Retail Innovation Challenge

The Evolving
Home-Retail Sector



About the Retail Innovation Challenge

The Bensadoun School of Retail Management at McGill University is excited to invite university students across Canada to participate in the Retail Innovation Challenge (RIC). This challenge presents a unique experiential learning opportunity to mobilize the knowledge and creativity of university student teams and embolden them to generate actionable solutions to help local SMEs succeed in the new realities of retail.

Your Mission & Schedule

Phase 1 — Ideation

March 3-6

March 3 - Evening
Launch of the Challenge: Instructions, business cases and corresponding data set sent to student team leaders

March 6 - 12PM EST
Submission deadline of Phase 1 presentations


Phase 2 — Implementation Plan

March 7-13

March 7 - Evening
Announcement of the Semi-finalist teams. Phase 2 instructions released.

March 8 - 4PM EST
Problem-solving workshop hosted by a globally recognized management consulting firm

March 12 - 5PM EST
Submission deadline of Phase 2 presentations

March 13 - 10AM-2PM EST
Semi-finalists will present online in front of a jury consisting of members of the case-subject SME and associated case-writing team

Phase 3 — Business Plan

March 14-20

March 14 - Morning
Announcement of the top 2 finalist teams per case stream

March 15 - 3:30PM EST
Mentoring session for each finalist team with consultants from a globally-recognized management consulting firm (45 minute sessions)

March 19 - 5PM EST
Submission deadline of Phase 3 presentations

March 20 - 10AM-3PM EST
Finalists' presentations in front of independent jury

March 20 - 4:30PM EST
Closing ceremony & prize presentations


Given the current COVID guidelines, this competition will be held virtually.

Presentations will be presented in front of a virtual panel of judges who will evaluate the proposals by its impact on:


Viability of
Ideas, Solutions & Financials

Use of
Supporting Data

Quality, Clarity
& Creativity

Impact on

Impact on



This edition’s theme is The Evolving Home-Retail Sector. 

The second edition of the RIC will take place online from March 3rd to March 20th, 2022, with a focus on the evolving home-retail sector. As per the first edition, our aim is to write case studies on four local SMEs across the following streams:

  • Décor & furnishings
  • Construction & renovation
  • Hardware & materials
  • Exterior / Outdoor

 RIC 3 images

Why Participate?


Get real-world experience working on real business cases

Potential for senior-level mentorship to further develop your ideas

Make an impact on the future of retail during these unprecedented times

Win prizes such as Grand Prize of $10,000!



The student teams will benefit from town halls with leading experts from our partner organizations. We are planning for the finalist teams (Phase 3) to benefit from personalized coaching from a globally recognized management consulting firm.

We are delighted to announce the SAQ, Société des alcools du Québec (Quebec liquor board), as the title sponsor of the RIC 2022. This will significantly increase monetary prizes for the best teams, including the $10,000 grand prize!

Other sponsors and partners include: Quebec Ministry of the Economy and Innovation, GURU, Quebec Retail Council (CQCD) and a globally recognized management consulting firm.

If you have any questions, please contact us directly at bsrm.mgmt [at] mcgill.ca.


Title Sponsor



Other Sponsors & Partners

Quebec Guru CQCD


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