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Canada’s leading food retailer now a digital power player

Published: August 14th, 2018 By:

For Immediate Release

August 14, 2018 (TORONTO) Grocery chain Loblaw Companies Limited was one of six organizations recognized at the second annual ITWC Digital Transformation Awards held in Toronto on Tuesday.

Digital has been disrupting the retail industry for years. Loblaw, Canada’s leading food and pharmacy retailer, with a rich history stretching back almost a century, has not been exempt from the pressures of emerging tech and rising customer expectations.

Loblaw has a strong retail business with strong brands and one of the best loyalty programs in Canada. Their overall goal was to rapidly bring these strengths to bear in the digital world while building a strong foundation for the future. They had to change the way they operated, and create a culture that could innovate, launch, iterate, and run multiple e-commerce businesses.

“There’s been a significant change, and our judges clearly felt it was dramatic enough, and done so masterfully, that recognition was warranted,” said ITWC CIO Jim Love. “Even the casual observer sees Loblaw has been evolving digitally for many years. You look at all their business lines now and can’t help but be impressed.”

Loblaw Digital first introduced online shopping for its clothing line, Joe Fresh. Then came online groceries  followed by Shopper’s Drug Mart division’s BeautyBoutique.ca. The division has also been crucial to the development and rollout of Loblaw’s PC Optimum program, which combines its former PC Plus and Shopper’s Optimum loyalty programs.

“This transformation has been six years in the making, and required the creation of a special unit within the company to get it all done,” said one of the program judges. “The change is massive, and has impacts all across the country.”

 

The winners and their categories

 Large Public Sector category: City of Vancouver. Award accepted CTO Jessie Adcock.

Digital Transformation Disruptor: SalesChoice Inc. Award accepted by Dr. Cindy Gordon.

SME Public category: Telefilm Canada. Award accepted by  Director, Administration and Corporate Services Denis Pion.

SME Public or not-for-profit organization category: Crisis Services Canada. Award accepted by CTO Roberta Fox.

Large Private Sector category: There was a tie. Loblaw Digital and PCL Construction. Accepting of behalf of Loblaw Digital was Senior Director of Development Sean Tozer.  CIO Mark Bryant accepted on behalf of PCL Construction.

During the conference that preceded the awards, the findings of two national studies were released: an ITWC/OpenText survey of the financial services and insurance industry and the annual CanadianCIO Census looking at the state of the CIO role in Canada. Government of Canada CIO Alex Benay opened the conference, and various panels discussed the impact of AI, best practices for security, and emerging opportunities around blockchain.

“We’re coming into a time of widening possibility when it comes to digital,” said ITWC CIO Jim Love. “Listening to our presenters and reviewing the accomplishments of our award winners, I see a dynamic spirit across the entire spectrum. This is very exciting.”

Event sponsors included BlackBerry, CA Technologies, Genesys, OpenText, Microsoft and SAS. Supporters included CATA Alliance, the CIO Association of Canada, Digital Nova Scotia, ICTC, FGS, IDC, SIM Toronto, Steam Labs, Ward Technology Talent, and Workday.

For more information, contact

Steve Proctor

Vice President ITWC

416 578- 5014

sproctor@itwc.ca

About ITWC

ITWC is Canada’s largest provider of content serving the IT industry. Independently owned, it operates websites, produces industry newsletters, hosts numerous webinars and events and provides marketing services.


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