By Aleysha Haniff
Even before Loblaw Companies Ltd. brought the Gardens to Ryerson, they helped the retail management program start up.
Ryerson has a successful history working with Loblaw, said retail management professor Donna Smith. She helped bring Loblaw on board almost a decade ago, in a deal to give a $1 million endowment to the school’s new program.
“No one thought of [retail] as a full-time career,” said Smith. At the time, the unique program seemed a little strange to others. When Loblaw got on board, along with other major retailers, they inspired other companies to consider the new school as a contender, said Smith.
She said money from the original endowment funds scholarships and curriculum material such as case studies.
Since then, Loblaw has contributed to the school by providing guest speakers, attending award nights and hiring Ryerson grads, said Sean Sedlezsky, program design manager for retail management. “Really, the whole school started because of relationships like this,” he said.
Sedlezsky said that hypothetically, the Loblaw Supermarket in the Gardens could help students research purchasing habits or staff scheduling. At the very least, students could seek a part-time job.