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Attracting Customers in New Ways

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To develop and innovate new digital and other strategies students and researchers at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University are set to work with local producers and artisans, technology companies and others at the Halifax Port Authority's Seaport Farmers' Market.

The idea for this partnership was born when when Julie Chaisson, executive director of the Seaport Farmers' Market, and a colleague attended a new week-long certificate program at Sobey's retail innovation centre. Future research topics considered are small video screens on shelves to tell the story of local food producers and artisans whose wares are sold in The Shelf, the farmers' market retail store and to deliver an assessment of their value or  specially-fitted glasses worn by consumers to see what attracts their attention in the store. The farmers market also serves as an incubator for local businesses, working with as many as 250 vendors.

"This partnership gives us a living laboratory in a real store," say Ramesh Venkat, director of the business school's David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services, of a new agreement with the Seaport Farmers' Market. "It will allow us to test innovations, run experiments and gather data while the store is operating." 

To read the full Globe and Mail article. click here.