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Deal Signals New Generation of Retail Marketing in Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia-based London Drugs said it selected Emerge Online as its interactive agency to develop an extensive Web site and electronic commerce strategy.

The account win represents one of the trends emerging in electronic commerce--large traditional retailers increasingly turning to focused "boutique" firms to forge their online future.

"Retail marketing in Canada is about to undergo a massive change," said Emerge senior strategist Tod Maffin. "We're seeing the marketplace begin to explore entirely new models of retail revenue--such as trackable couponing, on-the-fly product customization, and individual-item bidding systems."

"More and more, we're seeing 'bricks-and-mortar' retailers wanting to put themselves firmly in this next generation of retail. It's not enough any more to put a catalog online and expect shoppers to flock to your site."

Emerge Online is a Vancouver-based new media consultancy specializing in retail e-commerce and fulfillment strategies, and the deployment of Internet technologies to maximize return-on-investment.

Its national client base includes Intrawest, Richmond Savings, International Data Corporation, and the British Consulate-General. It employs 35 people and has been in operation since 1996.

London Drugs is one of Canada's most successful retail drug store chains. It has 46 stores in 29 markets throughout B.C. and Alberta. The 100% Canadian-owned private company serves 40 million shoppers annually.



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