Morris Saffer
2020 Inductee
Morris Saffer

Morris Saffer is the Chairperson of Saffer Retail

While at the summer Harvard School of Retail in the mid 1960s, Morris Saffer published his pioneering philosophy ‘The Store is a Brand’TM

Based on this strategic approach, Morris founded the first advertising agency specializing in retailing.

At its peak, Saffer clients in Canada, U.S.A. and Latin America had combined annual sales over $50 Billion. Clients included The Hudson Bay Co, Allied and Federated Department Stores (Bloomingdales, Macy’s etc.), People's Jewelers, Zales, General Motors Dealers, Firestone and, most famously, and, most famously, Home Hardware’s 1000 stores, for over 40 years.

In 1977 Morris was the youngest, and only the second Canadian, elected to the American Retail Advertising Hall of Fame.

Morris co-founded the Chicago based American Retail Advertising and Marketing Association and served as its Chairman for 25 years (over 1500 retailers and suppliers attended its annual conference - in February - in Chicago!). RAMA later merged with the National Retail Federation. Morris also helped found the Toronto Retail Ad Club, which later merged with the Retail Council of Canada.

Morris became a retailer himself, investing in David’s Bridal and, as acting CMO, helped it grow to over 300 stores with a 25% share of the US Bridal Gown market. He sold his shares in 2000 after going public.

He was named ‘Marketer of the Decade’ in the '90s and received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Marketing division of the Retail Council of Canada in 2015.

In 2015 Morris sold his agency to the Paris based Havas network - one of the world’s largest marketing companies.

The ‘Store is a Brand’TM strategy builds a consistent, rewarding relationship with customers. This relationship is even more relevant in our digital era, where Branding Begins Online.

Today, Morris is Chairperson of Saffer Retail, developing data-driven, digital strategies, and integrating creative and media.