The David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services (DSC) was founded in 2014, thanks to a visionary and generous gift by Dr. David L. Sobey.

The DSC’s mandate is to help build a vibrant retail sector in Canada through research, innovation and retail education. The David Sobey Centre funds faculty research related to retail as well as directly engages in research projects, sponsors, and engages in the development of innovations, and disseminates knowledge through a variety of executive education programs and events.  


The David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services (DSC) is committed to being the leading source of expertise in retailing. Through research, innovation and education, the DSC will have a transformative impact on the retail sector.


  • To help build a vibrant retail sector in Canada through fostering meaningful relationships and the dissemination of research, innovation and education.


  • To empower the retail community with unbiased research and education to help them innovate in building better leadership, employee experiences, customer experiences and community impact.


Our Three Areas of Focus


The David Sobey Centre conducts and funds applied and collaborative research addressing real issues relevant to the retail sector. DSC’s research, most often conducted with industry collaboration, provides insights that can improve business practices and outcomes for retailers, making the DSC a trusted source of expertise for the retail sector.

To achieve our research goals, the DSC brings together expertise from fields such as psychology, information systems, engineering, computer science and more. The diverse range of perspectives creates a rich tapestry of knowledge, enabling us to develop valuable insights for the retail sector.



Innovation is essential to the success of the global retail industry. The David Sobey Centre funds, develops, and tests new technologies, processes, and methodologies critical to the future of the retail industry.

The DSC innovation mandate is to address interesting industry challenges using unique approaches benefitting the retail sector. Innovations at the DSC is carried out entirely in-house, bringing together faculty and graduate students, from multiple disciplines, as well as industry partners, both retail and technology companies.

The DSC’s labs (biometric lab and digital lab), mock store and store-lab provide the ideal environment for identifying innovation opportunities, developing, and testing innovations, as well as deploying them in a retail store.



As the retail landscape continues to evolve rapidly, retails professionals need upskilling. Students aspiring for a career in retail need relevant, contemporary education and skills. To enable those who are already working in retail and those who aspire to join this sector to have the appropriate skills, the DSC offers executive programs, insightful industry symposia, panel discussions and speaker events.

For students, we offer a variety of experiential learning opportunities and internships to develop a deeper understanding of retail. The DSC’s educational programs and events are carefully orchestrated with input from industry experts to ensure their relevance.

In addition to our well-attended open enrollment programs, the DSC creates custom executive education programs for retailers by working closely with partner companies.

The DSC is the premier institution for retail executive education.