Don Watt heads DW+Partners, a Toronto-based strategic retail services group dedicated to helping companies improve their brands and performance. The firm invests in, manages and enhances assets in the areas of branding, product development and packaging, retail planning and design, communications and innovative new technologies in support of the retail experience. It is driven by partner-led expertise to bring a new level of integration to retail thinking.
Don has amassed an impeccable track record as a master of retail strategy providing solutions for achieving retailer profitability. He founded and, until June 2003, led Watt International, one of the largest strategic planning design firms in North America. He is best known for providing innovative retail solutions for clients such as Loblaws, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Safeway, Ahold, Do-It-Best Corp, Nestlé, Kraft and Cott Corporation.
His accomplishments are far-reaching and include development of the brand, stores and No Name and President’s Choice product programs for Loblaws; design of the Wal-Mart brand and the Super Center retail model, as well as their Sam’s Choice, Great Value and Equate retail brand programs. He created the Home Depot brand and prototype store concept. Early design credits include his design being chosen as the basis of the Canadian Flag, and contributing to the design of the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67.
Don was recognized by the Harvard Business School for developing a firm that created unconventional solutions to classic profit-improvement problems, using strategic design to effect change in consumer response.
Don gives freely of his time in support of worthy causes. He is former chair of the Clarke Foundation (now the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), where he developed ‘The Courage to Come Back’ annual fund-raising event, and the campaign to acquire P.E.T. technology, building a dedicated facility for it.
Don Watt is an in-demand speaker at international conferences on issues relating to brand and retail strategy. He also sits on the boards of Cott Corporation, The Forzani Group, Aastra Technologies Limited, Menu Foods Inc. and Pet Health Inc.