Future of Retail

Remote is turning retail on its head

The recent rapid and widespread adoption of technology and virtual retail has accelerated the future of retail to now. We're here to help companies stay relevant and profitable in our changing world.


Future of Retail Is Now | Virtual Summit

Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 10 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET | Communitech Virtual Hub

Join Interac, Sonova and Cineplex Digital Media to hear how they’re leveraging Canada’s community of tech to advance the future of retail. Because retail has changed. And some of the hurdles are too big to overcome alone. 

The Future of Retail collaborative was created with one goal in mind – engaging Communitech’s ecosystem to identify and solve for a new retail reality. 

Challenge partners will discuss:

  • How they’re collaborating with tech companies to move the retail innovation needle forward.
  • How collaboratives are changing the game by leveraging Canada’s largest innovation ecosystem.
  • The crucial nature of innovation in retail, what’s next for retailers and how decision makers can get – and stay – involved. 

Want to know how they did it? Register and pick a breakout session to attend – Interac, Cineplex Digital Media, or Tulip. Check out the agenda below to select the breakout session you want to attend. 


1 collaborative


2 challenges


12 partners

  • 10 – 10:35 a.m. ET | Virtual summit opening remarks and panel 

    Hear executives from Interac and Sonova discuss how they leveraged the Future of Retail collaborative to solve big problems – problems too big to solve on their own. 
  • 10:35 – 11:05 a.m. ET | Associate lead panel

    Moderated by Craig Norris


    Hear from Future of Retail partners as they describe their experience working in this collaborative: why they decided to take part, what they learned along the way and what they hope it will achieve.


  • 11:10 a.m. ET | Sonova and Interac challenge tracks

    Hear what Sonova did to tackle the stigma behind hearing loss and what they learned along the way. Also, see live demos from the Canadian startups they engaged with – both of which are now running pilots within Sonova.
    Interac’s role as lead partner in Future of Retail collaborative was driven by their commitment to support Canada’s economic recovery post-COVID. Canada’s SMB retailers are vital to the economy. Learn how Interac and their partners worked through this challenge, what they learned and what they achieved. See live demos from startups committed to supporting SMB retailers.
  • 12 p.m. ET | Consumer behaviour panel

    Moderated by Craig Norris


    Today, decision makers have access to technologies that can gather and analyze consumer data like never before. But customers don’t always do what they say, they don’t always say want the mean, they sometimes don’t mean what they think and they rarely think in a way marketers want them to. So how can consumer sentiment be converted into consumer behaviour? And what are the tools and tactics available to decision makers that can equip them to navigate this inflection point?

  • 12:30 p.m. ET | Break

  • 12:45 p.m. ET | Breakout sessions

    Please choose one

    Breakout #1 | Presented by Interac

    Preparing your small business for success in the new digital economy and physical reality.

    Learn how Interac can help companies transition to digital while making their in-store experience unique and relevant.

    Breakout #2 | Presented by Cineplex Digital Media

    Retail reimagined: How to optimize in-store with digital experiences. 

    Workshop: Learn how to evaluate an in-store experience that creates a clear value proposition, improves customer engagement and drives business results.

    Breakout #3 | Presented by Tulip

    The big pivot: Adapting to shape the future of retail. Tulip had to pivot – fast – to create the retail solutions their clients needed to adapt and survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how you can apply their strategies and best practices to better meet your customers' needs and become a more agile company.

  • 1:45 – 2:15 p.m. ET | Breakout sessions ends

    Past events

    Communitech Future of Retail: Call for Solutions

    May 4, 2021
    Canadian startups have been invited to answer Interac’s call for solutions on how to advance “buy local” initiatives for consumers and small businesses across the country.

    Communitech Future of Retail: Solve a Problem for National Retailers

    Oct. 8, 2020
    The Future of Retail Call For Solutions called on innovation leaders from Sonova, Tulip Retail and Lazaridis School of Business and Economics to help Canadian retailers continue to evolve and provide amazing customer experiences.

    Communitech Future of Retail: Pandemic Edition

    Mar. 26, 2020
    In this first-ever Future of Retail working breakfast, participants from major retailers discuss how to lead through our changing landscape

    Future of Retail news

    Future of Retail collaborative is helping companies adapt and succeed in a changing world.

    The National Post, Apr. 7, 2021

    Through the Future of Retail collaborative, led by Communitech, technology-driven companies are working together to help businesses enhance their value to customers, expand their reach beyond the store floor, and succeed in this changing landscape.

    Read the story

    Want to learn about how Communitech helps main street retailers? Head over to Digital Main Street for programs designed to help small businesses continue to operate and grow in any climate.

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    Future of Retail collaborative partners

    Lead partners

    Associate partners

    Contributor partners


    Janelle Chalouhi

    Have questions?

    Janelle Chalouhi is happy to help.

    Vice President of Business Development | Email Janelle Chalouhi or call +1 (519) 888-9944