TORONTO — When Shopify Inc. opens its first brick-and-mortar space for the public Thursday, it won’t be crammed with aisles of products that the Ottawa-based company helps its 600,000 merchants sell.The small selection of merchandise the location will showcase from primarily U.S.-based merchants — a term Shopify uses to describe the companies using its offerings — will only be available for purchase online.Instead, Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s vice-president of product, said the brand’s first physical experience in a bustling Los Angeles spot will be focused on building a community and helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.Shopify announces $500 million presence in Toronto real estate developmentShopify CEO calls for special government treatment for hyper-scale tech companiesWhy Shopify thinks augmented reality is the future of online retailHe said Shopify intends to host workshops, talks and other events aimed at solving the biggest challenges Shopify merchants face. Merchants will be able to book in-person appointments with Shopify staff and pick up some of the hardware Shopify offers. Visiting merchants will also get access to retail consultants for product demos and hardware and software set up.On top of nurturing budding entrepreneurs at every level, Kanwar said the space at Row DTLA — a historic district filled with shops, restaurant and offices — will help Shopify to attract new merchants.The exterior of Shopify’s new store in Los Angeles. “Our focus is on building a global company and we have always had an amazing and large presence of merchants in the U.S., but there is absolutely room for us to grow and create more entrepreneurs,” he said.Already, Shopify said it has 10,000 merchants in Los Angeles alone and 80,000 in California.Shopify’s focus on physical support for retailers comes amid slowing growth. Year-over-year revenue grew by 62 per cent in the company’s second quarter, down from 68 per cent the quarter before and 75 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s chief operating officer, previously told The Canadian Press at the company’s annual Unite conference that the brick-and-mortar space wasn’t targeted at addressing slowed growth, but at aiding partners and merchants.At the time, he didn’t say whether Shopify will explore additional bricks-and-mortar spaces if the L.A. space is a success.Kanwar didn’t offer more details about whether bricks-and-mortar will figure into Shopify’s playbook in more markets moving forward, but said the company was seeing a flurry of bookings for events and workshops.“There are no confirmed plans for opening other locations right now, but we are really excited about the kind of response we have seen.” Handout/Shopify/The Canadian Press
GAF has been awarded a contract to design and establish the new automated and countrywide Mining Registry and Cadastre System for Mongolia. GAF starts work on-site this month. The project under the Governance Assistance Program (GAP) aims to improve governance in the mining sector, through the establishment of a transparent system to grant, manage and cancel permits. The efficient and reliable management of mining titles is considered as a backbone to increase investment and growth in the mining sector of Mongolia.The project’s objective is to strengthen the property rights and security of tenure within the mining sector; enhance the transparency of the mineral licensing process and government’s regulatory capacity through improved efficiency, information availability and management.A core element of the project is the supervision, development, equipping and implementation of a fully computerised mining registry and cadastre system. Existing analogue and digital data will be inventoried and re-organised. Institutional strengthening including focussed training activities and legal advice shall enhance the overall framework created by the new Mineral Law for the benefit of the administration, miners, investors as well as the public.Works will be performed for the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia, MRPAM. The project duration is 24 months, including a maintenance and support phase of 12 months. Activities are funded by the World Bank, International Development Association. The contract value amounts to €0.5 million. The activities in Mongolia follow countries like Nigeria, DRC, Madagascar and Namibia, where GAF has set-up nationwide computerised mining titling systems, some successful in operation for more than 10 years.