McGill University’s Bensadoun School of Retail Management Image Credit: Supplied/ McGill

The retail industry has seen extraordinary change globally in the last decade with the rise of e-commerce. McGill University plans on creating a sustainable future of the retail industry through research and education. The launch of the new school of retail will provide the next generation of retailers with innovative solutions for the industry’s transformation with an emphasis on the digital era.

The newly opened Bensadoun School of Retail Management (BSRM) at McGill University will act as a hub in the heart of Montreal for students, researchers and practitioners to work collaboratively towards solving the real-world problems facing retailers today. An interdisciplinary, forward-looking school dedicated to all facets of the retail industry, its researchers will focus on fostering sustainable consumption and healthy societies.

Dr. Isabelle Bajeux Besnainou joined as Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill in September 2015. She told Gulf News over the phone “Mr. Aldo Bensadoun, who is also a McGill graduate, wanted to give back to his school in a meaningful way. His family foundation gave $25 million as an initial gift in May 2017.” Additionally, many retail- industry leaders have stepped up to support the School’s mission through the BSRM Founder’s Circle. Members of the Founder’s Circle include the Apparel Group, Saputo, Couche Tard, Peerless Clothing, Rossy Family Foundation, Walmart, CGI, Torriani Group, KPMG, Birks Group Inc. and the Birks Foundation.

The degrees at the upcoming school will range from undergraduate to PhD levels, with a curriculum combining technology, business and human-cultural considerations, exploring developing fields including artificial intelligence and neuroscience.

“At a time of massive change in the retail industry worldwide, the industry has seen unprecedented change in the last decade with the rise of e-commerce and the fall of formerly invincible category leaders. The School‘s goal is to ensure the sustainable and prosperous future of the retail industry through research and education,” said Bajeux-Besnainou.

The Bensadoun School and McGill are committed to equipping the next generation of retail leaders with the necessary tools and knowledge. A first cohort of students entered the Retail Management Concentration of the BCom program this fall. The PhD in Management with a specialization in Retail Management is set to admit its first students in the fall of 2019, and a specialized Masters of Management in Retail is scheduled for 2020. Executive Education is set to be launched in 2019 with both custom and open-enrollment offerings.

Taking on global challenges here at home

We hope to increasingly see companies step forward to ensure that the future of retail is not only viable but also sustainable. I believe Montreal is at the forefront of this transformation and can be seen as a leader in ensuring the retail industry understands the crucial role it plays in enacting change

- Aldo Bensadoun

Founded in March 2018, the Bensadoun School will be the source of talent and ideas for a retail industry that enables sustainable consumption and healthier societies in Canada.