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Design sxsw 2019

Dispensaries of the Future: Design, Sustainability, and the Customer Experience” is a women-led panel exploring the importance of dispensary design, sustainability, and the consumer experience. As the cannabis marketplace continues to expand and products commoditize, retailers must identify new ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive retail environment. Cannabis industry retail designer, Megan Stone, owner of High Road Design, will be joined by Anne Forkutza, VP of Strategic Programs and Brand Officer at Cova, and Chelsea Bernardo, a seasoned retail designer, to discuss the ways in which dispensary design can 1) create greater profit margins; 2) increase a customer’s average ticket; 3) promote customer loyalty; and 4) differentiate a dispensary from competing storefronts—who are likely selling the same goods, at the same price point.

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Design sxsw 2019

  1. 1. Exploring the Future of Dispensaries: Design, Sustainability and Customer Experience
  2. 2. Dispensaries of the Future: Design, Sustainability and Customer Experience is a women-led panel exploring the importance of dispensary design, sustainability and consumer experience. As the cannabis marketplace continues to expand and products commoditize, retailers must identify new ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive retail environment.
  3. 3. The Importance of Design as a Differentiator “In the past, cannabis sold itself. Strains, packaging, branding, let alone the design of a store, didn’t matter as much as it does in today’s competitive environment. But with the floodgates open along the West Coast of the U.S., and Canada preparing for legalization, cannabis consumers now have more retail options than ever.” - Marijuana Venture
  4. 4. PANEL TOPICS Interior Design Customers can now purchase similar— if not the same products—at most dispensaries. As prices commoditize, retail design is one of the only ways a dispensary can differentiate itself from the competition. Further, the fastest growing consumer segments with regard to cannabis purchases are women and senior citizens. Catering to these demographics by introducing modern, thoughtful design is becoming more critical to non-chain, and chain, dispensary retailers alike. Customer Experience Designing a customer experience extends beyond aesthetic elements; retailers— charged more per square foot than a non- cannabis retailer for the same space—must use each square foot in a meaningful way to remain profitable and to be memorable to consumers. Visual Merchandising Well-curated inventory and beautiful displays are crucial to the cannabis normalization process as well as the promotion of cannabis education.
  5. 5. Panelist One // Megan Stone Owner, Principle of The High Road Design Studio A disruptor, innovator and entrepreneur, Megan Stone is the grand dame of dispensary design. As founder and owner of The High Road Design Studio, she has helped arm cannabis retailers nationwide with the power of design to combat stigma, overcome stereotypes, and reinvent people’s perceptions of cannabis and its users. Her unprecedented retail designs have helped usher dispensaries onto Main Street and into the mainstream, and have forever changed the international conversation about the retailing of “vice.” Her work has been lauded for altering thoughts, feelings and behaviors worldwide, blazing a trail and earning awards and commendations for design excellence along the way. She is a frequent speaker and contributing editor in both the cannabis and retail design industries. In early 2019, she will add “dispensary owner” to her growing list of credentials with the opening of her own cannabis boutique in Palm Desert, California.
  6. 6. Anne Forkutza started her career in customer experience and digital strategy at the age of 18. Over the years she has utilized her skills to help deliver award-winning campaigns for big brands such as Electronic Arts, Nike, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Loblaws, and Starbucks. She also has years of experience combining business strategy with innovative product design while in various leadership positions at iQmetrix, a leading retail solutions company. Anne is the Head of Customer Experience & Strategy at Cova—a leading cannabis software company—where she leads the creative vision and branding, builds strategic partnerships, and continuously strives to elevate the cannabis retail experience while moving this industry forward in a positive direction. She holds a Degree in Computer Sciences from Simon Fraser University and is also a regular mentor at Vancouver Film School’s Digital Design program. Panelist Two // Anne Forkutza Head of Customer Experience & Strategy at Cova
  7. 7. Panelist Three // Chelsea Bernardo Senior Creative Designer at Point7 Chelsea Bernardo is a seasoned graphic, visual merchandiser, and interior designer specializing in interior design and visual merchandising. Chelsea spent five years working both domestically and internationally for mainstream retailers including Victoria’s Secret, GAIAM, Bath and Body Works, Chico’s and Hilton, to name a few. In 2017, Chelsea began designing medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the United States, lending her extensive retail design experience to dispensary owners. Chelsea is now the Senior Creative Designer for Point7 where she manages a wide array of client facility and graphic design projects, aiming to create sustainable, high-impact dispensary experiences.
  8. 8. Moderator // Ashley Piccillo CEO & Founder at Point7 Ashley Picillo is the Founder and CEO of Point Seven Group (Point7), an international cannabis consulting firm supporting clients with licensure, facility design and operations. In 2018, Ashley founded and launched TimberDocs, a platform offering compliance and operations products for cannabis operators throughout the U.S. Ashley is also the author of Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed and Business a biographical collection about pioneering women in the cannabis space, which launched in 2017 at SXSW alongside her first SX panel Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed and Business. Since first presenting at SX, Picillo began exploring the role women had within the canna-technology space. Over her five years in the industry Picillo has worked in 21 states and has begun taking on international operators as Clients. She has overseen operations within all license types and is regarded as an industry thought leader.

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