Our 2023 Agenda had main stage and concurrent sessions exploring retail’s most relevant topics. 

Full Agenda
May 29, 2023
May 30, 2023
May 31, 2023

May 29, 2023

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM EST

Cocktail 5 à 7 Québec

Pour la première fois dans le cadre de L’événement STORE, le CCCD organise le Cinq à Sept, un cocktail de réseautage destiné exclusivement aux membres du Québec. Il s’agit d’une introduction exclusive à cette conférence qui permettra de vivre l’expérience STORE en compagnie de visages familiers. Gratuit pour les membres détaillants, ce cocktail offre de très intéressantes occasions de commandites et de partenariats à nos membres fournisseurs.

New this year at RCC STORE 23 delegates from Quebec or who operate in Quebec are invited to join us for a private cocktail reception. RCC/CCCD Retail Members are invited to this exclusive event that will allow you to enjoy the STORE conference among familiar faces.

May 30, 2023

7:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST
Registration Open
7:30 AM - 5:30 PM EST
Exhibit Floor Opens
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM EST
Networking Breakfast
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM EST
Welcoming Remarks
8:45 AM - 9:15 AM EST

Retail’s Economic Outlook – Facts to Balance Fears and Fuel Opportunities

Andrew Grantham

Executive Director and Senior Economist


Retailers have had to make immense changes, at incredible speed, to their business practices and operations as a result of exceptional economic pressures and uncertainties. In an environment of contradicting narratives, having a fact-based, Canadian, economic framework on which to consider what we know will impact Canadian retail and what we also need to be watchful on will help every retailer both better navigate around the potential pitfalls and push toward the opportunities ahead.

9:30 AM - 10:10 AM EST

Recapturing the Art of Retail in an Era of Technology-driven Innovation

Doug Stephens


Retail Prophet

Technology has undeniably changed how we shop – but has it changed why we buy? How have consumers’ needs for novelty, connection, escape, and magic been satisfied? And is there more they need? World-renowned retail futurist Doug Stephens, explores how the world’s most inspiring retailers are delighting customers through sensory experience differentiation – the art of retail – in a world where hyper-technologized consumerism is ubiquitous. Re-discover how design, creativity, and content are once-again breathing magic into retail – and driving bottom-line profitability.

10:10 AM - 10:15 AM EST

Have Retailers Bridged the Gap with Gen Z?

Kerri-Ann Santaguida

Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Services

American Express Canada

Fast Five Sponsor Highlight

Together with Millennials, Gen Z wields unparalleled influence on the future of retail, driving digital payment trends that continue to reshape the industry. Amex Canada shares the latest update and comparison to their 2019 study to explore the impact of the last four years on the mindset of Gen-Z shoppers and the rapid changes within the retail landscape. Join Kerri-Ann Santaguida, Vice President and General Manager, Merchant Services Canada, American Express, for a look at the expectations and preferences among this increasingly powerful consumer audience and the opportunities for retailers to win with them.

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM EST

Leveraging Changing Discretionary Spending Patterns for Profitable Growth

Tamara Szames

Executive Director, Industry Advisor, Canada Retail


The pandemic, hybrid workplaces, immigration, and inflation have triggered staggering global changes in consumer behaviors and buying habits which have redefined how consumers spend their discretionary dollars. Circana, a leading international market information company, will provide a “real time” snapshot on how these issues are impacting consumers’ buying behaviors in Canada, and will explore the opportunities, based on this data, that retailers should consider to capture discretionary spending trends over the next 6 months.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM EST
Networking Break
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM EST
Retail in Focus: Morning Concurrent Sessions
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM EST

Improving Customer Experience in Luxury Retail

What Labour Shortage? A Shopper’s Perspective.

Building an Agile Retail Strategy for the Future

The Future of Shopping Centres & Real Estate

12:15 PM - 1:45 PM EST
Networking Lunch
12:30 PM - 1:20 PM EST
Lunch and Learn
12:30 PM - 12:50 PM EST

Canadian Consumer Behaviour Insights

1:00 PM - 1:20 PM EST

Retailing in the Era of Tik Tok

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM EST
Retail in Focus: Afternoon Concurrent Sessions
1:45 PM - 2:30 PM EST

Drive Costs Down and Loyalty Up

Enhancing Customer Experience Through Design

The Impact of Exclusion at the Top

The Right Size at The Right Store: Better Customer Experiences at ALDO Group

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM EST
Networking Break - Sponsored by RLG
3:15 PM - 3:45 PM EST

Innovation & Intention is Shaping Consumer Commerce

Kostya Polyakov

National Industry Leader for Consumer and Retail Practice

KPMG Canada

Kostya Polyakov, National Industry Leader for Consumer & Retail with KPMG Canada, will explore how retailers are leveraging data for customer analytics, market entry, and predictive demand planning, while balancing the concepts for growth and resiliency. Gain insights on how planet-focused initiatives such as sustainable materials, reduced waste, and carbon-neutral production are influencing global supply chain trends.

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM EST

SEO has Changed. Have your Strategies?

Jenna Watson

SVP Digital Media


The increasingly diverse ways in which consumers seek information have also evolved the best ways to keep your company at the top of search engine results. Unfortunately, most organizations are still working with the “old rules” of SEO. DAC’s Jenna Watson, Senior Vice President, Digital Media, will help you identify the top 3 SEO practices that are no longer effective and why retailers must look at new approaches get to the top.

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST

Hearable, Feelable, Wearable: Revolutionary Technology that will Connect the Future Workforce

David Shing

Digital Prophet

In an era where digital interfaces are increasingly being used to help humanize interactions and where people are at the same time yearning for deeper, genuine, connections, how can employers embrace hearable, feelable and wearable technology – powered by data, intelligence, sensors and more – to help people in the workplace to relate to one another? Shingy, the Digital Prophet, will enthrall with his digital forecast that looks at how new technologies will impact the employee experience in the blended physical and virtual work world – that will continue to stretch the definition of “hybrid”- and shares what trends retailers might consider to renew and elevate these work relationships.

4:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST
Closing Remarks
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM EST
ERA Networking Reception
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM EST
Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala Dinner

May 31, 2023

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM EST
Registration Open
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM EST
Scholarship Breakfast - Sponsored by JRoss Retail Recruiters
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM EST
Networking Breakfast
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM EST
Welcoming Remarks
9:15 AM - 9:55 AM EST

Contemporary Leadership to Empower a Changing World

Afdhel Aziz

Founder and Chief Purpose Officer

Conspiracy of Love

Purpose is quickly becoming the intangible but incredibly powerful driver motivating today’s most successful CEO’s and companies. In this session, Afdhel Aziz, Chief Purpose Officer with Conspiracy of Love, and author of Good is the New Cool: The Principles of Purpose, shares how leaders can identify their authentic, personal “north star” and empower their teams to action a shared purpose. Learn how you and your organization can be a part of this tectonic leadership shift that is not just changing people and businesses but also creating meaningful, world-wide transformation.

9:55 AM - 10:00 AM EST

The State of Canadian Payments Report 2023

Marilu Gaudio


Chase Payment Solutions Canada

Fast Five Sponsor Highlight

To help small business owners better understand the shifting Canadian payments landscape, join Marilu Gaudio as she unveils our first annual State of Canadian Payments report. We hope this report will equip business owners with the knowledge and data needed to choose payment solutions that can help them prosper in 2023 and beyond.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM EST

The Power of Retail Media Networks

Changes in technology and consumer media habits have enabled retailers to consider new data-driven media businesses that have the potential to generate incremental, high-margin revenue. First-party data is an increasing priority for retailers looking to leverage customer relationships, online and store traffic plus loyalty data to close the loop for their media partners. Loblaw Media’s Alfredo Tan discusses Retail Media Networks and what it takes to be successful, what clients are looking for, and the opportunity ahead for the industry to work together for strong client experiences.

Alfredo Tan

SVP and Managing Director

Loblaw Media

Michael E. LeBlanc

Founder & President

M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc.

10:30 AM - 10:35 AM EST

RCC Member Value Update

Santo Ligotti

VP of Member Services and Marketing

Retail Council of Canada

For 60 years Retail Council of Canada has been the voice of retail and now represents over 45,000 storefronts. Santo Ligotti, Vice President of Marketing and Member Services shares an update on member-only committees that offer the opportunity for unique collaboration with industry peers to help shape policies that affect the future of retail.

10:35 AM - 11:15 AM EST

AI’s Transformational Impact on Retail

Eric Morris

Managing Director and Head of Retail

Google Canada

Artificial intelligence is changing everything – including retail. This profoundly powerful technology is unleashing creative thinking on a massive scale that was almost unthinkable just a few months ago. Eric Morris, Managing Director and Head of Retail with Google Canada shares how retailers can use AI to succeed in an ever-changing, highly competitive, and dynamic industry to unlock new game-changing potential in their businesses. Discover how you can use AI to uniquely understand what your consumers want, forecast demand, simplify the supply chain, improve marketing effectiveness, and provide a more personalized customer experience.

11:15 AM - 11:45 AM EST
Networking Break
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM EST
Retail in Focus: Morning Concurrent Sessions
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM EST

Future of Retail: Role of Data & AI in Retail

Mapping the Sustainability Stairway

The Shifting Landscape of Consumer Loyalty

Elevating and Personalizing In-Store Customer Experiences

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Networking Lunch
12:45 PM - 1:35 PM EST
Lunch and Learn
12:45 PM - 1:05 PM EST

Winning the Basket: Moving from Ads to Experiences

2:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Exhibit Floor Closes
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST

Building the Future on People, Purpose, and Planet Principles

Mountain Equipment Company’s (MEC) steadfast commitment to its people, product excellence, and maintaining strong community-based relationships with its consumers, eased its rocky transition from a cooperative to a private company with expanded operations. MEC’s Vice President Marketing Michele Guimond shares how this iconic Canadian retailer’s remarkable revival, that was rooted in its foundational business philosophy, continues to put MEC at the at the top of the trusted brands list and on a strong and sustainable growth trajectory.

Michele Guimond

Vice President Marketing

Mountain Equipment Co.

Lisa Hutcheson

Managing Partner

J.C. Williams Group

2:30 PM - 2:35 PM EST

Streamlining Complex EPR Reporting

Patrick Wiedeman


Reverse Logistics Group

Fast Five Sponsor Highlight

As an enabler for retailers, RLG monitors and provides compliance services to customers across 80 countries globally. Patrick Wiedeman, CEO of Reconomy Comply Division and Reverse Logistics Group will showcase unique retail insights based on experiences in markets like Europe, the UK and Latin America. Canadian retailers will learn how they can streamline complex EPR reporting and contribute to a more circular economy.

2:35 PM - 3:05 PM EST

New Ways to Use Data to Harness Emerging Trends and Better Meet Consumers’ Needs

Effectively building and maintaining consumers’ loyalty and trust as changing demographics, values, and lifestyles drive new shopping behaviours can only be achieved by working with today’s most relevant data. To truly understand evolving sensitivities and how retailers can more effectively reach their target audiences when and where they want to shop – all while considering the emerging importance of ESG best practices – needs a new perspective on how to leverage data. Jan Kestle, President of Environics Analytics, sits down with leading Canadian retailers to discuss how these trends continue to evolve and how these retailers are addressing the nuances in news ways through more innovative consumer segmentation.

Danyal Syed Ali

Head of Consumer and Customer Insights

IKEA Canada

Jan Kestle

President and Founder

Environics Analytics

3:05 PM - 3:45 PM EST

The Frontline-first Advantage: Operationalizing DEI Strategies

Jarvis Sam

Founder and CEO

Rainbow Disruption

While leading DEI at Nike Inc, Jarvis Sam saw an incredible opportunity in how to improve and incorporate its DEI strategies. Learn how, through his novel, multi-phased approach, he was able to successfully turnaround and operationalize Nike’s vision – ahead of plan- by focusing on engaging frontline teams who, in turn, organically and enthusiastically participated in transforming their workplace’s culture of inclusivity.

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM EST
Closing Remarks
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM EST
Grand Prix New Product Awards Networking Reception
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM EST
Grand Prix New Product Awards Gala Dinner