Retail Holiday Shopping Forum

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October 20, 2020

| 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET | 12:00pm - 3:00pm CT | 10:00am - 1:00pm PT

Join us for the Retail Holiday Shopping Forum to find out the latest in consumer insights and holiday marketing strategies for consumers in a COVID world. Register now

Registration fee:
Members: Free
Non-Members: $49.00

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Sponsorship opportunities are available.


1:00 pm – 1:05 pm Welcoming Remarks
1:05 pm – 1:45 pm


State of the Industry

BCG reports on the state of industry, including data on brick-and-mortar, online sales in Canada and emerging new markets.  They’ll also take a look at overall global retail performance compared to Canada.

Matt Mackenzie, Managing Director & Partner, Boston Consulting Group
James Gott, Partner, Boston Consulting Group
Cliff Grevler, Managing Partner & Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

1:45 pm – 2:10 pm The New Consumer Commerce

Showfields, the most interesting store in the world, Founder and CEO Tal Zvi Nathanel shares the keys to being remarkable as consumer expectations are being redrawn in the COVID-19 era. Hear how this innovative New York based retail concept is driven by “The five C’s of C-Commerce” and why Tal is cautiously optimistic for the holiday season.

Tal Zvi Nathanel,
Founder and CEO, Showfields
Michael LeBlanc, Senior Retail Advisor, Retail Council of Canada

2:10 pm – 2:15 pm


Fast Five Sponsor Highlight
Leveraging Technology to Manage the New Retail Norms

Retailers have seen tremendous change in their business model and technology has emerged as a vital tool to manage workforces challenges. Discover the tech tools available to better manage three key areas; health checks, contract tracing and scheduling complexities and learn how this will make a positive impact with your team.

Amanda Nichols
, Senior Manager, Industry Marketing, Ultimate Kronos Group
2:15 am – 2:35 pm


Leger Consumer Shopping Intentions for the Holidays
Sponsored by Leger

Given the massive shifts that have occurred in 2020, it is crucial for retailers to understand how consumers have evolved. On behalf of the RCC, Leger surveyed 2,500 Canadians about how their spending will change, their changing expectations toward retailers, and their attitudes in general when it comes to holiday shopping. Luc Dumont, VP CPG and Retail with Leger, will reveal information that will help you help consumers navigate the changing retail landscape.

Luc Dumont,
Vice President, CPG and Retail, Leger
2:35 pm – 2:45 pm Coffee Break
2:45 pm – 3:10 pm



Peak Season Strategies from Top Retailers
Sponsored by Salesforce

We’ll take a look at what retailers are planning for the upcoming peak season.  From changing goals, to supply chain bottle necks, we will help you prepare for success during the holiday season.

Jason Abrams, Senior Vice President, Merchandising, Best Buy Canada
Trinh Tham, Chief Marketing Officer, Harry Rosen
Cinzia Bazzo, National VP, Retail Canada, Salesforce, Moderator
3:10 pm – 3:35 pm Latest Digital Trends to Empower Retailers for the Holiday Shopping Season

This holiday season adapting the shopping experience digitally is crucial. Retailers need to be present where Canadians want to shop – mobile. Facebook Canada will present the latest digital trends and four key insights to help retailers successfully adapt as well as actions for brands and retailers to create strong Holiday 2020 performance.

Fraser Stark, Director, Global Business Group, Facebook
Greg Shelly, VP Digital Marketing, Canadian Tire Corporation

3:35 pm – 4:00 pm Technology and Innovation from the Ground Up

Retailers know innovations in technology and its use can enhance their customers shopping experience but are faced with overwhelming options. Lee Jeyes, Senior Director, Store Process & Innovation at Walmart Canada shares the key factors that drive their decision-making process and the critical role for your front-line team.

Lee Jeyes, Senior Director, Store Process and Innovation, Walmart Canada

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Winning with the Last Mile and Retail Partnerships

Rexall Pharmacy Group and Staples Canada come together for a special session that dives in to creating seamless and safe shopping experiences and leveraging partnerships with retailers and brands that delight the customer.

Trevor Bartlett, Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Merchant, Rexall
John DeFranco, Chief Commercial Officer, Staples Canada
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada, Moderator

4:30 pm Closing Remarks

Times listed above are in Eastern Time.


Amanda Nichols, Senior Manager, Industry Marketing, Ultimate Kronos Group

Amanda Nichols leads the marketing practice for the retail, hospitality and food service industries at UKG, Ultimate Kronos Group, a leader in workforce management and HCM cloud software solutions. In her role, Amanda has a keen eye on tracking and identifying trends that will shape the future of work. She regularly works with both clients and prospects to improve their workforce management and employee engagement strategies by mapping trends to business objectives.

Cinzia Bazzo, National Vice President, Retail Canada, Saleforce

Cinzia joined Salesforce in March of 2016, as the Executive Account Director for Retail with a mandate to manage the three largest retail accounts. In May of 2018 she was promoted to Vice President of the Central Canada Region and in Feb of 2020 she was promoted to her current role as National Vice President of Retail for Canada. In her current role, Cinzia has responsibility for the success and growth of the Retail vertical across the country.

Cliff Grevler, Managing Partner & Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Cliff Grevler is the managing partner leading Boston Consulting Group in Canada; he oversees BCG’s operations across Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. He is the former leader of BCG’s Consumer and Retail practices, and he continues to work with CEOs and senior executives of leading retailers and consumer products companies on the key issues facing their organizations. Cliff joined BCG in 1997, after spending time working in marketing at S.C. Johnson Wax. He has appeared regularly on Canadian national television and radio and is a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business.

Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada

Diane J. Brisebois, CAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Retail Council of Canada (RCC). She oversees the largest retail association in Canada serving over 45,000 retail establishments including independent merchants, chain stores, mass merchants, big box and online retailers. RCC’s membership covers all segments of the retail market including general merchandise, grocery and pharmacy. Diane joined RCC as its President and CEO in January 1995. Diane has held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector representing various industries for the past 35 years. Diane has and continues to serve on a variety of Boards across North America.

Fraser Stark, Director, Global Business Group, Facebook

Fraser Stark is a director in Facebook’s Global Business Group. He focuses on helping Canadian advertisers in the retail and eCommerce sector connect with audiences across Facebook’s family of apps. Prior to Facebook, Fraser worked in strategy consulting with Bain & Company and Jackman Reinvents, with client experience spanning multiple industries including drug stores, car rental, consumer banks, computer hardware, and private equity. Fraser also spent 7 years growing a venture backed enterprise SaaS business, first in North America and then overseas while based in London. He earned an undergraduate business degree from Ivey Business School, and an MBA from Stanford.

Greg Shelly, VP Digital Marketing, Canadian Tire Corporation

Greg Shelly is the VP of Enterprise Digital Marketing at Canadian Tire Corporation. In his role, Greg is responsible for all Performance Digital Marketing and In-House Digital Media teams for Canadian Tire, SportChek and Mark’s. Greg is admittedly obsessed with attribution and performance, ensuring that CTC is consistently pushing the needle and when it comes connecting marketing investments with customer outcomes. Prior to joining CTC Greg led the Business Insights organization at McDonald’s Canada. Before that, Greg worked for 8 years at Dell in various roles across in Digital Marketing, Ecommerce and Strategic Partnerships.

James Gott, Partner, Boston Consulting Group


Jason Abrams, Senior Vice President, Merchandising, Best Buy Canada

As Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Best Buy Canada, Jason Abrams is the driving force behind Best Buy’s customer-focused merchandising and supply chain strategy, overseeing all the company’s core product categories. Since 2008, Jason has served in numerous merchandising leadership roles for the company, spearheading the development of growth plans and merchandising strategies that have greatly enhanced both the customer and employee experience. An intuitive leader with a passion for building robust, lasting relationships, Jason’s hands-on, collaborative approach has fostered strong vendor partnerships through which he has introduced many exclusive programs and firsts into the Canadian market, ultimately getting Canadian consumers the products they want while fulfilling Best Buy’s purpose of enriching lives through technology.  

John DeFranco, Chief Commercial Officer, Staples Canada

John DeFranco is Chief Commercial Officer at Staples Canada. He joined the organization in 2018 and is responsible for leading the company’s Merchandising, Marketing, and Retail Supply Chain. John is a seasoned retail executive with expertise in Merchandising, Marketing, Operations, and Strategy. He has held leadership roles at major retail organizations that include Pet Smart Canada, where he was president of the Canadian business – and Home Depot Canada. John holds a BA in Business from King’s University College at Western University Canada.

Lee Jeyes, Senior Director, Store Process & Innovation, Walmart


Luc Dumont, Vice President, Research and Innovation, Leger

Luc, who’s been part of the Léger team since 2006, has more than 20-years experience in quantitative and qualitative market research, notably in customer experience, usability, product development and innovation studies. Luc is a seasoned focus group moderator and, throughout his long career, has been called upon to conduct qualitative research in several countries. His mission is to help Leger clients create and adapt experiential strategies to build up customer loyalty and strengthen brand attachment

Matt Mackenzie, Managing Director & Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Matt MacKenzie leads Boston Consulting Group’s Strategy practice in Canada, and he is a core member of BCG’s Consumer; Corporate Development; and Marketing, Sales & Pricing practices. He is also a member of BCG’s GAMMA Team, which utilizes the power of large and complex data sets to create competitive advantages for clients.

Michael LeBlanc, Senior Retail Advisor, Retail Council of Canada

Michael is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Retail Advisor to Retail Council of Canada. He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career. Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast, The Voice of Retail, plus the all new Remarkable Retail with Steve Dennis, Global E-Commerce Tech Talks and The Food Professor with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois.

Tal Zvi Nathanel, CEO & Co-founder, Showfields

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tal Zvi Nathanel moved to New York City in 2012, where he currently resides and serves as the CEO and Co-founder of SHOWFIELDS, the pioneering next-generation brick-and-mortar retail store. For nearly two decades, Tal has worked to create successful consumer products and activations through his skills in e-commerce, entrepreneurship and strategic partnerships.

Trevor Bartlett, Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Merchant, Rexall

Trevor Bartlett joined Rexall Pharmacy Group in October 2018 as Senior Vice President and Chief Merchant. As a member of the Executive Operating Committee, Trevor oversees a diverse portfolio including being responsible for developing the merchandising strategy and operational plan for delivering Rexall’s strategy of “Caring for Canadians…one person at a time”, as it relates to the products and services carried. He is also responsible for category management, omnichannel merchandising, merchandising operations, pricing and promotions, loyalty, private brands and supply chain.

Trinh Tham, Chief Marketing Officer, Harry Rosen

Trinh Tham is a seasoned business executive with a passion for building some of Canada’s favourite brands. She has spent the last two decades leading marketing teams with a focus on digital transformation and change management across various sectors including Technology, Grocery, Media & Entertainment and Luxury Apparel. She brings a customer-centric mindset and blends insights with creativity to solve the current complex challenges facing the retail industry.

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