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SAQ-HEC Montréal program in retail management


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.

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.

Academic leadership:

JoAnne Labrecque
JoAnne Labrecque is an associate professor in the Department of Marketing as well as an associate member of the Omer DeSerres Chair of Retailing. She has extensive experience in the retail sector.


Alain Brunet
Now an adjunct professor at HEC Montréal, Alain Brunet is the former president and CEO of the SAQ, where he gained an in-depth understanding of the retail industry.


  • 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, manager, 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.

Questions? Make an appointment with:

Michelle Vaillancourt
Senior Advisor
 Email (recommanded)
 Phone: 514 340-6001


Opening Cocktail Reception - January 20th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Module 1 - Change management and leadership - January 21st

Engaging your team members to achieve results

Cyrille Sardais, Associate Professor, HEC Montréal
Danièle Bergeron, Corporate Director

In today’s uncertain and ever-changing environment, the ability to help employees embrace organizational change is essential for any manager. The 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 2 - The dynamics of strategy, innovation and agility - February 4th

Concepts, trends and best practices

Laurent Simon, Professor, HEC Montréal
Gino Plevano, Vice President—Digital Strategy and eCommerce at Metro

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 3 - Business strategies in the digital age - February 18

Ariane de Warren, Brand & Marketing Director (customer experience), SAQ
Jean-François Renaud Co-Founder and Partner, Adviso.

The digital revolution continues to change consumer behavior. Customers interact with businesses using their sales and communication platforms and pass on data that becomes the foundation of business strategies. More and more, the company's performance depends on its ability to use strategically this data to attract, convert and retain its customers. In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Deepen the potential of digital data in developing your business strategy.
  • Explore the potential of artificial intelligence to gain efficiency.
  • Develop relevant strategies for your customers.
  • Discern the best tactics to attract, convert and retain your customers on your different platforms.

Module 4 - Rethinking customer service and the customer experience - March 10

Designing a memorable customer experience

Laurence Ashworth, Associate Professor, Queen’s University

Develop a big-picture vision of how to manage customer service and the customer experience in a way that integrates new technology and social media. Understand the factors that influence customer satisfaction and loyalty. Learn how to handle crises and difficult situations. In this module, you will:

  • Understand the psychological drivers of customer experience.
  • Avoid critical pitfalls along the customer journey.
  • Learn some key customer experience metrics.
  • Successfully integrate social media and new technologies into the customer journey.
  • Gain actionable insights to elevate customer experience.

Module 5 - Key decisions in supply chain management - March 31st

Best practices and performance indicators

Jacques Roy, Professor, HEC Montréal
Sylvie Tardif, Vice President, Operations and Logistics, Groupe BMR

Good supply chain management is a strategic aspect of organizational performance. In this module, you will:

  • Identify the major strategic challenges related to omnichannel marketing.
  • Embrace a more holistic vision when it comes to managing your organization's supply chain activities.
  • Acquire the tactical and operational skills necessary to deal with uncertainty.
  • Skilfully handle supply chain complexity and risks.
  • Rise to the supply chain challenges facing modern managers, including how to handle competition from e-commerce giant Amazon.
  • Merge ecological responsibility and supply chain strategy.


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

Questions? Make an appointment with:

Michelle Vaillancourt
Senior Advisor
 Email (recommanded)
 Phone: 514 340-6001


Program Director:

JoAnne Labrecque

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


Laurence Ashworth

PhD (Marketing)
Associate Professor, Queen's

Danièle Bergeron

Corporate Director

Ariane De Warren

Brand & Marketing Director (Customer Experience), SAQ

Gino Plévano

MSc (Marketing)
Vice President—Digital Strategy and eCommerce at Metro

Jean-François Renaud

BBA, MSc (Electronic Commerce), HEC Montréal
ACo-Founder and Partner, Adviso

Jacques Roy

MBA, PhD (Opérations Management)
Professor, HEC Montréal

Cyrille Sardais

DEA (History and Civilization), PhD (Management Sciences)
Associate Professor, HEC Montréal

Laurent Simon

DESC (Management), MSc (Management), PhD (Administration)
Professor, HEC Montréal

Sylvie Tardif

BBA (Administration)
Vice President, Operations and Logistics, Groupe BMR




Alain Brunet

Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal



Questions? Make an appointment with:

Michelle Vaillancourt
Senior Advisor
 Email (recommanded)
 Phone: 514 340-6001

$3,495 + taxes

One evening - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Five days - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Course given in French and in English

HEC Montréal
January 20 (evening), 21, February 4, 18, March 10, 31, 2020


General terms and conditions of sale

This course is part of the following categorie(s):

> Marketing and Sales

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