The Voice of Retail podcast

The Voice of Retail

Michael LeBlanc

The Voice of Retail is a twice-weekly podcast hosted by retail pioneer, advisor and keynote speaker Michael LeBlanc and is produced in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada. Each and every week I interview the most interesting people in and around the retail industry, examining the key issues and strategies on the minds of thought leaders in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. © 2018-2021 M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    Digital Strategy In Changing Times with Kais Makhlouf, Vice President of Digital Solutions at Thinkmax

    30:00

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of CanadaKais Makhlouf, Vice President of Digital Solutions at Thinkmax Consulting, leverages his decades of hands-on experience  developing and refining digital strategies for retailers. Focusing on their needs, priorities and pre-existing digital ecosystems, Kais helps retailers navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape.Today on The Voice of Retail, Kais lets us into his world of digital strategy development. We talk about Kais’ experience in the industry, changing trends and impacts of the pandemic. Lastly, Kais shares his key pointers on creating resilient digital strategies, what to learn from the past and how to prepare for the future.Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week!Kais Makhlouf Passionate about digital technology with a strong acumen for corporate and business development at the international level, Kais has a proven ability to generate opportunities, establish relationships and manage cross functional teams to implement technology solutions and marketing programs at an enterprise level.Today, Kais is Vice President, Digital Solutions at Thinkmax, responsible for fostering and leading the practice with a mission to provide clients with technological and creative ideas and solutions to help them achieve their business digital transformation.Thinkmax Digital Solutions leverages the company’s long standing experience and deep expertise in implementing enterprise back-end systems (ERP) to empower clients in their journey of digital transformation. Thinkmax builds digital solutions, experiences and programs optimally leveraging enterprise data and services.Thinkmax has a specific focus on retail, distribution and manufacturing sectors, providing state of the art unified commerce solutions leveraging all customer touchpoints.Prior to joining Thinkmax, Kais held the position of VP, Strategic Partnerships at Nurun (a global full service interactive agency) and Orckestra (Commerce Cloud Software), where he led and managed major multi-million dollar international accounts in the travel, retail, distribution, media, manufacturing and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) sectors. In these positions, Kais has also developed new offers and established long standing partnerships and alliances with world class technology organisations such Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Sitecore and many others.Fluent in 5 languages, Kais enjoys traveling the world and exploring new cultures.Strength & Specialties:unified commerce, digital marketing, mobile, partner and alliance management, international development, business development, account management, business strategy. Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  Last but not least, check out my new YouTube cooking show, Last Request Barbecue!You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn. 
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    Step Inside the Mind of the Post-COVID Consumer: EY’s Future Consumer Index

    35:07

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of CanadaThere’s no doubt that the last twenty months have changed us and our relationship with the world. For retailers, this has resulted in an unprecedented shift in consumer behaviour that has proven difficult to stay ahead of, let alone predict.In today’s episode of The Voice of Retail, we’re going to step inside the mind of the modern consumer by unpacking the latest research coming out of EY.I’m thrilled to be welcoming back to the podcast Kristina Rogers, Chairwoman of the Global Consumer Board, who takes us through the latest edition of EY’s Future Consumer Index. We cover the key takeaways, surprising findings + more.Stick around for Kristina’s three pointers for retailers that are planning for 2022 and beyond.Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week! Kristina RogersGlobally led fastest growing set of industries at EY - from FY16-FY20 - by 2%. A creative and experienced senior executive leader in the areas of strategic marketing, corporate strategy, and global business development. Global sponsor and architect of both EY’s signature FutureConsumer.Now program and the EY Global Future Consumer Index.Areas of expertise include new concept and offer development, profitable growth planning, market entry strategy, strategic portfolio management, and market evolution planning in both the B2C and B2B marketplaces. Highly team-oriented and able to develop and communicate clear vision while assembling and galvanizing high-performing teams. Has had long-term client relationships with the world largest soft-drinks company, largest confectionery company, and largest FMCG/CPG firm working at the EVP and CEO levels. Currently Kristina is the Global Consumer Industries Leader at EY working to implement EY's global Consumer Industries strategy and to deliver exceptional client service to EY's global clients.Kristina is a truly global citizen having lived, worked, and travelled in over 50 countries. Previously, Kristina was the Emerging Market Leader for Consumer Products at EY. In this role Kristina worked extensively with EY teams and clients across markets such as Brazil, India, Turkey, MENA, and Asean.Over the years, Kristina has been a formal mentor to a number of high potential women in her field and was an Executive Member of Monitor Group's (now Deloitte) Global Women's Initiative. She is a member of the Financial Times 'Global Board Ready Women' group and peviously sat on Medtronic's Corporate Advisory Board. In Turkey, Kristina was selected as one of 40 women by Forbes Magazine to join 'More Women on Boards' or 'Yonetim Kurullarinda Daha Cok Kadin' encouraging more female Board participation.Kristina is an accomplished public speaker and panelist and has spoken at various conferences on the topics such as 'Keeping Senior Women in the Workplace' and 'Winning with Consumers in the Marketplace'.Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  Last but not least, check out my new YouTube cooking show, Last Request Barbecue!You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn. 
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    Social Media Masterclass with Groupe Dynamite's Michael Regina & Snap

    26:42

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.It was already happening before the pandemic. And Snap, COVID accelerated its adoption almost overnight. Mastering social media is more than another tool of the marketing toolkit in retail. It's table-stakes. On this episode of The Voice of Retail, I'm joined by Sr. Paid Media Specialist at Groupe Dynamite Michael Regina and Snap's Retail Vertical Lead Matt Bolivar, who take us through both the evolution of social media in retail and dive deep into the strategy and tactics behind using Snap's powerful consumer engagement tools to reach and interact with their nine million Canadian active users.Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week! Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  Last but not least, check out my new YouTube cooking show, Last Request Barbecue!You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn. 
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    Say Less, Get More: A Refreshing Take on Modern Negotiation

    25:05

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.Fotini Iconomopoulos is the person you call if you need to get what you want.After a decade in the retail space, Fotini refined her negotiation skills in the consumer packaged goods industry before becoming a management consultant. Today, she teaches MBA Negotiations at the Schulich School of Business, speaks to audiences all over the world and, most recently, wrote a book titled “Say Less, Get More: Unconventional Negotiation Techniques to Get What You Want.”Fotini joins me on The Voice of Retail to talk about refreshing our understanding of negotiation and proven tactics that can work for anyone. We discuss Fotini’s retail origin story, war rooms and common misconceptions to step away from.Written for everyone and anyone, “Say Less, Get More” offers a refreshing take on modern negotiation.Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week! Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn. 
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    From Impressed to Obsessed with Customer Experience Advisor and author Jon Picoult

    30:35

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.Jon Picoult is founder of Watermark Consulting a leading customer experience advisory firm and author of the new book From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 principles for turning customers and employees into lifelong fans.”You are really going to enjoy this interview on this episode - Jon thinks deeply about enterprise level customer experience from both a customer perspective and what it takes to create a culture that truly creates a remarkable and memorable experience - well beyond what he considers the low watermark of just satisfying customers  Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week!  Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn.   Jon PicoultJon Picoult helps companies impress their customers and inspire their employees, creating “raving fans” that drive business growth. He is the founder of Watermark Consulting and a noted authority on customer and employee experience.A sought-after business advisor and speaker, Jon has worked with some of the world’s foremost brands, personally advising CEOs and other members of the C-Suite. He helps organizations capitalize on the power of loyalty, both in the marketplace and in the workplace.Jon’s insights have been featured by dozens of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Economist, Inc., NBC News and Forbes.com (where he is a regular contributor).Prior to establishing Watermark, Jon held senior executive roles at Fortune 100 companies – leading service, operations, distribution, technology, sales and marketing. Early in his career, at the age of 29, Jon earned the distinction of becoming the youngest executive officer in the over 150-year history of a leading, global financial services company.Jon received his A.B. in Cognitive Science from Princeton University and his M.B.A. in General Management from Duke University.Specialties: Customer experience & loyalty; employee experience & engagement; operational efficiency; service excellence; brand management; leadership development
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    Meet the AI that’s Clearing the Path for Retailers in the Great Acceleration

    32:18

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada. Now more than ever before, digital marketers and retailers have a wealth of first-party data on consumers. Or at least they should - different podcast.  However, providing an authentic and unique eCommerce experience for audiences continues to prove difficult. On this episode of The Voice of Retail, I’m joined by Frank Faricy, the CEO + Founder of XGen AI. We talk about the chronic pains of contemporary digital retail marketing and the challenges of effectively and efficiently targeting potential customers. Learn about the innovative workings of XGen AI and how Frank and his team had to reinvent the wheel to get the cutting-edge platform that they run today. Their AI drives autonomous and real-time product recommendations with the goal of providing a true 1:1 digital shopping experience that is as dynamic and unique as each individual customer. Let’s explore the potential that lies at the intersection of retail and artificial intelligence.Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week!  Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn.  
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    Delivering the Future: Canada Post

    32:37

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.The Great Acceleration of eCommerce brought on by the pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented influx in deliveries. For Canada Post, every day of the last eighteen months has felt like Christmas.In this episode of The Voice of Retail, I am thrilled to chat with Canada Post’s Director of eCommerce, Steve Eggers. After debriefing on how the pandemic has brought on challenges and opportunities for the Crown Corporation, we discuss consumer behaviour, the scope of the company, building the capacity to handle the growth in parcels, and the upcoming holiday season.Tune in to our interview and don’t miss Steve’s key pointers for small and mid-sized retailers who will be relying on a smooth delivery to the doorstep this holiday season.For more research and resources for retailers on eCommerce:https://www.canadapost-postescanada.ca/cpc/en/business/marketing/campaign/ecommerce-hub.page?ecid=murl_lg_11176 Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week!  Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn.  
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    Fearless: Rebecca Minkoff’s Guide for Unlocking Success

    27:10

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.Rebecca Minkoff could write the rule book on being a fearless business leader. In fact - she just did.While leading her internationally-recognized fashion brand through the throws of the pandemic, Rebecca also found the time to channel her experience and insights into her latest book ‘Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage and Success.’I’m thrilled to have fashion design icon Rebecca join me on this episode of The Voice of Retail. Today, we talk about persevering as a retailer in the pandemic, The Female Founder Collective, and, of course, Rebecca’s new book. Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn. 
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    Ethics, Holiday Trends + Consumer Behaviour: Google’s Managing Director of Canadian Retail

    39:47

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.If you are a retail marketer in Canada chances are pretty good you know Eric Morris - I’ve known Eric for well over a decade, and I learn something new every time we catch up. Google Canada’s Managing Director of Retail has been at this dent the universe company for nearly twenty years - he’s one of the original 500. Over the course of his career, he has witnessed vast growth within Google and across the industry, and their evolving relationship with retailers in Canada.In this episode of The Voice of Retail podcast, Eric and I unpack the latest topics at the intersection of technology and retail. Together, we break down key forecasts and trends, and address some surprising misconceptions about the tech giant.In an increasingly competitive retail environment, Eric underlines Google’s commitment to Canadian retailers - both big and small - and tackles the tough issues that come from the platforms growth and sophistication for advertisers of all sizes. Eric MorrisEric Morris is the Managing Director of Google's Retail practice in Canada, where since 2002, he has worked alongside the country's top marketers and executives.Eric has held several leadership roles at Google Canada, leading sales, operations, research, strategy and analytics for Google's advertising business. Most recently, he led Google Canada's search and performance advertising business. Previously, Eric launched and led Google’s mobile advertising business in Canada.In 2016 Eric was named inventor and issued a patent in the United States for identifying rising search queries and trends at scale for advertisers worldwide.Eric was elected to the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada’s board of directors in 2009, and served as Chair of the board in 2015-2017.Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, Eric is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn.  
  • The Voice of Retail podcast

    A brand and retailing masterclass from the Land Down Under: meet Bunnings

    31:20

    Welcome to the The Voice of Retail , I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, and this podcast is brought to you in conjunction with Retail Council of Canada.You need to get to know Michael Schneider. It’s not that easy, as he lives and works a world away running one of the largest retailers in Australia and New Zealand, Home Improvement retail powerhouse Bunnings.   But I’m doing my part - Michael was my very special guest recently at Retail Council of Canada’s STORE2021 thought leadership conference, so I thought it only appropriate to bring our conversation onto the podcast.In fact, this is Michael’s second time on the podcast, so we spend a bit of time catching up with current events,  but then get right to the good stuff: how Bunnings is one of the most, if not the, respected and trusted brand in Australia - of all brands.  What principles, guidelines, guardrails are in place to achieve that kind of cohesion across all of the departments, people and the communities they operate in.Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Voice of Retail.  Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss out on the latest episodes, industry news, and insights. If you enjoyed  this episode please consider leaving a rating and review, as it really helps us grow so that we can continue getting amazing guests on the show.I’m your host Michael LeBlanc, President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company, and if you’re looking for more content, or want to chat  follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website meleblanc.co!Until next time, stay safe and have a great week!Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and the all new Conversations with CommerceNext podcast.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn.  

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