Partner With Us
The David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services is part of the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. The Sobey School of Business is EQUIS and AACSB accredited and is one of the largest business schools in Canada. Our vision is to be a leading source of unbiased expertise for the retail sector.
The David Sobey Centre Partnership Program aims to build deep relationships with major retail, service and CPG companies. Partner companies can participate in a variety of activities throughout the year.
The David Sobey Centre (DSC) engages in three areas:
Research: We fund and sponsor several research projects each year in all areas relevant to the retail sector
Innovation: We fund, sponsor and collaborate in innovation projects that would be game-changers in the retail sector
Education: We offer executive education in retail and a variety of experiential learning opportunities for students in our degree programs
Value for Partner Companies
National Case Competition. Engage student teams in solving your pain points. Our faculty will work with your executives to write the case. In past competitions, students have developed insightful solutions for participating companies. Hackathon. Provide your company data (could be POS data, social media data or a combination of data sources), and let our data science students analyze the data and offer you insights.
The David Sobey Centre hosts a variety of events during the year, including numerous panel discussions, symposia and our annual Distinguished Retailer Speaker Series. These events are a great way to expose students to your company and engage with retail leaders from other companies nationwide. Retail Month – each year in October, the David Sobey Centre hosts a variety of events, including retail tours, speaker events, panels, and our annual Retail Innovation Awards. These events are designed to educate students about retail, and at the same time celebrate the sector and its achievers.
Participate in our summer internship program, which can be part of your talent pipeline. Hire students for one or two summers. We provide support services to make the process as frictionless as possible.
Student Consulting Projects
Engage a team of students to work on a project. The team is made up of students with skills relevant to the project. A retired executive acts as the mentor and a faculty supervisor provides technical guidance for the team. Projects are usually one semester in duration.
Engage top scholars and graduate students in research projects to take on significant challenges. Project duration and scope can vary. Our researchers use a wide range of methodologies including surveys, experiments and machine learning.
The David Sobey Centre has a biometric lab with eye-tracking, EEG, and facial expression detection technologies. These technologies can be used in the field to provide deep insight into consumer behaviour. Some recent/ongoing projects include:
- Impact of Work-from-Home in the Retail Sector
- Digital Transformation and Innovations Drivers in the Retail Sector
- How AI is Impacting Retail Across Value Chain
- Drivers of Customer Engagement in Pharmacy Retail
The DSC can be commissioned to develop innovations, which can be new technology, a product or retail concept development, a novel fulfillment method and so on. Projects can be funded by partner companies. In some cases, they may be funded by the David Sobey Centre. Multiple partners can share the cost of an innovation.
Examples of recent/ongoing projects:
- Development of a 3D store for training and running experiments
- Development of a retail robot that can do inventory check, price and planogram compliance in a retail store
- Use of computer vision in a retail environment
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