Monday, May 28th, 2018


1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

STORE 2018 Exclusive Retail Store Tour

Experience first hand the reality of a vibrant retail sector in one of the world's premier retail cities! Canada has become a top global destination for international retailers of all sizes, and Toronto has become the launching point for many brands into the Canadian market. Exclusive and free for all retailers who have registered for STORE 2018 , spend the afternoon with your peers on a guided, in-person tour of unique retail concept stores, then relax and network over a beverage and compare notes and observations.

Your tour will be directed and produced by Michael LeBlanc of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and a Senior Retail Advisor with Retail Council of Canada. A veteran retailer, Michael has hosted several store tours for RCC in New York and looks forward to sharing retail right in his own back yard.

NOTE : Free for retailers who have registered for STORE 2018. Limited seating available!

Click here to sign up for the tour


Michael LeBlancFounder & PrincipalM.E. LeBlanc & Company


Craig PettersonPresident & CEORetail Insider

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Pre-Event Badge Pickup

For those attendees arriving early, onsite registration will be open in the Toronto Congress Centre North Hall foyer from 4:00 - 7:00pm EST on May 28th.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Day One

7:30 am - 8:20 am

Breakfast and Networking Hall Open

8:15 am - 8:25 am

Conference Opening and Welcome Remarks


Diane J. BriseboisPresident and CEORetail Council of Canada


Kevin GraffPresidentGraff Retail

8:25 am - 8:55 am

The Consumer of the Future

Technology has had a monumental impact on consumer demand. The customer experience must be smarter, faster, and more personal than ever. Consumers continue to rely on technology to improve their purchasing experience and retailers need to provide a seamless blend of digital and physical commerce to succeed. By embracing technology and getting ahead of the innovation curve, retailers are able to better serve the evolved consumer.

In this session retail technology expert and Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology Deborah Weinswig sits down with retail visionary & COO of Shopify, Harley Finkelstein to gain insights on the consumer of the future, and the role technology plays.


Harley FinkelsteinChief Operating OfficerShopify


Deborah WeinswigManaging DirectorFung Global

8:55 am - 9:35 am

Leadership in Retail Today

It’s no secret that the world of retail has changed. It also seems like the rest of the world has changed along with it. Positive shifts in culture, technology & innovation have created the need for a new kind of retail leader. How can leaders inspire their teams to drive innovation, thrive in a constantly changing retail world, while maintaining a positive and productive workplace? In this session, retail leaders come together to talk about why retail is changing, and how leadership needs to change along with it. These leaders will review changing consumer demands, changing technology, changing competition as well as cultural changes which are all impacting retail today.


Cathy HotkaPrincipalCathy Hotka and Associates


Beth Newlands CampbellPresidentRexall Pharmacy Group


Terry YanofskySenior Vice President & General Manager, CanadaSephora

9:35 am - 9:40 am

FAST FIVE: Finding trucking capacity tight? Take a look at Intermodal now

What services does intermodal typically include and why should you consider it? Can Intermodal relieve the pressure from this year’s tight trucking capacity? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, this 5-minute talk is for you.


Andrew FullerAVP, Domestic IntermodalCN Rail

9:40 am - 10:10 am

Moving Beyond the Speed of your Customer

Today’s consumer is more curious, demanding, and impatient than ever. Armed with mobile as her anywhere assistant she’s research obsessed and will choose brands that deliver personalized offerings tailored to her specific needs at just the right time - at home, on the go and in the store. Her expectations are simple: seamless, frictionless experiences wherever & whenever she chooses to shop.

Retailers must harness their unique assets - their brand, stores, assortments and data to be differentiated and discoverable everywhere consumers are. This capability is available today and even the most traditional retailers can take advantage. In this session, Eric Morris from Google Canada will review strategies and best practices so retailers can take a quantum leap ahead of the pace of their consumers.


Eric MorrisDirector of Retail & ServicesGoogle Canada

10:10 am - 10:40 am

The ROI of Experiential Retail

It’s no secret, today’s consumer demands more than just great products, they want a great experience from beginning to end. To meet this demand, leading retailers are creating new physical environments that enable consumers to experience their products in more immersive and memorable ways. But, a great experience can be a significant investment. How can a retailer commit to an exceptional experience both in it’s stores and online, and still remain profitable? In this session Myles Gooding, Partner at PwC sits down with Drew Green, CEO of INDOCHINO to explore their unique experiential approach to retail, and how a retailer can achieve both expansive growth, and a profitable EBITDA while investing in experience.


Myles GoodingPartnerPwC Canada


Drew GreenPresident & CEOINDOCHINO

10:40 am - 10:45 am

FAST FIVE - The Sound of Success: How Voice Search is Revolutionizing Retail Experience

DAC Group is a leading performance marketing agency specializing in the localization of campaigns, content, and calls to action and uses strategic insight, performance marketing, proprietary technology and digital strategy to drive business results. DAC Group will be sharing 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). Is your brand ready to capitalize on this huge shift in customer expectation and experience?


Mario LemieuxPresident, PartnerDAC Group

10:45 am - 11:15 am

Networking Break

11:15 am - 11:55 am

AM CONCURRENT SESSION - Bricks & Mortar Retail

Invisible, Humanless and Cashless Check-Outs, The Next Generation of Frictionless Retail

Today’s connected customer demands an amazing in-store experience. A beautiful store, amazing assortment, integrated digital displays, and friendly service is part of the equeation. However, the last thing a customer will remember is what happens after products are selected. New mobile payment technologies are making check-outs faster and more convenient. But, how can a retailer justify this investment? And will consumers be willing to leave all of their transactions in the cloud? In this session payment experts gather to discuss the benefits and challenges of invisible payment, and what retailers should consider.


Justin FurabeeCOOPayments Canada


Cathy VigrassHead of CanadaSquare


Chris TygheVice President, Strategic DevelopmentIngenico Group


Debbie GambleVice President, Digital Products and PlatformsInterac
Bricks & Mortar Retail

11:15 am - 11:55 am

AM CONCURRENT SESSION - Customer Engagement

The Secrets of “Click-and-Mortar” Retail Success

How are small and mid-sized specialty retailers winning share against online giants and big box competitors? Three of Canada’s top specialty retailers pull back the curtain on winning strategies they’ve developed to gain share and drive in-store sales using digital assets like ecommerce and CRM.


Howard ChangCEOTop Drawer Creative
Customer Engagement

11:15 am - 11:55 am


Don't Fear Customer Returns

Customer returns - and the cost associated with them – are are a major pain point. Being able to offset loss, both pre and post-purchase is key in today’s competitive retail environment. This panel of experts will share their strategies and industry best practices including: how to update and communicate your customer returns policies to reduce the flow of goods, how to improve the efficiency of your reverse logistics process, and how technology is being leveraged to deliver higher pricing for merchandise slated for liquidation.


Eric MoriartyVice PresidentB-Stock Solutions


Dave MackVice President of Omni-Channel RetailSCI


Craig JonesVice President of Supply-ChainALDO Group

11:15 am - 11:55 am

AM CONCURRENT SESSION - Digital Commerce & Big Data

AI and the Future of Personalized Retail Marketing

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a reality today. Leading organizations are using AI to increase sales, find operational efficiencies and deliver better customer experiences. What is your AI strategy and are you ready?

Digital Commerce & Big Data

11:50 am - 1:20 pm

Lunch and Networking

12:40 pm - 1:00 pm


Leveraging Mobile Location Analytics to Create a Dynamic, Personalized In-store Experience

Ecommerce today knows where a customer came from, how long they stay, what they buy and where they go next — and react to this dynamic data in real time. Brick-and-mortar venues can level the playing field by leveraging mobile location analytics to create a dynamic, personalized in-store experience and use predictive analytics to align staffing with key traffic cycles to better serve their shoppers. During this talk, Ben Reynolds, Vice President of Business Development for retail marketing technology company STRATACACHE, will explain how retailers can curate in-store content and message customers in real time based on in-store behavior. And, further, retailers can know when their most valued customers have entered the store and identify frequent/repeat shoppers who are showing intent - allowing them to create a higher level, concierge type service.


Ben ReynoldsVice President, Business DevelopmentSTRATACASHE

1:20 pm - 2:00 pm

PM CONCURRENT SESSION - Digital Commerce & Big Data

Artificial Intelligence for Retailers


Agustin NguyenNational Retail Lead – Analytics Solutions SpecialistSAS Canada
Digital Commerce & Big Data

1:20 pm - 2:00 pm


The Secret Sauce: How Retailers Are Achieving Supply Chain Efficiency

Survival has been anything but easy in today’s ever- changing retail environment. With record store closures and razor-thin margins, more and more retailers are filing for bankruptcy, yet simultaneously there are just as many retailers that are entering the Canadian retail scene or increasing their footprint. What is their secret sauce? Come and hear retail supply chain leaders share their tricks of the trade as they take us through what worked and what did not as they set up shop in Canada or expanded across the country. Experts will explore how they have achieved supply chain success, and managed to grow in today’s frenzied Canadian retail climate.


Shauna McMillanMarketing Director, Domestic Intermodal GroupCN Rail

1:20 pm - 2:00 pm

PM CONCURRENT SESSION - Bricks & Mortar Retail

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. In order 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, Nancy Krattli, Vice President of Client Management for Merchant Services at American Express Canada, shares new Canadian retail data insights on the adoption of current payment technologies among retailers - from contactless and mobile payments to online purchases and new emerging technologies like voice activation – and explores what to prioritize in order to deliver the customer experience of tomorrow.


Nancy KrattliVice President, Merchant ServicesAmerican Express
Bricks & Mortar Retail

1:20 pm - 2:00 pm

PM CONCURRENT SESSION - Customer Engagement

Drive sales, not Impressions: How to use Digital Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Store

Traditionally, digital marketing campaigns have been set up to drive “activity” metrics like impressions and clicks and click-through-rates, instead of doing what they are supposed to –drive sales! In this session, Reshift Media will provide insights from working with 400 brands in more than 20 countries, providing localized tools that drive foot traffic to stores. Reshift will also chat with executives from M&M Food Market and discuss an innovative social media strategy that was implemented across 360+ locations. This new location based campaign drove both web and store traffic, generating measureable sales and increased store visits.


Steve BuorsCEO and Co-FounderReshift Media


Patrick CadieuxMarketing DirectorM & M Food Market


Derek WeidlDigital Marketing StrategistM & M Food Market
Customer Engagement

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Networking Break

2:30 pm - 2:35 pm

FAST FIVE - The Evolution of Retail

A first look at the 2018 American Express Retail Insights report reveals how retailers are focusing on digital to stand out from the competition.

To meet today’s evolving consumer expectations, retailers are focused on strengthening their digital offerings to create memorable and seamless experiences at every touchpoint. Join Kerri-Ann Santaguida, Vice President & General Manager, Merchant Services, American Express Canada for a look at the innovations poised to disrupt Canadian retail through a discussion of the results of the 2018 American Express Retail Insights report. Hear how retailers are leveraging emerging technologies to create the ultimate brand experience and stand out from the competition.


Kerri-Ann SantaguidaVice President and General Manager, Merchant Services Canada American Express

2:35 pm - 3:05 pm

Bridging the Belonging Deficit: An Untapped Opportunity for Retailers

The digitization of retail has been underway for more than a decade. However, within the last year the pace of change has quickened with the growing influence and adoption of mobile, IOT, AR, VR and voice. Consumer expectations continue to rise for smart, seamless and elegant experiences across channels. However, despite all this digital connectivity and sophistication, consumers feel increasingly disconnected, anxious and isolated. How can retailers use their brands, physical assets, and digital experiences to address this belonging deficit to become more relevant and valuable to consumers? In this session, Kelly Mooney, IBM’s first ever Chief Experience Officer will reveal recent global research on the power of cultivating Brand Belonging to drive growth and will guide the audience through a journey of best practice for designing innovative experiences that impact retail today and in the future. Retailers will learn what to consider as they continue to modernize and improve the experience for their customers.


Kelly MooneyChief Experience OfficerIBM iX North America

3:05 pm - 3:40 pm

The New Retail Reality

Since the beginnings of retail, brands and retailers have worked together in a cohesive environment. Manufacturers worked hard to make great products & develop their brand, and retailers build a network of stores to sell those products to consumers. Today, selling through digital and physical channels is a diverse and blended environment, and has changed the brand / retailer relationship. Brands no longer rely solely on partnering with retailers to connect with customers. Digital marketplaces are immediate selling platforms. It’s easier than ever to be up and running with an eCommerce site and sell directly to customers. Building physical stores can be done more intelligently than ever, and can enhance a brand experience as well as provide additional sales . In this new diverse and digital world, how do brands and retailers continue to work together? In this session, leaders from top brands sit down together to discuss and debate the future of brand retailer partnerships.


Kevin GraffPresidentGraff Retail


Wendy BennisonChief Executive OfficerSAXX Underwear


Michael RossiPresidentAdidas Canada


Patricia HeathVice President, Retail ExperienceSamsung

3:40 pm - 4:25 pm

Closing Keynote : Retail Reinvention

Set in a 2000 square foot store located in Manhattan’s 10th Ave. retail corridor, STORY is a retail concept that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. That means every four to eight weeks, STORY completely reinvents itself -from the design to the merchandise – with the goal of bringing to light a new theme, trend or issue. This provakative retail concept is the brainchild of 4th generation entrepreneur Rachel Schectman. STORY has drawn rave reviews from industry experts, and is widely regarded as one of the most original retail concepts in a generation. In this session, Rachel will share her story, and provide insights on what retail means to today’s consumer.


Rachel SchectmanFounder & CEOSTORY

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Networking Reception - STORE Conference and Excellence in Retailing Awards

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala

Retail Council of Canada takes pride in honoring the very best in retail innovation and creativity at the Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala. Every year these awards bring together the top talent in the Canadian Retail industry to recognize the years most innovative retailers in a variety of categories.


Ben MulroneyCo-HostCTV's Your Morning and eTalk

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Day Two

7:30 am - 8:30 am

Breakfast and Networking Hall Open

7:30 am - 8:30 am

Retail as a Career Scholarship Winners Breakfast

8:20 am - 8:30 am

Welcome Remarks


Kevin GraffPresidentGraff Retail

8:30 am - 9:00 am

The Future of Commerce in a Connected World

Alibaba is synonymous with eCommerce in China and beyond. But few understand how dramatically the company is altering the physical retail environment in China with its digital expertise. Join Lee McCabe, VP of North America at Alibaba Group, as he discusses the growth of digital marketplaces, the future of retail and Alibaba’s leading role in the convergence of online and offline commerce.


Lee McCabeVice President of North AmericaAlibaba Group

9:00 am - 9:30 am

Facebook IQ: 5 Ways Mobile Is Shaping Tomorrow's Consumers

As our world becomes more connected, mobile is increasingly people's primary—if not sole—means of getting online. What does this mean for retailers? In this session, Ann Mack, Director of Facebook IQ will highlight shifting behaviors and expectations today that can help you define success tomorrow. Looking across culture, communication, commerce, connectivity and community, you'll gain the insights to stay ahead of the innovation curve and connect with consumers on the device that matters most.


Ann MackDirector of Insights & MarketingFacebook

9:30 am - 10:00 am

When Tradition Meets Disruption

Purdy’s Chocolatier started as a single chocolate shop in downtown Vancouver, it’s first store opening in 1907. Since then, this family run business has survived depressions, world wars, and has steadily grown along with the retail industry in Canada. But, how does this traditional family run business keep pace with the connected & demanding modern consumer? In this session, host Nicole Leinbach Reyhle will sit down with Chief Connoisseur Karen Flavelle to discuss Purdy’s digital future. Retail, Business Gifts, FR,, an ommi experience approach and meaningful connections with customers are part of Purdy’s continued model of success in today’s digital world.


Nicole Leinbach


Karen FlavelleCEOPurdys Chocolatier

10:00 am - 10:30 am

Future Proofing your Business with Advanced Analytics

Recent retail market shocks have rocked the industry. The consumer’s path to purchase continues to reinforce the deeply discount and premium retail market polarization. Data has quickly become an asset for organizations as they focus on re-inventing the customer experience and being relevant to their most valuable consumers. The question is how do retail leaders take ahold of this opportunity and bring thought leadership to their organizations? Jennifer Lee, National Retail & Consumer Analytics Leader, will share thoughtful advice on how organizations can integrate and embed analytics into their organization’s DNA with a playbook for retail executives, and a framework to become an Insight Driven Organization (IDO).


Jennifer LeePartner, National Retail Leader and Consumer Analytics Practice LeaderDeloitte LLP

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Networking Break

11:00 am - 11:40 am

AM CONCURRENT SESSION - Bricks & Mortar Retail

Retail and the Consumer Experience – How do you keep up?

RIS News recently reported that 100% of retailers surveyed are currently engaged in a “major digital transformation game plan.” That’s because the very definition of a retailer is evolving. Consumers demand cohesive anytime, anywhere shopping. With the dizzying array of new technology, and emerging competitors, it’s crucial for retailers to reimagine and strategically digitize their enterprise. This session will uncover how industry-leading retailers are winning in spite of today’s challenges. Where are they removing friction? How are they delivering a buy-anywhere-fulfill-anywhere ecosystem that increases “stickiness” for their brands? What are they doing to pave the path for the future – even if much is yet unknown? We’ll explore these questions and more during this interactive session.


Dave RodgersonRetail Industry LeadMicrosoft


Dusty LutzVice President & General Manager, Store Transformation SolutionsNCR
Bricks & Mortar Retail

11:00 am - 11:40 am

AM CONCURRENT SESSION - Customer Engagement

Decoding the Quebec Consumer

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 BourqueExecutive Vice President and Senior PartnerLeger
Customer Engagement

11:00 am - 11:40 am

AM CONCURRENT SESSION - Digital Commerce & Big Data

Predicting Consumer Behavior: Machine Learning Meets Customer Lifetime Value

As retailers strive to make more and better use of customer-level data, they are starting to rely on emerging methods like machine learning, combining them with established methods like customer lifetime value. While both approaches are valuable, there is confusion about when and how to use each one. Using real-world examples, this presentation will lay out a vision for the most effective way brands and retailers can integrate these techniques to make the best data-driven decisions.


Peter FaderProfessor of MarketingThe Wharton School
Digital Commerce & Big Data

11:00 am - 11:40 am


Impact of Last Mile Disruption on the Modern Supply Chain

As the saying goes, its often the last mile that can make or break you. It is surely among retailers greatest challenges yet has the potential for creating the most gain. Is its success simply a matter of overall scale, volume or population density? How much more complicated does it become when dealing with perishables or low margin goods? Which approachs show the most promise to date?

Join Dr. Saibal Ray world renowned supply chain expert and academic director for the new McGill University Bensadoun Retail School of Management and Carl.Boutet Chief Retail Strategist at StudioRx as they present the latest findings in the fascinating field and share some updates from this exciting new world class retail management school.


Carl BoutetRetail StrategistStudio Rx


Saibal RayAcademic Director & ProfessorBensadoun School of Retail Management, McGill University

11:40 am - 1:00 pm

Lunch and Networking

12:00 pm - 12:20 pm


GDPR & Data compliance as a competitive advantage

New legislations both European & Canadian are increasing every business leaders role in good data governance. Compliance will not only make good economic sense but will also increase companies understanding of all the data points they can leverage. Join Stacey Shulman, Intel's Chief Innovation Officer for Retail & IoT and Carl Boutet Chief Retail Strategist at StudioRx as they discuss this hot topic and it's impacts on your business.


Carl BoutetRetail StrategistStudio Rx


Stacey ShulmanChief Innovation Officer, IoT/Retail Solutions DivisionIntel
Digital Commerce & Big Data

1:00 pm - 1:05 pm

FAST FIVE - Metroland

1:05 pm - 1:50 pm

Transformation for Today's Consumer

Over the past 3 plus years, Canada’s largest frozen food specialty chain, M&M Meat Shops, has transformed into the new M&M Food Market. The mission is spelled out in their new brand promise: Helping Canadians Make Real Food for Real Life. A complete re-imagination, both in-store and online has focused on convenience, quality, and a brand new customer experience. And now, M&M Food Market is the only national retailer with absolutely no artificial colours, flavours, or sweeteners in 100% of their products sold across Canada. The results have connected M&M Food Market with a new demographic of customers. In this session, M&M Food Market CEO, Andy O’Brien, will talk about the challenges and opportunities of taking a legacy brand and transforming it for the modern consumer.


Willy KruhPartner, Global Chair Consumer & Retail, KPMGKPMG


Andy O'BrienCEOM & M Food Market

1:50 pm - 2:30 pm

eCommerce Grocery Disruption - A Wake-up Call For Retail

The Grocery industry in Canada is one of the most dynamic, competitive sectors in global retail - often a proving ground for customer strategies and technologies for all retail formats. But in one particular area - eCommerce - with the exception of a few pioneers - grocery has been a "late-adopter".

No more, as the race to win the digital and eCommerce space is on! Whether delivered to the home, picked up in-store, through alternative pick up locations/delivery methods/partnerships or evolving models such as pre-prepared meal kits is probably the most talked about areas and passionate digital plays in Canadian retail. Grocery and fresh products are key for many to winning the consumer, yet mastering eCommerce and omni-channel in this space is perhaps the most challenging in the retail industry.

Hear first hand from these savvy retailers who are leading the eCommerce grocery industry in Canada and learn lessons for all retail as they discuss the challenges and opportunities of understanding customers, delivering shopping satisfaction, finding partners, the complexities of fresh home delivery/in-store pickup all while returning results to the business.


Paula CourtneyProduct FounderWisePlum


Jamie SheaCo-Founder & CEOChef's Plate


Daryl PorterVice President, Omni-Channel Operations (Online Grocery)Walmart Canada


Peter Van

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

Food For Thought: The Grocery Store of the Future, and What It Means for Retail  

In his ground-breaking book, The Retail Revival, Retail Prophet Founder Doug Stephens accurately projected the death of traditional forms of retail, and the simultaneous birth of a new age of consumerism.  Today, seismic change continues to reverberate across all categories of goods and services, shaking the retail landscape to its core. And perhaps nowhere will this disruption hit harder than in the grocery category.

Drawing on research from his latest best-selling book, Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World, Stephens lays out a vision of the grocery store of tomorrow - a store that will be virtually unrecognizable from today’s incumbents. This fast-paced and interactive session is essential viewing for every retailer, regardless of the goods they sell. 


Doug StephensFounder & PresidentRetail Prophet

3:15 pm

Conference Closing Remarks


Diane J. BriseboisPresident and CEORetail Council of Canada

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Grand Prix New Product Awards Cocktail Reception

5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards Gala

Now in its 24th year, the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards™ is an annual program that celebrates new products in 32 food, non-food and private-label categories. This awards program provides a unique opportunity for entrants to showcase their new products to a jury of industry experts and to be recognized by their peers.

The Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards™ encourage new product development and innovation – which are vital to the continued growth of Canada’s consumer products industry.