RCC Store 2022 Highlights & Insights

June 5, 2022

We’re fresh on the heels of RCC Store 2022, which is two days of learning and discussion about today’s most critical retail topics and newest success strategies. With over 75 speakers, some of Canada’s most influential retail leadership, and an engaging network of store leaders, RCC Store 2022 was packed with incredible conversations about retail’s biggest and hottest topics

Hosted by the Retail Council of Canada, RCC Store 2022 was one of Canada’s biggest retail events since the pandemic, and everyone showed up ready to unpack what’s next for the industry.

These are some of the highlights and insights that we took home with us this week after the show:

Canadian retail employees are remarkably resilient 

With all of the pivoting, innovating, and adapting, Canadian retails aren’t just meeting customers where they’re at… they’re meeting customers a step ahead. As we approach the intersection of future technology, supply chain changes, and conscious commerce, shoppers are more discerning than ever. 

The most successful retailers at RCC Stores are managing this balancing act deftly, reinventing the way they operate to meet these evolving priorities. IKEA is focused on omnichannel transformation, rolling out new tech for in-store self-service improvements, pre-booked returns, AI, all with the work/school-from-home customer in mind. Sephora has replicated in-store shipping experiences virtually, and they’re diligently working to change the way that orders are fulfilled altogether. London Drugs’ didn’t encounter nearly as many supplier issues as other retailers because they already had local infrastructures set up to counteract panic-buying. 

How are these retailers (and countless others) managing to enrich their buyers’ experience in the midst of industry challenges? Well, they all had one important priority in common: the human touch. 

After all, customer experience is inextricably linked with the employee experience. It’s no question that boosting retail employee engagement ultimately improves the customer experience. By setting up your frontline workers for success, they will feel empowered to represent the brand and be the voice of the company. That’s why the best brands have robust communication systems in place in order to provide context that empowers employees. 

When employees understand their role in accomplishing a greater mission, they will ultimately deliver incredible customer experiences. In fact, Canadian Tire has embedded their core brand mission of serving the community so deeply that it is felt all the way to the frontlines. Susan O’Brien, Chief Brand & Customer Officer, Canadian Tire Corporation credits the pandemic with reminding them of the value of that purpose. To help Canadians and communities respond to the pandemic, the brand donated $5 million to relief efforts. But articulating the brand purpose, promise, and mission to employees at every level, each human on the team has embodied that cause. 

Ron Wilson (President), and Mat Povse, (Senior Vice President, Retail & Geek Squad Services), of Best Buy Canada explained how they’ve entered new categories that are digitally enabled, enacted frictionless service options, and more. How do they do it? “Focus on humans both customers and employees,” they say. Their advice to retailers today is to lean into the human element of retail. After all, customers can’t come first if your employees aren’t first- employees are the core. 

In-person retail experiences are undergoing a renaissance

While digital innovations unfold, in-person retail is undergoing a similar transformation. Lush is no stranger to upheaving industry norms, which is why we’re excited that we got to sit down with them at RCC Store to discuss the latest handmade, hands-on experiences they’ve created. Zipline CEO and Co-founder, Melissa Wong sat down with Carmen Ip, Communications and Operations, and Meaghan Flaherty, LUSH Store Manager to unpack how Lush has elevated experiences, brought the brand to life, and created a strong following of customer advocates- all authentically.

Hear from the Lush team- explore their conversation from RCC Store 2022.

All in all, the experience was a home run!

To top the experience off, we hit it off ⚾️ at the ball game! We hosted some of our Torontonian friends in a private suite at the Rogers Centre to watch the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Chicago White Sox. We loaded up the plates with included food & drinks, and truly enjoyed connecting with industry colleagues! 

We loved connecting with leading retail experts about business-critical challenges and disruptive technology that drives the industry forward. Through our work, we help retailers to engage associates, ensure health and safety compliance, and drive execution. 

Zipline is proud to work with some of the most innovative retail brands across the globe and we are passionate about overcoming the challenges that brands like yours are facing today. 

Ready to streamline your store communications, engage and enable your store teams, and retool your retail? Let’s chat!

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