December 5, 2017
On Thursday, November 9th, 2017, members of The Business School Placement Centre accompanied eight Fashion Management students to the Canadian Club of Toronto for an event featuring Harley Finkelstein, Chief Operating Officer, Shopify. The topic was “What does the future of retail look like?” Finkelstein discussed Shopify's business model, how they do business with entrepreneurs, as well as how retail will evolve both online and in-store and how customers dictate to the retailer how they want to purchase goods. The tickets were graciously sponsored by Carrie Kirkman, President, Global Brand Groups Canada.
Jenna Valenti, a Fashion Management Bachelor of Commerce student, shares her experience on the talk: “I had the pleasure of attending an event featuring speaker Harley Finkelstein, Chief Operating Officer at Shopify. He founded his first company at the age of 17 and is currently a dragon on Dragons’ Den, where he regulary speaks about is beliefs on the future of Canadian businesses. During his talk, he went on to explain the future of retail: how single channel retail will not thrive, but rather omnichannel retail will take hold. For this reason, shopify not only provides online and brick and mortar support for small business, but also released a shopping platform for Instagram, with hopes to expand this strategy to Pinterest and other social media websites. The future of retail is everywhere. At fashion week, a barcode was displayed on the back drop while the models walked the runway. This barcode could be scanned with any smartphone and it would link you to a page in which the exact outfit walking the runway at the time could be purchased. Augmented reality is a huge trend right now too, as retail apps will begin to use this to offer a new way to shop. Imagine an app where you can see the couch you want to buy in your living room – that’s the future. Retail is everywhere.”