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Certification in retail management

Take a Lead Role
in the Reinvention of Retail.


In an effort to deepen and broaden Quebec’s knowledge pool, the SAQ and HEC Montréal are joining forces to offer the province’s only training course for retail executives.

In collaboration with:

logo SAQ

This five-day program will produce first-class managers who are not afraid to push the limits of retail. Despite the ever-changing economic backdrop, you too can:

  • Grow your retail knowledge and skills.
  • Gain the tools to ensure the profitability of your business.
  • Learn best practices in strategic and tactical decision-making.


  • Review your business model in order to increase your organizational agility and ability to innovate.
  • Strategically position your organization and embrace the most innovative practices in customer service, omnichannel retail and supply chain management.
  • Choose a management style that suits the new reality on the ground.


  • If you are an executive, director, decision-maker, professional or next-generation leader in a retail business, this program is for you!
  • You must be fluent in French and English (bilingual program).


  • Content tailored to your experience under the guidance of an expert in upper-level management.
  • An active teaching style combining theory and practice to ensure you have a clear roadmap to follow by the end of the program.
  • Skilled instructors out of the business, education and research sectors, who are up to date on industry best practices.


The programs helps develop our ideas and encourages us to embrace a growth and innovation mindset. It was a fantastic experience and I got a great deal out of it.

Guillaume Durocher, Category Manager, Sobeys Canada


Module 1
The dynamics of strategy, innovation and agility
Concepts, trends and best practices.

Instructors: JoAnne Labrecque and Laurent Simon
Speaker: Frédérik Guérin

With change being a constant in our economy, you need to update your business model if you want to improve your company’s performance and hone your competitive edge. This module will help you acquire the necessary knowledge to review your business model in order to increase your agility and empower your ability to innovate. More specifically, this module aims to:

  • Provide an introduction to the business model canvas and the innovation canvas.
  • Identify the main pros and cons of your particular business model.
  • Determine the roles and responsibilities of the various people involved in implementing innovative projects.
  • Orchestrate ways to put innovation into action, taking into consideration the limitations of your business.
  • Earn employees’ buy-in for innovative projects (encourage them to be open to different perspectives).
  • Manage the various stages of innovation: process, context, organizational culture.
  • Buy-in.
  • Reconcile strategy and eco-responsibility.

Module 2
Leadership and team mobilization
Engaging your team members to achieve results.

Instructor: Hubert Mposo Makwanda
Speaker: Alain Ménard

Managing a business means guiding teams to collaborate effectively and go the extra mile in order to better serve the business’s purpose and objectives. In this module, you will:

  • Determine what your leadership style is.
  • Find out how to lead and inspire during times of uncertainty.
  • Learn how to strengthen your corporate culture through inclusive leadership.
  • Identify the sources of legitimacy you can rely on to get your team to embrace change.
  • Find out how sharper political skills in the workplace can help you be a better leader.
  • Understanding how to strengthen your team’s resilience by providing them with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.
  • Learn how to make your customer strategies more results-oriented.

Module 3
Key decisions in supply chain management
Best practices and performance indicators.

Instructor: Marie-Ève Hallé
Speaker: Daniel Côté

Proper supply chain management is a strategic component of organizational performance. This module will show you how to:

  • Get a better handle of major supply chain issues – distribution centre agility, automation, traceability, sustainable information management.
  • Determine where category management and procurement processes intersect.
  • Recognize how important high-quality information is to effective procurement practices.
  • Make the flow of goods or services from supplier to customer more reliable within a dynamic supply chain.
  • Manage supply chain risk, develop close ties with key suppliers, and plan and prioritize safety stock.
  • Optimize inventory flow: on-shelf availability, automatic resupply, product classification criteria; distinguish between just-in-time and just-in-case inventory management.
  • Understand the steps that go into creating an effective dashboard and pick the right KPIs for your business.
  • Strike a balance between procurement strategy and environmental sustainability. 

Module 4
Business strategies in the digital age
Leverage your digital ecosystem to increase your business’s appeal.

Instructor: Gabriel Tassé
Speaker: Melissa Duhamel

The digital revolution continues to affect consumer behaviours. Companies’ sales and communications platforms are instrumental in interacting with consumers, and the data that comes through these channels is critical in shaping subsequent retail strategies. More and more, business performance depends on the ability to strategically utilize this data to attract, convert and retain customers. This module will show you how to:

  • Develop a customer-centric approach in an omnichannel context.
  • Gain insight into shopping and consumer behaviours in the digital age.
  • Determine the best strategies and tactics to attract, convert and retain customers using the various channels at your disposal.
  • Acknowledge challenges and opportunities related to digital technology and big data.
  • Tap into the vast potential of artificial intelligence to boost your productivity.
  • Gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your digital ecosystems.
  • Define KPIs for your online presence.
  • Implement digital strategies that respect your customers’ privacy and ensure the responsible management of your data and practices. 

Module 5
The customer experience
Creating unique, meaningful and memorable moments for your customers.

Instructor: Isabelle Dufour
Speaker: Jean Bédard

This module will give you deeper insight into the steps that go into building a customer experience — from ideation to execution — by taking an in-depth look at the integrated strategy embraced by La Cage restaurant. During this module, you will:

  • Revisit the various components that are part of the customer experience.
  • Gain a better understanding of the work that needs to be done beforehand to ensure a successful customer experience.
  • Re-examine your performance criteria and how they are changing against the backdrop of a labour shortage.
  • Understand the importance of conveying your customer experience objectives within your organization.
  • Learn how to introduce CSR to make your company more attractive to customers.
  • Study La Cage’s ecosystem and the factors underlying its success.


  • Dynamic, interactive, user-friendly and hands-on.
  • Sharing of participants’ thoughts and experiences.


Certification Academic Director:

JoAnne Labrecque

MBA (Marketing), PhD (Consumer Economics)
Honorary Professor, HEC Montréal


Jean Bédard

President and CEO, Grandio Group

Daniel Côté

BBA (Industrial Relations)
Corporate Director and Consultant

Isabelle Dufour

Sales Director (Eastern Quebec), SAQ

Melissa Duhamel

BCOM. (Marketing), MBA
Vice-President, Marketing and E-commerce, La Cordée

Frédérik Guérin

Chief Executive Officer, The Fabric Club

Marie-Ève Hallé

Assistant director, Logistics, CISS de Lanaudière and Lecturer, HEC Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal

Alain Ménard

Vice-President, Development and Commercial Relations, Sobeys Affiliated Merchants

Hubert Mposo Makwanda

Founding-President, Concilium Capital Humain

Laurent Simon

DESC (Management), MSc (Management), PhD (Administration)
Professor and Director, Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, HEC Montréal

Gabriel Tassé

MSc (Marketing)
Lecturer, HEC Montréal et Co-Founder, Click & Mortar


Alain Brunet

Adjunct Professor associé, HEC Montréal


$3,495 + taxes


Five days - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


To be kept informed of upcoming dates, please send your details to executiveeducation@hec.ca

The first day will take place at HEC Montréal and the last day at La Cage restaurant.

Networking cocktail on the last day, in the evening.

On-site, Downtown
Hélène-Desmarais Building AND online


Course given in French


 Make an appointment with:

Nadia Uria-Fernandez

Nadia Uria-Fernandez
Program Manager

 By Email
 By Phone


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Executive Education > Our programs > Certifications > Certification in retail management