Le contenu

SAQ-HEC Montréal program in retail management




From exhausted retailer to exhilarated driver of growth
Find out how to play the rapidly changing retail game – and win!

Retail practitioners, HEC Montréal faculty members and consultants come together for this unique industry-centric program, a joint initiative of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and HEC Montréal.

This year’s program has been further enhanced, giving participants the opportunity to attend the Summit on Retail and enjoy tours of select retail environments, hosted by their respective CEOs.

20+ industry leaders, academics and retail consultants come together for this unique industry-centric program.


"It’s about learning. This program gets you to take another look at the way you do things. Being able to share your experiences with other participants is a big advantage."

Geneviève Bilodeau, Owner, IGA Extra Chaumont Bilodeau

$3,000 + taxes


Five Mondays – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and
Five Tuesdays – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Course given in French

HEC Montréal
January 14, 15, February 4, 5, 25, 26,
March 17, 19, April 8, 9, 2019

Share on

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Courriel Imprimer


  • Improve retail management knowledge and skills.
  • Acquire better tools to boost your bottom line.
  • Understand the various components of the retail industry.
  • Utilize best practices to make strategic and tactical decisions that get results.

Is this for you?

  • Owners and future owners of retail establishments
  • Experienced retail managers

This program is for you if:

  • You have at least five years of relevant experience.

Special features

  • Intensive professional development program in tune with the needs of retail managers: 50 hours in total spread out over five sessions (Monday night and Tuesday all day) every three weeks.
  • Hands-on content.
  • Limited number of enrolments to ensure high-quality interaction.
  • Compelling input from top industry executives.

"The content was very relevant. It was everything I hoped and more. I would recommend it to retail managers in any sector."

Christine Laplante, Outlet Manager – Sales, Société des alcools du Québec

"Very useful for understanding important issues that you tend to overlook when you’re neck-deep in day-to-day operations."

Hughes Dupuis, Operations, Groupe Bergeron Dupuis et Associés

"The program provides an excellent overview of the industry and the related issues. It is also an excellent opportunity to expand your network beyond your regular circles."

Serge Grenier, Assistant Director, Retail Industry, Statistics Canada

"The instructors are extremely accomplished and interesting to listen to. The formula is dynamic and methodical. The best course I’ve ever taken through HEC Montréal. Thank you!"

Martin Bourduas, Store Manager, La Tuilerie


The following have not confirmed their involvement, but most of them are expected to take part in the 2017 session:

Christine Beaulieu, MBA, PMP, President, Gestion Christine Beaulieu
Manuel Champagne
, MSc (Human Resources Management), Assistant Director, Détail Québec
Alain Charron, BASc., Supply Chain Consultant
Liliane Colpron
, Founder, Boulangerie Première Moisson
Catherine Dagenais, Vice-President, Retail Strategy and Customer Experience, SAQ
Norman Décarie, CGM, President, SAIL Outdoors
François Desrosiers
, MBA, President, Interim Marketing, Lecturer, HEC Montréal
Marc DeSerres
, President, DeSerres
Philippe Duval, President and CEO, Uniprix Group
Louise Faubert, L. ès L., Director, Cercle Omer DeSerres
Marie-Claude Frigon, CPA, CA, Partner, Richter
Marc Giroux
, MBA, Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Metro
Jean-François Grenier
, MSc, Senior Director, Altus Géocom, Lecturer, HEC Montréal
Norman Hébert Jr.
, BComm, LLL, President and Chief Executive Officer, Groupe Park Avenue
JoAnne Labrecque
, MBA (Marketing), PhD (Consumer Economics), Associate Professor, HEC Montréal
Paul Lafortune
, MBA, Associate, PL3C, Lecturer, HEC Montréal
Michel Lamarre, BBA, VP Promotional and Experiential Marketing, Cossette
Patricia Lapierre, MBA, Executive Director, Détail Québec
Hugo Lesley
, MBA, CPA, CA, Full-Time Lecturer, HEC Montréal
Thierry Lopez, Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager – Quebec, Best Buy Canada
Jacques Nantel, MSc (Management), PhD (Marketing), Professor Emeritus, HEC Montréal
Gino Plevano, Vice President, Digital Strategy and Loyalty, Metro
Jean-François Renaud, Co-Founder, Adviso
François Roberge, President and CEO, La Vie en Rose
Sylvain Sénécal, MSc (Marketing), PhD (Marketing), Professor, HEC Montréal, Chairholder, RBC Financial Group Chair of E-Commerce
Chantal St-Pierre, MSc (Marketing), Director, Strategic Development and Marketing, SAQ
Jean-Stéphane Tremblay, LLL, MBA, Executive Vice-President, FGL Sports
Léopold Turgeon, C.Adm, President and CEO, Conseil québécois du commerce de detail

The following themes will not necessarily be addressed in the order they appear, and some will be given more weight than others.

Industry insights from top executives

Strategic integration into the world of executive leadership through first-hand accounts from retail company presidents and VPs who will shed light on their corporate strategy (what it is, how it was developed, how it was implemented and how it has evolved over time). They will also share their thoughts as to what the key factors for success in retail are, as well as the challenges, trends and prospects for the coming years.

Marketing strategy and the customer experience

Analyze and understand customers, competitors, the market, the environment and the status of your business. Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Develop and implement a lucrative marketing strategy. Segmentation, targeting, positioning, differentiation, innovation. In-store concepts and sensory branding. Retail mix, product lineup, category-based management, retail space planning, merchandising, ambiance. Private labels and manufacturer brands. Pricing policies and tactics, gross profit margin, turnover. Customer experience management, moments of truth, CRM, service, sales, satisfaction and expectation management. Marketing research, customer databases.

Location-related decisions

Factors to consider in retail location. Benefits and drawbacks over time of various types of locations. Location studies, site evaluation, trade zones, customer point of origin, market demand and supply analysis, sales forecasts. Six space strategies.

Retail trends

Economic, demographic, social, political, legislative and technological trends. Globalization, polarization, concentration, aging, generational power, cultural mosaic, fiercer competition, increased number of points of contact, social and mobile media, e-commerce, greener practices, buying local, etc. Numerous examples of new store concepts and trend-savvy initiatives.


Interactivity, traceability, personalization, consumer empowerment. Search engine optimization, social media, banners, interstitials, partnerships, sponsorships, emails, mobile technology, websites. Social media approaches: absence, observation, experimentation, integration. What makes a website effective and how to measure its performance. Three goals: attract, sell and retain.

Loyalty programs

Increasing profits by cementing the loyalty of top customers through education, personalization and incentivization. Four types of loyalty programs, from simple to complex. Implementation “how to.” Spotlight on loyalty success stories.

Communication and marketing

Advertising, promotion, sponsorship, PR, customer experience, mobile, electronic media – a world of converging communication and marketing channels. Slash prices or bolster branding? Inspirational examples of creative approaches that have met with great success.


Self-awareness. Leadership styles, types of organizational cultures and external environments. Strategic leadership: understanding (diagnosis), deciding (vision), taking action (who does what). Making your team run like a well-oiled machine. Managing change. Engaging through strategic alignment, customer culture, accountability and consideration. Ethical leadership.

Human resources management

Labour shortage context. Finding the right people: attracting, recruiting, hiring and onboarding promising candidates. Having the employees you need, when you need them: retention, succession planning, scheduling. Ensuring your staff have the required skills and motivation: engagement, performance management, training, coaching, acknowledgement. Improving workflow.

Operations, supply chain and procurement

Managing your supply chain to minimize total cost of ownership and have the right items at the right time, price, condition and place. Procurement: anticipating demand, supplier relations, order management and restocking. Inventory management. Physical distribution: handling, shipping, receiving, returns, service.

Technology and information systems

What IT systems contribute in terms of strategy, customer experience, efficiency and productivity. Centralized and decentralized setups. Integrated specialized software; interfaces, system architecture. Barriers to computerization. User and IT staff concerns: security, reliability, scalability, compatibility, ease of use, cost. Required investments.

Financial reporting, controls and KPIs

Using financial reports as a decision-making tool. Break-even point, fixed and variable costs, safety margin. Budget tracking and variance analysis. Cash flow budget. Investment project evaluation. Preventing loss, theft and fraud. KPIs for sales, market share, margins, stock, occupancy costs, marketing (traffic, conversion, average invoice, visibility, satisfaction), ROI. Statistics on several of these aspects. Dashboards.

New retail business models: What would you say to 80% annual growth?

New retail business models are becoming more and more innovative. Designed to create real value for consumers, these models are decidedly omnichannel in their style and execution. In addition, the models, which are rooted in both in-store experience and technology performance (on the floor and online), often yield significant savings for those retailers that use them shrewdly. Several entrepreneurs, many of them from the younger generation, will share the conclusions they have reached about how to skyrocket sales in an industry whose annual growth is fairly flat, at about 2%.

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

Participants in all of our Expert Series will receive a certificate of completion from Executive Education HEC Montréal.

The fee as listed represents only a portion of the total cost of the program, most of which is covered by the contribution of our valued partner, the Société des alcools du Québec.

For more information about this program



Michelle Vaillancourt
Director, Communications and Programs


514 340-6001

Information on cancellation, discounts, refunds and our privacy policy.

Contact us

Executive Education > Our programs > Expert Series > SAQ-HEC Montréal program in retail management