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Certification in retail management

Turn Your Challenges
Into Catalysts For Growth


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 six-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: Gino Plevano

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

Change management and leadership
Engaging your team members to achieve results

Instructor: Hubert Mposo Makwanda
Speaker: Frédérick Guérin

In today’s uncertain and ever-changing environment, the ability to help employees embrace organizational change is essential for any manager. The true key to successful change management is earning the buy-in of the various parties involved. In this module, you will:

  • Become acquainted with what employees expect from their leaders.
  • Learn the sources of legitimacy leaders can utilize to communicate better with their teams.
  • Identify the key touchpoints between leaders and their team members.
  • Find out how to effectively address employees’ needs in order to help them embrace change.
  • Become familiar with and learn to apply influence strategies and tactics for successful organizational change.

Module 3

Management strategy and team mobilization
Strategy, team mobilization and best practices

Instructor: Corinne Prost
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:

  • Gain a better understanding of yourself and the members of your team to become more adaptable and interact more effectively with one another.
  • Tap into the strengths of face-to-face interaction and make them work for you in online communication.
  • Rethink your team management strategies and best practices to boost your ability to win more clients.
  • Improve your management skills in a dynamic virtual context.
  • Reduce social anxiety and engage your teams using a combined online/in-person approach.

Module 4

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:

  • Address key issues associated with the omnichannel supply chain: curbside pickup or home delivery, in-store or in-warehouse order preparation, DIY vs. outsourced solutions, etc.
  • Manage your supply chain in a changing world: before, during and after a crisis.
  • Recognize the importance of responsiveness, accuracy and standardized information in streamlining your supply chain.
  • Determine whether centralized or decentralized inventory management is for you.
  • Identify and prioritize product classification criteria.
  • Manage supply chain risks: Develop close ties with suppliers; plan and prioritize safety stock.
  • Strike a balance between supply chain and sustainability requirements.

Module 5

Business strategies in the digital age

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.

Module 6

Rethinking customer service and the customer experience
Designing a memorable customer experience

Instructor: Isabelle Dufour
Speaker: Jean Bédard

Develop a big-picture vision of how to manage customer service and the customer experience against a backdrop of ongoing change and disruption. Understand the factors that influence customer satisfaction and loyalty. Learn how to handle crises and difficult situations. This module will help you:

  • Develop an understanding of the psychological factors of the customer experience and identify KPIs.
  • Avoid common pitfalls and identify moments of truth throughout the customer journey.
  • Manage customer satisfaction in a disruptive environment.
  • Adopt an agile approach to the customer experience.
  • Reinvent the customer experience in a post-COVID world.


  • 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

Daniel Côté

BBA (Industrial Relations)
Corporate Director and Consultant

Isabelle Dufour

Sales Director (Eastern Quebec), SAQ

Melissa Duhamel

BCOM. (Marketing), MBA
Director, E-commerce and Omnichannel, BMR Group

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

Senior Vice President, Retail Operations, Sobeys

Hubert Mposo Makwanda

Founding-President, Concilium Capital Humain

Gino Plevano

MSc (Marketing)
Senior Vice-President, IT-Digital Strategy, Groupe CH

Corinne Prost

B.A. (Economic), MSc (Human Ressources)
Lecturer, HEC Montréal, Founder of CAP formation-développement

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


One evening - 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
and Six 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 be face-to-face session only.

Networking cocktail on the last day, in the evening.



Course given in French


 Make an appointment with:

Nadia Uria

Nadia Uria-Fernandez
Program Manager

 By Email
 By Phone


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