. Brisebois

Diane J. BriseboisPresident & CEO, Retail Council of Canada

The Importance of Brand in Today's Digital World

How did MEC, a company known for its sales associates' abilities to passionately inspire hardcore outdoor enthusiasts to try new experiences and gear, evolve to become one of Canada's most popular and respected brands?

David Labistour, President & CEO of MEC will share the tactics and transformations that led MEC to not only remain relevant in today's ever-evolving retail landscape, but also compete more aggressively, build engaged communities, and broaden its appeal through the expanded opportunities of digital retail.

Howard Chang

Howard ChangCEO, Top Drawer Creative Inc

David Labistour

David LabistourPresident & CEO, Mountain Equipment Co-Op

Online? Offline? Long live... Nonline!

It’s no secret that the connected consumer has changed retail forever. The rate at which digital engagement influences a sale is skyrocketing with some experts placing it at more than 80% of all retail transactions, including those transactions that occur in physical stores. This pace of change has propelled the closing of what is projected to be 8,300 retail locations across North America in 2017. However, what is ahead of us is an incredible opportunity to drive more value out of assets retailers have spent a long time building - physical stores, amazing assortments and incredible relationships with your customers.

In this session, Kristina Elkhazin from Google will review the emerging technologies that leverage those assets and share how retailers must plug in to drive impact from the ever-changing path to purchase.

Kristina Elkhazin

Kristina ElkhazinHead of Industry - Retail, Google

The Next Generation of Best

Canada’s Best Managed Companies is Canada’s leading business awards program, recognizing excellence in private Canadian-owned companies. Each year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies undergo a rigorous application process, but only the best are awarded with this prestigious designation. However, evolving technology, the digital consumer and the millennial & Gen Z worker have changed the very definition of what well managed means. What does the future hold? In the session, Rick Kohn from Deloitte sits down with leaders from new and emerging consumer focused companies that will be the best managed companies of tomorrow.

Rick Kohn

Rick KohnPartner, BC Retail & Consumer Products Leader, Deloitte

Derrick Emsley

Derrick EmsleyCEO, tentree

Aamir Baig

Aamir BaigCo-Founder, Director and CEO, Article

Peter van Stolk

Peter van StolkCEO,

Amelia  Warren

Amelia WarrenCEO, Epicure

Evolution in Action: Discovering New Opportunities

Arc’teryx equipment and products are a result of its brand’s commitment to innovation. Knowing how they want their products to be used and what their customers need has propelled Arc’teryx from a few skews of products to an international brand with a fleet of their own retail stores. In this session, Phil Chang from HUBBA will interview Jon Hoerauf, President of Arc’teryx, who will discuss how their business has grown both through traditional channels partnering with established retailers, and by opening it’s own bricks and mortar stores. Jon & Phil will then discuss the importance of maintaining positive working relationships with retail partners, while establishing their own direct to consumer marketplace.

Jon Hoerauf

Jon HoeraufPresident, Arc'teryx Equipment Inc

Phil Chang

Phil ChangRetail Industry Manager, HUBBA

RCC Fast Five: Case Study: Centralizing Local Data to drive more engagement and reach on-the-go customers.

This Case Study describes how a 900+ location brand centralized its local presence and increased customer engagement by over 400% reaching local customers with high intent to purchase. Attaining 100% accuracy across online directories influences Discovery searches, and ultimately drives more in-store traffic to your locations.

Brad Wing

Brad WingVice President, Partnerships & Platforms, SweetIQ

A.M. Networking Break

A.M. Concurrent Sessions

Building The Modern Fulfillment Cycle : Faster Service for Less

Consumer driven demands means that choice reigns supreme in today’s retail fulfillment cycle. Retailers are offering a variety of different fulfillment options, from fast & slow home delivery options, to click an collect, click and reserve in store, reserve in store & deliver to home etc. In order to accommodate different digital and physical consumer touchpoints, retailers must redefine their product cycle from vendor to consumer to ensure its agility for both the digital and physical worlds. In this session, Jim Hourigan, COO of Build Direct, will discuss how leveraging analytics and e-business in a seamless manner can help a retailer gain a strategic advantage, and how virtual inventory locations provide more for less. Building density in transportation network is the key to deliver not just the product but also the vision.

Jim Hourigan

Jim HouriganChief Operating Officer, BuildDirect

A.M. Concurrent Sessions

THE HACKER WAY: Building a Culture of Retail Innovation

With over 1000 apps submitted every day to iOS and Android, another 1000 new ideas and products are ready to take on Brands that we think are established players. With the small fast now eating the large slow, the level of retail disruption has shifted the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company from 67 to 15 years, and forced many industries to re-think what it means to be relevant and successful with today’s fickle consumers. Facebook’s Vik Kambli outlines the dynamics causing this disruption, and suggests ways in which a company can adopt a Hacker mentality when it comes to an organization’s culture, products, and marketing innovations.

Vik Kambli

Vik KambliRegional Head, British Columbia, Facebook

A.M. Concurrent Sessions

Keep the Wheels Turning...... How to Survive 30 Years of Retail Disruption

Reckless Bike Stores is a family owned and operated retail business that has been at the heart of their local communities for 30 years. Reckless Bike Stores has stayed relevant through it’s direct connection with the communities in which it operates, and providing a full and interactive experience for it’s customers. In this session Paul Dragon, owner of Reckless Bike Stores, will discuss how retailers of all shapes and sizes can maintain a vibrant business even during the most disruptive times.

Paul Dragan

Paul DraganOwner, Reckless Bike Stores

Lunch and Networking

P.M. Concurrent Sessions

Leveraging In-Store’s Powerful Service Advantage

Service is today’s brick and mortar retailers’ most powerful differentiator. Not even Amazon can directly compete with the compelling impact of fantastic in-store, in-person assistance. In a reality where more people purchase online, building a highly skilled and knowledgeable in-store team is one of the most powerful investments in a store’s success. In this session, Tim Dumas, Partner, Director of Sales, from JAK’s Beer, Wine & Spirits will share what it takes to put a top level in-store sales team together. From the recruiting process, through continual training and expert level product knowledge updates, Tim will provide tips on how retailers can transform their sales associates into loyalty driving service experts

Tim Dumas

Tim DumasPartner, Director of Sales, JAK's Beer, Wine & Spirits

P.M. Concurrent Sessions

The Future of the Department Store : A Consumer Perspective

Retail disruption has finally impacted where Canadian consumers traditionally shop most, the shopping mall. More specifically, traditional department stores have seen declining foot traffic, and increasing consumer demand for better value and a better experience. What does the future hold? In this session, David Ian Gray, President & Founder of DIG360 and Christian Bourque, Executive Vice President at Leger, will discuss the implications of current retail trends on the future of Department Stores, their specialty fashion competition, and Shopping Centres in Canada. They will draw from the findings of the recent DIG360-Leger study of consumer preferences & opinions of Canadian department stores.

David Ian Gray

David Ian GrayPresident & Founder, DIG360

Christian Bourque

Christian BourqueExecutive Vice President, Leger

P.M. Concurrent Sessions

The Digitization of Retail

Digitization means different things to different retailers and different departments within a retail organization. Regardless of what it means to you, it’s happening everywhere. In this session Monique Duquette, National Lead, Customer Experience and Marketing, SAS Canada will present how global brands are approaching digitization in different ways, whether that’s in Marketing, Merchandising, Assortment or the Supply Chain. She will then discuss the true impact of the digital evolution on retail today.

Monique Duquette

Monique DuquetteNational Lead, Customer Experience and Marketing, SAS Canada

P.M. Networking Break

Think Like a Start Up: How to Grow in a Disrupted Market

KPMG’s fifth annual Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind Survey reveals that 35 percent of respondents have experienced growth of 6 percent or more a year. This is great news for them. But for manufacturers and retailers across the globe to achieve comparable – or better – results, the key is understanding that growth is as much a mindset as a market condition. Julie and Sarah will discuss how companies that manage change by becoming customer centric throughout their operations can accelerate growth. They will also discuss three upcoming revolutions that companies will need to understand and embrace in order to not only survive, but succeed.

Sarah West

Sarah WestSenior Manager, Advisory Services, KPMG LLP

Julie Kothlow

Julie KothlowDirector, Advisory Services, KPMG LLP

The Digital Consumer & The Evolution of the Buy-Move-Sell Cycle

It’s no secret that the increasing role of eCommerce has changed the retail experience. The demand for speed and convenience has changed the way retailers think, and has placed bricks and mortar, and direct to consumer retail on a path to integration. How can a traditional supply chain adapt to such rapid and evolutionary change? In this session, Business Transformation and Growth Executive, Phil Arrata, from Best Buy Canada will discuss the evolution of the modern supply chain, and the impact to consumers.

Phil Arrata

Phil ArrataSenior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, Best Buy Canada Ltd.

Building for the future: Opportunities for retailers in the new retail ecosystem

Saje Natural Wellness has experienced 1017% growth in the past five years and is driving ahead with their ambitious growth plans, opening 61 new locations in North America while maintaining a robust online presence. In this session, CEO and Co-Founder Kate Ross LeBlanc will provide her perspective on the opportunities retailers must focus on in order to thrive. Saje has a philosophy of “outrageous customer service”, so investments in talent, authenticity, relationships and loyalty have been critical to achieving scalable success and staying true to their mission of spreading wellness across the globe.

Joining Kate will be Craig Patterson, editor-in-chief of Retail Insider, and Kate Furber, PwC's BC lead partner for retail and consumer. Together, they’ll provide insights into Canadian and global retail environments and the #TruthBombs entrepreneurs need to hear to build for the future.

Kate Furber

Kate FurberWestern Canada Retail & Consumer Products Leader, PwC

Kate Ross LeBlanc

Kate Ross LeBlancCEO & Co-Founder, Saje Natural Wellness

Craig Patterson

Craig PattersonPresident & CEO, Retail Insider

Closing Remarks

Networking Reception