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McGill University opens new school of retail management backed by footwear mogul

By Marjorie van Elven


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Montreal’s McGill University has officially opened the Bensadoun School of Retail Management, named after Aldo Bensadoun, founder of footwear company Aldo Group. The school aims to act as a hub for students, researchers and practitioners to address the challenges retailers face, according to the university’s website. Mr. Bensadoun donated 25 million Canadian dollars to help set up the institution, and an additional 7.5 million dollars were offered by retailers from Canada and abroad.

“We are living through a period of tremendous change in retail and to succeed, future industry leaders will need to fundamentally understand consumers’ changing behaviors and expectations”, said Bensadoun in a statement. “It is my hope that by working with industry partners and leveraging McGill’s breadth and depth of research in fields such as accounting and finance, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience and sustainability, we will succeed in reinventing the future of retail management”.

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean of the Faculty of Management, added: “The retail 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”.

The school is set to focus on interdisciplinary research drawing from three different departments. Sustainability will be a key area of inquiry, as McGill is looking to establish Quebec and Canada as “an international center for retail sustainability research and training”, according to the university’s website. Students will also benefit from a retail experience lab featuring a pop-up space to observe shoppers’ behavior.

Founded in 1821 in Montreal, McGill is one of the leading universities in Canada, with 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students. Also headquartered in Quebec, Aldo Group operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessories stores. Founded in 1972, the company owns three brands: Also, Call it Spring and Globo.

Picture: courtesy of McGill University

Aldo Bensadoun
Algo Group
McGill University