ICSC RECon Canada Conference 2020: October 26 and 27

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Essential retailers are driving the commercial real estate market in Canada. They’ll also be at ICSC’s RECon Canada, a virtual event running Oct. 26 and 27, to discuss how they’re growing their businesses in these tumultuous times. [Retail Insider readers can register for free using code INSIDER]

The conference also will feature a keynote address by Wayne Gretzky, the man who changed the game of hockey and became a Canadian legend; networking opportunities between brands and retail and real estate decision makers; discussions among thought leaders about innovation and facilitating growth after COVID-19; and updates on the state of the industry, including economic forecasts and what’s ahead.

Here’s more on essential retailers and other brands attending:

Empire Co.

The company owns a stable of supermarket brands, including Sobeys, and aims to boost its market share to 90 percent of Canadians’ annual grocery spend. To reach more shoppers, the firm is introducing omnichannel technologies, including a Voilà by Sobeys Curbside Pickup, which allows customers to order groceries online and schedule a one-hour window to pick up the items curbside at a nearby store. Senior vice president of real estate Mark Holly will speak at a session called Anchored: Why Grocery and Pharmacy Are More Essential Than Ever on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.


The pharmacy chain has been involved firsthand in Canada’s battle against the pandemic, as many of its stores served as COVID-19 testing sites. The company is opening Rexall on the Go personal protective equipment vending machines in airports and other public areas. Vice president of real estate Max Izen also will speak on the Anchored: Why Grocery and Pharmacy Are More Essential Than Ever panel on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

Lowe’s Canada

The company has been on a hiring spree for its stores and distribution centers to support growing sales. It also is paying associates at Lowe’s, Rona and Reno-Depot stores across the country a discretionary bonus for their service as frontline workers. Director of market research Simon Genereux will speak during the Where the Shoppers Are: A Data-Driven Look session on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at noon Eastern.

Best Buy

Physical stores remain an important part of business for this electronics chain. It saw a surge in online sales while its physical stores were under government-mandated lockdown, but its stores experienced a wave of pent-up demand when stores reopened. Best Buy Canada CFO Bryan Kooistra will speak at a session called How Best Buy Is Innovating to Keep Canadians Connected on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. Eastern.

RECon Canada won’t be all about traditional retail tenants, though. Alternative users like dentistry network Dentalcorp, day care centre operator WillowBrae Academy and healthcare clinic chain Medpros also will be on hand. Dentalcorp President, Guy Amini, Willowbrae Academy Vice President, Shawn Pattison, and Medpros President, Naz Aziz, will describe their companies’ real estate needs at a session called Alternative Uses for Retail on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

Learn more about the RECon Canada agenda and register here.

While non-members typically would pay $725 for this event, ICSC has extended free registration to Retail Insider readers using code INSIDER.

*Partner content. To work with Retail Insider, email: craig@retail-insider.com

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