Main stage and concurrent sessions packed with dynamic discussions on retail’s most relevant topics.

Full Agenda
Day 1 – May 31, 2022
Day 2 – June 1, 2022

Day 1 – May 31, 2022

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

State of the Industry

The accomplishments of retailers over the past two years have led the way in transformation of both customer and employees experiences. What does the future of retail look like on this continued trajectory? This state of the industry round table brings together Ira Kalish, Chief Global Economist with Deloitte, Patricia Baker, Director, Retailing, Global Equity Research, Scotiabank, and The Food Professor, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Professor, Food Distribution and Policy, Dalhousie University. This round table discussion looks at the impact of war, inflation, and labour shortages on the retail industry in Canada and around the world.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois

Professor of Food Distribution and Policy

Dalhousie University

Ira Kalish

Chief Global Economist


Patricia Baker

Director, Retail

Scotia Capital Inc.

Dianne Buckner


CBC’s Dragons’ Den

9:30 AM - 10:05 AM EST

Leadership Driven Pride in Retail

Susan O’Brien

Chief Brand & Customer Officer

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

As Canadian Tire celebrates its 100th birthday, the Corporation (CTC) is embarking on its next 100 years with an evolved brand purpose: to Make Life in Canada Better. This serves as their North Star for all decision-making, from product offerings and shopping options to their approach to community support. Hear CTC’s Chief Brand and Customer Officer, Susan O’Brien, speak about how the Company’s rich history, combined with its pandemic response, led to the evolution of its brand purpose. Aligned to a collective brand purpose, CTC’s tens of thousands of employees feel connected to something greater than themselves, which has instilled a sense of pride across the enterprise and is enabling the Company’s Better Connected strategy.

10:05 AM - 10:10 AM EST

Revolutionize Decision Making with Smart Data Capture

Steve Cunningham

Senior Director Retail Sales


Retailers today are seeking new solutions to tackle three big challenges: attracting and retaining talent, maintaining customer loyalty, and ensuring business efficiency. For retailers, having real time data at your fingertips is a game changer. Steve Cunningham, Senior Director Retail Sales at Scandit, shares how Smart Data Capture from Scandit enables real-time decision making and workflow automation by capturing data from barcodes, text, IDs and objects. Steve will share how this is making a measurable impact for retailers with adaptable and flexible options to access actionable intelligence and make smarter decisions

10:10 AM - 10:45 AM EST

Navigating Your Holiday Strategy

Eric Morris

Managing Director and Head of Retail

Google Canada

Reflecting on both pre-pandemic and pandemic holiday shopping seasons, Google Canada will offer retailers predictions and tactics to help make the 2022 holiday season a success.  With category specific insights, recommendations around in-store vs ecomm, and suggested decision-making tactics, this session is one you won’t want to miss.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM EST
Networking Break
11:30 AM - 12:15 AM EST

How to Reach and Succeed with Consumers in Quebec

How Retailers are Embedding ESG into the Fabric and Culture of their Organizations

The Modern Retailer

Putting Mental Health into Focus with Henry’s CEO, Gillian Stein

12:15 PM - 1:45 PM EST
AGM Lunch
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM EST
Networking Lunch
12:30 PM - 12:50 PM EST

The Covid ERA’s Impact on Consumer Spending Behaviour

Sean McCormick

Head of Growth Strategy


Lunch & Learn

The lives of Canadians’ have been transformed from how they socialize to how they work; and spending is no exception. Moneris data reveals how and what consumers prioritized with their spending throughout lockdowns and how retail is trending in early 2022. Sean McCormick, Head of Growth Strategy with Spendscape, shares insights from consumer spending data in 2021, as well as some early indicators this year. Sean also shares what data options are in demand in this Omni channel world, including the impact of consumer location and digital marketing data on driving sales.

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM EST

Handmade And Hands On: How Lush Is Reinvigorating The In-Store Experience

Driving Customer Centricity Accoss Channels

The Power of Driving Discovery Commerce

DEI Strategy: Opportunities for Growth and Meaningful Change

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM EST
Networking Break
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM EST

Driving the Sustainability Opportunity

Becoming more sustainable is rapidly becoming a top business priority across industries and around the globe, and retail is no exception. In this panelist conversation, moderated by RBC, companies that have embraced sustainability throughout their operations will share their insights and lessons learned on the sustainability opportunity and customer expectations. The session will cover what it takes to successfully embed sustainability within an organization, the sustainability journey and where businesses can start, and how to make sustainable choices, and understanding the trade-offs that your business will encounter.

Lindsay Patrick

Head of Strategic Initiatives and ESG

RBC Capital Markets

Marc Kadonoff


Sweets from the Earth

Duncan Fulton

Chief Corporate Officer

Restaurant Brands International

Jacquelyn Kankam

Senior Director of Sustainability & Social Impact


4:00 PM - 4:05 PM EST
Fast Five Sponsor Highlight with American Express
4:05 PM - 4:35 PM EST

Global Retail Trends in 2022: Alternative Commerce and the Metaverse

Kate Ancketill

CEO and founder

GDR Creative Intelligence

Shifting consumer priorities wait for no one. In 2030, 50% of the population will be GenZ and GenAlpha and priorities and interests are shifting now. GDR’s Kate Ancketill dives into the trends retailers need to prepare for including physical stores as a support system for omni-fulfillment, how non-traditional channels are taking over, and how the metaverse will be an incredible marketing and sales opportunity.

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

Day 2 – June 1, 2022

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM EST
Registration Open
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM EST
Scholarship Breakfast
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM EST
Networking Breakfast
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM EST
Welcoming Remarks
9:15 AM - 9:55 AM EST
Opening Session with Best Buy Canada
9:55 AM - 10:00 AM EST

5G is Transforming the Retail Experience

Timothy Schnare

Regional Sales Manager Central Canada


Fast Five Sponsor Highlight

5G technology is digitally transforming retailers and enabling new consumer experiences such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and proximity-based marketing. Timothy Schnare, Regional Sales Manager for Central Canada shares how LTE and 5G edge solutions can bridge online to brick-and-mortar to enable critical applications and services. Tim discusses how retail technology trends are predicting that 5G adoption amongst retailers is expected to rise to support new applications and advanced technology.

10:00 AM - 10:40 AM EST

Reinventing Supply Chain to Meet New Customer Priorities

At the heart of any business are its customers. However, urgent and continued disruption to supply chains worldwide have required innovation to ensure that the needs and evolving expectations of customers are met. This panel of leaders from renowned Canadian organizations will look at how retailers are resolving present roadblocks, finding fruitful roles for technology, and empowering consumers to shop in new ways.

Clint Mahlman

President & COO

London Drugs Limited

Rosie Pouzar

Chief Operating Officer

Sephora Canada

Liz Wilson

Head of Customer Fulfillment

IKEA Canada

Mark Petrie

Executive Director, Retail & Consumer Research

CIBC Capital Markets

10:40 AM - 10:45 AM EST

Voice of Retail: An RCC Fast Five Highlight

Santo Ligotti

VP of Member Services and Marketing

Retail Council of Canada

Access to the latest data and tends is a critical tool in business planning and forecasting. RCC’s Santo Ligotti, VP Member Services and Marketing, presents the RCC Retail Pulse Dashboard, a new interactive tool for members developed in partnership with KPMG. RCC members will now have access to real-time data on sales, jobs, the Canadian economy, spending and consumer insights and more. The exclusive dashboard will be easy to customize for in-depth analysis of the retail sector and will put critical information at the fingertips of retailers across the country.

10:45 AM - 11:20 AM EST

What Retailers in Canada Can Learn from the Chinese Market

Kostya Polyakov

National Industry Leader for Consumer and Retail Practice

KPMG Canada

China has surpassed the United States and has become the largest retail sector in the world and serves as a trend setter 2-3 years ahead of other major markets. KPMG’s National Leader for Consumer and Retail, Kostya Polyakov, explores the buying behavior of consumers in China and how these trends shape the retail industry. Kostya looks at the impact of integrated social commerce, leveraging technology in brick and motor, and the future of boundaryless retail where customer can buy whatever they want, wherever, and whenever the want it, in-store, online or whatever the future may hold.

11:20 AM - 11:55 AM EST
Networking Break
11:55 AM - 12:40 PM EST

Clicks and Bricks: How Do Digital Promotions Impact In-Store Traffic?

More than eCommerce: The Path to Digital Growth

Beyond Omnichannel: The Pursuit of Hyper-Personalization

The Future of Work: Humanizing Connections in a Digital World

12:40 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Networking Lunch
1:00 PM - 1:20 PM EST

Grocery Disruptors: Innovation in the Retail Aisle

Lunch & Learn

The grocery store has been a pivotal destination throughout the pandemic. Tracking the largest number of Canadian grocery shoppers throughout the pandemic, Caddle uncovers what factors are motivating consumers to choose one grocery store over another, and how grocery retail innovation is meeting these new demands. In this session, Caddle shares store innovation insights on Canadian Grocery Shoppers, including touchless payments, digital in store signage, self checkout, digital price tags, and more.

Colleen Martin

Chief Revenue Officer


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois

Professor of Food Distribution and Policy

Dalhousie University

2:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Exhibit Floor Closes
2:00 PM - 2:40 PM EST

The Future of Work is Now

Rocky Ozaki


NoW of Work Inc. and the NoW-Academy

In today’s hyper-competitive employment landscape, retailers have an opportunity to modernize their operations to attract talent, increase flexibility, and enhance the overall employee experience. Rocky Ozaki, Founder and CEO of the NoW of Work, is a Future of Work evangelist and culture transformation expert who will share how retailers can thrive in the future of work…now! Rocky will share leading people practices, the potential of emerging technologies, and his accumulation of insights that can accelerate the transformation of both your team member and customer experiences!

2:40 PM - 3:10 PM EST

The Impact of Bias on Employee and Customer Experience

Dr. Hadiya Roderique

Diversity and Inclusion Advocate, Journalist, Lawyer

Individuals and organizations have known for decades that traditional business systems are rooted in biases. These biases, conscious and unconscious, impact relationships with colleagues and the experiences consumers have with your brand. Dr. Hadiya Roderique, Journalist, Lawyer, and Diversity and Inclusion Advocate, shares her experience of being Black on Bay Street and the emotional and personal impact of bias. Dr. Roderique will also discuss the resulting narrow pipeline, the impact of certain groups not being recognized, and the change needed for large scale shifts.

3:10 PM - 3:15 PM EST
Fast Five Sponsor Highlight
3:15 PM - 3:55 PM EST

The Shifting Priorities in Food and Drink

Paco Underhill

Founder and former CEO


How and what Canadians are eating continues to rapidly evolve creating significant impact on grocery, food service, and the retail industry as a whole. Paco Underhill, founder of Envirosell Inc. and author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, joins us to share insights from his latest book How We Eat: The Brave New World of Food and Drink. Paco shares the impact of change on store formats, ecommerce, and the changing values that prioritize sustainable packaging and healthier choices.

3:55 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