Canada Post Hosts 4th Annual Direct Summit for Retailers

Canada Post Hosts 4th Annual Direct Summit for RetailersUnique Conference Dedicated to Direct Retailing in Canada Toronto - January 23, 2007 - Canada Post announced today the conference dates for the Direct Summit, a conference dedicated to the advancement of the Multi-Channel Retail Industry in Canada. This year's highly anticipated event is scheduled for April 16-18 at the Toronto Park Hyatt Hotel, rated one of Conde Naste's "best luxury hotels in North America." Now in its fourth year, the Direct Summit has attracted Canadian and U.S. catalog and e-commerce retailers such as LL Bean, Home Depot, Walt Disney Direct, Lands End, Sears Canada, HBC, Eddie Bauer, and Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters. Registration for the Direct Summit is free to all direct retailers.Senior delegates will converge at the Direct Summit to network and hear from industry experts such as those from the NPD Group, JC Williams, The Shopping Channel and Smarthome on the latest shifts in consumer behavior and direct marketing strategies to pull the highest response. The keynote speaker is Anthony Stokan, best selling author of Who's Minding the Store? His in- depth involvement in retail, marketing and manufacturing enhances his uniquely informed perspective on what consumers want. His new book, Naked Consumption, is an incisive look at the 10 trends defining the future of retail this decade.Kaileen Millard-Ruff, director of fashion with the NPD Group, will share the latest insights into merchandise category trends in Canada and will pinpoint valuable retailer opportunities. Jim Okamura, senior partner of the JC Williams Group will outline trends in Canada from both the consumer and retailer perspectives. Jim's work in multi-channel retail is counted as the industry's best thinking on the subject.The direct retail sector is growing steadily as more retailers begin to realize the lucrative opportunity that Canada holds for those with the right merchandise and multi-channel sale strategy. By 2005, the number of major catalog titles in Canada had increased by an astounding 300% over the previous years. This indicates that retailers understand the demand from Canadians for more choice and channels to shop from. For U.S. retailers it signals that Canada is being eyed as a first step into international markets.Organizers at Canada Post say what sets this conference apart is the peer- to-peer interaction."Last year's Direct Summit was instrumental in bringing together retailers in Canada to share the successes they enjoyed and the challenges they each faced," said Paulina Sazon, marketing manager for Canada Post. "What came out of that were strategies built to benefit all; the lookbook(TM) catalog is a prime example of that." The lookbook(TM) catalog is Canada's first multi- merchant catalog and a title owned and operated by Canada Post.In this spirit, Ted Starkman, senior vice president and general manager of The Shopping Channel (TSC) will discuss the framework behind the unique blend of DRTV, catalog and web that make up TSC's stellar multi-channel strategy. Jason Root, vice-president of merchandising and print marketing for U.S. based Smarthome, will also offer insight into his company's international market strategy that has fueled his company's growing share in Canada's direct retail market.The Direct Summit is open to all retailers who have a direct retail business or interest in Canada. The conference will also benefit those retailers interested in building a multi-channel retail strategy and forging a strong first step into the international retail marketplace. Quick facts: Canada Post's Direct Summit (the Conference for Catalogers & Multi-Channel Retailers) Registration is free for Retailers April 16 - 18, 2007 Park Hyatt Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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