APRIL 12, 2018

Download the 2018 Agenda

Networking Breakfast

Registration and Exhibits Open

Opening Remarks


Michael LeBlanc
Senior Retail Advisor, Retail Council of Canada

Growing a Bricks and Mortar Brand In a Digital World

In today’s digital world, the role of bricks in mortar is forever changing. Traditional bricks and mortar retailers rely heavily on digital pathways to find new customers and gain loyalty with existing ones. How can a traditional bricks and mortar retailer compete in today’s digital world? In this session, Jeff York, Co-CEO of Farm Boy sits down to discuss how this Ottawa-based fresh food chain has been able to expand in the middle of a digital evolution in retail. A great in-store experience has lead to expanded brand awareness, which has enabled Farm Boy to flourish.


Michael LeBlanc
Senior Retail Advisor, Retail Council of Canada


Jeff York
Co CEO , Farm Boy

FAST FIVE - Star Metroland Media

Transformation at Torstar


Claude Galipeau
Chief Revenue Officer, Torstar Corporation

The Truth About Today’s Consumer

What are the most pressing demands of today's consumers? Digital influence, convenience factors, frictionless execution, exceptional service and experience to name a few. The Retail Council of Canada, in collaboration with research tool WisePlum & Microsoft, published a study in December 2017, based on 5,000 consumer surveys, that took an honest and detailed look at the habits, preferences, and frustrations of Canadian Consumers when it comes to purchasing online or in-store. The resulting data provides a revealing look into the mind of today's consumer, unveiling little known truths about both the benefits and pain points faced by shoppers, regardless of the channel. In this session, retailers and industry experts come together to discuss the most relevant insights, and what they mean for retailers going forward today.


Paula Courtney
Product Founder, Wise Plum


Lisa Orpen
Vice-President of National and Multi-Market Sales , Metroland Media


Tanbir Grover
Vice President, eCommerce & Omnichannel, Lowe’s Companies Canada


Gillian Stein
Chief Executive Officer, Henry's


Voice Search in Retail: How Will it Continue to Impact Customer Experiences?

DAC Group will be sharing their insights on how voice search is impacting Canadian retailers and how to stay ahead of the curve. With the rise of mobile, voice shopping is expected to grow by over $30 billion dollars with 50% of all searches commanded by voice. (Source, Tech Crunch, March 2018).
DAC Group Canada President Mario Lemieux will delve into the four pillars of voice search: localization, user-generated content, optimization, and content curation – and how to pave the way for a positive voice search user-experience.


Mario Lemieux
President, Partner, DAC Group

A Customer First Strategy

As LCBO continues on their transformation journey, they are mapping out a new way of doing business. Their refocused strategy expands across Retail, eCommerce and Wholesale ensuring that all of the LCBO’s channels are laser focused on the customer. In this session, Joyce Gray, the LCBO’s first ever Chief Customer Officer will offer the insights she has gathered since her appointment in 2017 and her vision for the new customer-centric mindset that is driving the LCBO’s business forward.


Joyce Gray
Chief Customer Officer, LCBO

Networking Break


Town Hall Meeting: Print Flyers – Reality Check

To build consumer readership and optimize their media mix, retailers must confront a difficult puzzle to properly integrate print flyers with digital media. This effort usually includes a combination of data analysis, merchandizing leadership advice and gut-feel, to build their media advertising programs.

In this session you will hear how retailers make decisions, what tools they use, and what role the print flyer plays in shaping their media advertising program. We’ll also explore what the next 18 months of the print flyer program looks like and how marketers are going to get the most out of print flyers.


Michael LeBlanc
Senior Retail Advisor, Retail Council of Canada


Darryl Martin
Marketing, Leon's Furniture Ltd.


Karen Sterling
Vice president, Marketing, Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.


David Lui
Vice President, Marketing, Mark's


Is Facebook Dead for Retailers?

Facebook completely changed the social media game for retailers in January 2018 with a major update to their algorithm. As part of this update, the company explicitly stated that brands can expect to see a decline in their ability to reach people via their Facebook business page. Given this, and the many other changes Facebook has made, it leads to a logical question: should retailers continue to invest valuable time and resources in Facebook? During this lively and interactive session, we will answer this important question and share best practices based on our experience with more than 400 brands in 20 countries. You can expect to walk away with a thorough understanding of how the Facebook algorithm works and how your company can best adapt to the platform's recent changes to drive real-world sales.


Steve Buors
CEO and Co-Founder, Reshift Media


Leveraging Analytics in Retail Marketing: Barriers & Opportunities

The retail industry is facing big challenges, driven by changing customer expectations, shopping journeys and preferences, increasing competition, store closures, rapid technological changes and the Amazon effect. In order to compete, Canadian retailers require a fundamental transformation in how they are utilizing information & analytics to grow their business. From uncovering hidden consumer insights, to discovering new opportunities, to improving the end-to-end customer experience, the potential value of leveraging advanced analytics is undeniable. But this value does not come without a cost. This fireside chat will discuss barriers to leveraging analytics in retail marketing and highlight opportunities and strategies to overcome them.


Philippe Darvasi
Solution Specialist - Customer Intelligence, SAS Canada


Danielle Maughn
Director, SAS Solutions Consulting, 89 Degrees


Lunch and Learn Session

Driving Growth and Sales One Store at a Time

In today’s fast-paced retail world, almost everyone has ditched traditional media and jumped on the bandwagon of e-commerce and social media. In turn, the malls have slowly begun to decrease in consumer attendance, becoming more and more difficult to draw customers back to the beautifully decorated and well-lit stores.

In this session, Maroun Hannoush will explore new mobile acquisition and messaging strategies that have helped retailers to expand their contact databases (100X), and with this rich data drive traffic to brick-and-mortar locations, and online channels. How is it possible that Raange is successfully bringing customers back to brick-and-mortar while everyone is moving their business models to e-commerce and online? It starts with capturing purposeful data.

Learn what you can do to drive more traffic and sales to your brick-and-mortar stores, and online channels without expensive IT infrastructure investments, and no change requirements to your POS. The power of organic growth rests in your hands.


Maroun Hannoush
Chief Commercial Officer, Raange


Building a Transactional Ecosystem Around Branded Content

Learn how brands and retailers are tapping into shifting consumer expectations by embracing the next wave of disruption, innovation and game changing technology. Branded content connects and with target consumers and helps to build a community of loyal brand advocates. This conversation will take a deep dive into Walmart and Interac’s partnership in bringing a branded series to life, Upstairs Amy, managed to merge the digital and physical touchpoints of today retail world to connect with the millennial shopper.


Jennifer Stein
Senior Vice President, Integrated Communications, APEX Public Relations


Heather Cameron
Sr. Director of Marketing Communications, Walmart Canada


Andrea Danovitch
AVP, Marketing and Brand, Interac Corp.


The Truth About Quebec Consumers

When expanding across Canada, even the most successful retailers ultimately end up asking themselves the same question. How can we translate our brand experience to identify with the unique qualities of Quebec Consumers? Language is only part of the issue, cultural differences, different tastes, preferences and expectations are all part of the complex Quebec equation. In this session, Christian Bourque, Executive Vice-President of Leger will discuss how to crack the quebec code. Christian will provide insights on how to appeal to the Quebec consumer, and turn a retailer’s fries into Poutine.


Christian Bourque
Executive Vice President and Senior Partner, Leger


The Advantage of Advanced Analytics and AI

With the exponential growth of digital commerce, many retailers were forced to “go global” overnight. At the same time, the Canadian retail landscape has polarized with the growth of the discount and luxury segments. To survive, brands must create a unique experience by leveraging advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. In this session Jennifer Lee, Partner, National Retail Leader and Consumer Analytics Leader will review Deloitte’s Omnichannel Customer Experience Index of 200 retailers in 14 categories. Jennifer will highlight best practices for implementing an omnichannel strategy, and what Canadian retail marketers should invest in to compete against formidable international competition.


Jennifer Lee
Partner, National Retail Leader and Consumer Analytics Practice Leader, Deloitte

Networking Break

2018 Retail Marketing Innovation Achievement Award

As part of the 2018 RCC Retail Marketing Conference, we host a Retail Marketing Innovation Achievement award. This award is given to a retailer who has demonstrated in the past year (2016 until now) an innovated, in-market program, product or service that has had measurable success and moved their organization forward. The innovation can be attributed to either internal or external progress.

Presented By :


Darrell Cook
Vice President, Retail Strategy, GeoMedia


Hope Bagozzi
Senior Director, Marketing, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada


How Mobile Payments Can Connect Canadian Retailers with New Customers

China is at the fore-front of commerce. With over 300 million new families joining the middle-class per year, it is vital that Canadian retailers seize the opportunity set before them in the year of Canada-China tourism. In offering familiarity to them, retailers will undoubtedly find themselves attracting the world’s largest pool of new consumers whilst offering a welcoming gateway to appreciating the Canadian lifestyle, and the quality products Canada has to offer to the world. OTT Pay Inc. is helping to bridge Chinese consumers to Canadian retailers.


William Lam
Chief Commercial Officer, OTT Pay Inc.

New Technologies That are Transforming Consumer Engagement

Roots Canada’s mission is to make shopping at Roots an exciting, convenient and seamless experience for their customers. In this session, James Connell, Vice President eCommerce & Marketing will demonstrate how Roots is using emerging technologies to meld the digital and physical worlds to reinvent how it connects with consumers and provide a shopping experience that is personalized and frictionless.


James Connell
Vice President, Ecommerce and Marketing, Roots Canada

Brand is the New Black

How Storytelling Wins Share in the Digital Age

Stories are how we remember things. Features, benefits and pricing are being commoditized in the digital marketplace. This makes it very difficult for retail brands to stand out and break through against both local and global competitors. See how great retail brands are winning share through great brand storytelling. You will learn how to build your own brand story by leveraging digital, print, social and other existing assets to turn browsers into customers and customers into passionate ambassadors. Using classical story telling structure, master storyteller and brand architect Howard Chang, CEO of Top Drawer Creative, will take you on a fun and engaging journey on how to use story to differentiate your brand through a deeper connection with the customer.


Howard Chang
CEO, Top Drawer Creative Inc.


Eva Salem
Vice President, Marketing, Canadian Tire Retail

Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World

Since the release of Doug Stephens’ first best-selling book The Retail Revival, change in the global retail sector has accelerated beyond even the boldest forecasts. As predicted, online giants like Amazon and Alibaba.com are growing at a dizzying pace. Hundreds of well-known brick and mortar retailers have closed their doors, and brands and retailers across categories are struggling to understand the shifting needs and expectations of a new consumer. Stephens will show you that this is only the beginning. From online to bricks and mortar, the very concept of what stores are, how consumers shop them, and even the core economic model for revenue will be profoundly reinvented. Changes are sure to affect not only retailers large and small but any business with a stake in the global retail industry. Drawing on research from his new book, Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World, Stephens will share actionable strategies that will separate the winners and losers in the market and show you what smart brands and retailers are doing today to secure their place in the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s consumer.


Doug Stephens
Founder & President, Retail Prophet

Retailer Networking Event