Grocery Innovation Delivers Lessons for all Retail at STORE Conference 2016

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Grocery retail innovation, and the broader lessons for all retail, will be a key theme during the second day of this year’s Retail Council of Canada STORE Conference, being held in Toronto on May 31 and June 1. On the afternoon of Wednesday June 1, grocery takes the stage with speakers discussing innovation and the future of grocery retailing both in Canada as well as internationally.

The afternoon kicks off with a ‘lunch and learn’ entitled ‘Grocery Shopping Simplified: The Making of the New IGA Mobile App’, hosted by Judith Blackburn, Manager, Digital Communications of Sobeys Québec and Simon Audet, Partner and VP Strategic Alliances at Mirego. Following the launch of its new corporate website and eCommerce platform, Sobeys wanted to continue innovating and offering added-value services to its clients. The company aimed to provide its customers with mobile-driven features that would assist them during their pre-shopping activities and enrich their in-store shopping experience. Sobeys chose to develop a new user-friendly IGA mobile app available on both iOS and Android platforms. From scanning products to browsing through a personalized flyer based on user behaviour, the new app offers enhanced personalization to IGA customers. In this session, Judith Blackburn and Simon Audet will talk about the creation process of the IGA mobile application and share their insights on how to successfully lead a digital project of this scope. 

Moving right onto the main stage, James Bacos (Managing Partner, Retail and Consumer Goods Practice, Oliver Wyman Germany) and Fred Thomas-Dupuis (Partner, Retail and Consumer Goods Practice, Oliver Wyman Canada) will present ‘Tectonic Shifts in European Grocery Retail: Innovation Lessons for Canada’. The session will discuss how discounters and online formats have disrupted European’s grocery retail markets, and how after almost 15 years of ‘maturity’, these new players have transformed individual markets and are an emerging pan-European force. Grocery retail experts Oliver Wyman provide their views on the key questions surrounding anticipated break-throughs and who will emerge victorious, and illustrate parallels to the Canadian retail landscape.

The presentations continue with a session by Tina Lee, CEO, T & T Supermarkets Inc., entitled ‘T&T Supermarket: Insights Into the Ethnic Consumer’. T&T Supermarket has become the place to shop for authentic Asian fresh food in Canada, regardless of one’s ethnic background. Ms. Lee will discuss how the Canadian palette continues to develop as it is influenced by the many cultures that live in Canada. She will also share the T&T Supermarket success story, insights into the Chinese Canadian consumer, and tips on how to stay fresh and relevant as the needs of your customer base change.
Finally, Keith Anderson (Vice President, Strategy & Insights, Profitero) will host a “fireside chat” with Simon Rodrigue, SVP of eCommerce at Walmart Canada. The session is called ‘The eCommerce Grocery Impact & Implications for Retail’, discussing how shoppers’ changing preferences and evolving competitive dynamics are driving online grocery. Mobile is having an impact in online grocery trial, adoption and loyalty, and this is driving new innovations and game changing digital enhancements. Click-and-collect, delivery, and other emerging online grocery models are still in their relative infancy, and the immediate lessons learned from these models are uncovering valuable insights for both retailers and suppliers.
Following these will be the Canadian Grand Prix Awards Gala, now in its 23rd 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. It 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 awards also encourage new product development and innovation, which are vital to the continued growth of Canada’s consumer products industry. 
For more information on STORE Conference 2016, visit: To pick up your tickets or reserve a table for the Canadian Grand Prix awards gala visit their site at



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