USMCA, Cannabis, Consumers, Experiential Retail and Brand Resilience Explored at Retail West 2018, November 6, 2018 - Retail Council of Canada

USMCA, Cannabis, Consumers, Experiential Retail and Brand Resilience Explored at Retail West 2018, November 6, 2018

October 24, 2018

Retail West, Western Canada’s largest retail conference, discusses new twists   to the most pressing concerns and opportunities facing retailers in Canada.

On November 6, 2018, 300 of Canada’s most innovative retailers and their vendors will meet at Retail West in Vancouver, a full-day conference organized by Retail Council of Canada, to share perspectives and learnings on the latest trends and developments and discuss what it takes to create outstanding customer experiences in modern retail.

Kicking-off the day will be an overview on USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) and what it means for retailers in Canada, presented by Retail Council of Canada’s President and CEO Diane J. Brisebois.

Also new for the retail marketplace this year will be the impact of legal cannabis. Retail West has several sessions that will bring together licensed cannabis producers, wholesalers, retailers and legal experts to inform and to open doors in this new market.

“The retail opportunity with legal cannabis will affect the entire retail landscape,” said Kyle Tomlin, Vice President Marketing, Partnerships & Events at Retail Council of Canada.  “Cannabis as a retail product is reshaping the Canadian packaged goods industry. And, as greater levels of innovation evolve throughout 2019, the retailing of cannabis and how it might influence other retailers will only get more interesting.”

The rest of the Retail West 2018 conference will be dedicated to examining and learning from leading retailers and understanding why they are doing exceptionally well.

Speakers at Retail West include:

Photos of Retail West speakers

  • Ashley Freeborn, Founder/Principal/ Managing Director, Smash + Tess
  • Drew Green, President and CEO, INDOCHINO
  • Melanie Teed-Murch, President, Toys “R” Us Canada
  • Mat Povse, Senior Vice President of Retail and Geek Squad Services, Best Buy Canada
  • Jim Caldwell, President and CEO, OK Tire Canada
  • Brendan Seale, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada
  • Lauren Wong, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Hello Fresh
  • Nick Whitehead, Vice President of Market Development, Aurora Cannabis Inc.
  • Mike Vioncek, CEO, Fire & Flower Inc.
  • Lori Bailey, Head of Retail, Canopy Growth

While there are some common themes – the critical importance of brand in today’s digital world, understanding the ever-evolving wants and needs of the consumer, and staying competitive through constantly changing new and emerging technology – each presenter has been carefully selected because of the novel and highly successful strategies his or her company has explored and applied in their business or retail practice.

The full agenda can be seen at:

The conference is open to both Retail Council of Canada members and non-members.

For tickets please visit:


About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $369 billion in 2017. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants.



Branka Stavric,
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications | 416.467.3772
Retail Council of Canada