I recently returned from the 2018 American Marketing Association and American Collegiate Retailing Association international conference in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Along with Dr. Dee Knight, I presented to the audience on the topic Retail Disrupted and Reimagined. The conference theme was “Rethinking Retail” and was hosted at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University.
Keynote session speakers for the 3-day conference were Eugene Roman from Canadian Tire and Pippa Morgan of Aritzia, both Canada born and grown retailers. Both of these companies have grown organically and have strategically invested in digital and technology to remain thriving retail operations.
Dr. Knight and I provided insights into transformational changes in retail and implications for graduates embarking on retail careers. Since we are the only university with B.S. degrees in Digital Retailing and Consumer Experience Management, we were able to inform attendees about the numerous successes of our programs and methods for keeping curriculums current and relevant in this fast-paced area. We also explored with audience members the reality that there are still many traditional retail organizations which take a scattershot approach and implement digital only in the most visible digital consumer-facing areas, such as a consumer website or a social media presence. These companies often have separate digital or ecommerce divisions in addition to historical store divisions. The separate silos create, manage and deliver their own consumer experiences, assortments and touch points, often with conflicting outcomes. These organizational structures and legacy systems impede progress in the converged digital and physical realms. Retail reimagined relies upon real-time data to make responsive decisions and thrives in an organizational structure free of silos.
It was a great event and we were thrilled for the opportunity to further expose the strength of our retail programs at UNT!