The city of Vancouver is home to several of Canada’s top retailers, with headquarters in the city or nearby suburbs. That includes homegrown chains as well as international firms that have located their Canadian headquarters in the Lower Mainland.
Well-known brands founded in the Vancouver area include names such as Aritzia, Lululemon, Article furniture, Save-on-Foods, Urban Barn, Purdy’s Chocolatier, Saje Natural Wellness, House of Knives, Rexall, Pharmasave and London Drugs.
The Vancouver area is also home to big-name retailers such as Best Buy Canada as well as beauty brand LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, which is seeing incredibly high sales as it remodels and expands stores across North America.
While Toronto may be seen as the business centre of English Canada, Vancouver-based chains have been wildly successful while at the same time being in a beautiful location with a temperate climate. What’s interesting, as well, is the number of successful national restaurant chains that were either founded or headquartered in Vancouver. Names include The Keg, Earl’s, Joey, Cactus Club, Moxies, and various others. Another well known food and beverage provider is the Donnelly Group, which has also expanded into cannabis retail.
Vancouver will also host Retail Council of Canada’s Retail West 2019 Conference being held Wednesday, October 16 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the city’s downtown core. Registration is now officially open. Many of the top retailers in the Vancouver area will be in attendance. Several will be speaking at Retail West, and there will also be ample networking opportunities available.
Retail West is the largest retail education and networking event in Western Canada. It brings together retailers, vendors, suppliers, thought leaders and decision makers from across the retail industry.
Included will be a full-day immersion into the latest trends, technologies and best practices in modern retail. The packed agenda will inspire attendees with success stories and insights about how business is thriving in the Western market and on the national scene.
In the morning, Aritizia’s SVP of Marketing, Sally Parrott, will have a conversation with Kevin Graff to discuss why in the challenging segment of fashion, Aritzia continues to delight a discerning segment of consumers.
In the afternoon, building an integrated media strategy in a profoundly digital world will be discussed. Speakers will include Save-on-Foods, Best Buy Canada, Prospect Media Group and London Drugs, the latter which recently announced that it is testing drone delivery in British Columbia for the first time.
Well known retail strategist David Ian Gray of DIG360 will host a panel with speakers from Urban Barn, House of Knives and Google Canada. The discussion will revolve around Black Friday, and what can go wrong when systems crash.
Cannabis, which is now legal in Canada (with edibles legalized on October 17) will be a topic as well. Adam Coates of Westleaf Inc. will give a talk on branding as a business strategy — something critical to all retailers as the “retail experience” becomes an ever more important differentiator and competitive advantage. As legalized recreational cannabis enters its second year, Kiaro’s Eleanor Lynch, Muse Cannabis’ Geoff Dear and Donnelly Group (Hobo)’s Harrison Stoker will discuss lessons learned and hurdles they’ve overcome, as well as new retail cannabis developments they expect over the next twelve months.
The hot topic of personalization will be discussed by executives from Vancouver-based Saje Natural Wellness, which has opened stores in Canada as well as in international markets.
Peter Higgins, Executive Vice President of Vancouver-Based LUSH North America, will also be on the stage with Retail Council of Canada’s President & CEO, Diane Brisebois, to discuss the changing face of retail decision making at a time when the industry is changing through technology as well as a shift in consumer preferences.
Tying it all together will be a discussion of the ‘Future for Western Retailers’ by Steve Mossop, President of Insights West.
Other interesting speakers from across Canada will also be at this Year’s Retail West Conference in Vancouver. For more information, see the links below.
*Retail Insider has partnered with Retail Council of Canada on events. To work with Retail Insider, email: firstname.lastname@example.org