Advancing the State of Canadian Retail


Created out of a need

The retail sector is one of Canada’s largest private employers, generating nearly two million jobs and more than $ 550 billion. The sector is now being disrupted by e-commerce giants and large international retailers that are investing heavily in technology and data-driven initiatives to create unparalleled shopping experiences that our local retailers can’t compete with.

To maintain retail jobs while protecting Canada's economic vitality, local retailers need to improve their knowledge of consumers through the use of innovative data-driven technologies that provide insight on consumer habits, behaviours, and preferences while respecting privacy. By better understanding their customers, Canadian retailers will become more equipped to offer enhanced shopping experiences and ultimately be able to compete on a global scale.

Anchored in transparency and responsible collection and management of data, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Galilei, an open innovation non-for-profit organisation affiliated with Concordia University, have co-founded the Retail Innovation Foundry to help Canadian retailers master new technologies inherent in the retail industry. RIF brings together shopping centre operators, retailers, technology companies, university researchers and innovation activators whose collaborative efforts are stimulating the next generation of applications, tools and experiences for the Canadian retail sector. 

To face this challenge, there is an opportunity for the industry to join forces and put the local AI talent and technologies together in order to accelerate the pace of innovation, build better personalized shopping experiences for consumers and, ultimately, continue to drive Canada’s economic vitality.

The Retail Innovation Foundry wishes to establish the industry baseline in terms of responsible data governance that promotes consumer privacy while meeting the legal requirements.