Technologies like artificial intelligence are changing the way we shop. But change can be intimidating, and people can be reluctant to adopt it. The Bensadoun School of Retail Management’s Retail Innovation Lab provides such an example. At the highly automated Couche-Tard location on McGill campus, cameras in the store allow customers to make frictionless purchases that don’t require bar codes to be scanned. Still, many people don’t want to use them.
October 5-13, 2023
Want to work collaboratively in a fun yet competitive environment to develop innovative generative AI solutions for the ALDO Group’s Data & Analytics Corporate Team?
This first edition of the Retail Gen AI Hackathon, powered by ALDO Group, is a unique opportunity to work on a real-life problem, develop a solution in a fast-paced environment, and learn how AI and data analytics can help retailers make better data-driven decisions within their operations.
AI's impact on retail is set to revolutionize the industry, from crowd measurement to price management, changing the in-store experience significantly. Certified analytics and marketing intelligence professional Christian Bourque explains how infrared technology is currently used to analyze foot traffic levels and reveal the upcoming technological frontier in retail, stating that McGill’s Retail Innovation Lab in the Bronfman pavilion exemplifies the store of the future.
About sixty entrepreneurs from Vaudreuil-Soulanges region joined Desautels faculty and staff for a conference on best practices in retail.
E-commerce has made it possible to order almost anything online, but that has made it more challenging for brick-and-mortar retailers to attract shoppers and with more stores sitting vacant, some shopping malls have gotten creative, and added temporary pop-up activities like roller skating and haunted houses. Before the pandemic, commercial landlords demanded multi-year leases, said Charles de Brabant, executive director at McGill University’s Bensadoun School of Retail Management.
Two faculty members of the Bensadoun School of Retail Management were named to Rethink Retail’s Top Retail Influencers list for 2023. Professors Maxime Cohen and Saibal Ray were both recognized with this distinction, alongside some of the world’s top retail experts, consultants, analysts, academics, journalists, and thought leaders who are making an impact in the online retail community.
2021 was an anti-climactic year for Black Friday sales. Global supply chains had been disrupted, inventory was very low, and demand was very high. So, retailers had little incentive to sell items at discounted prices. 2022 has been a little different, said Prof Maxime Cohen in an interview with CTV News. Some supply chain disruptions have been alleviated, and there is excess inventory in certain product categories. This set of circumstances encourages retailers to discount products more aggressively.
Black Friday offers cut-rate deals, but low prices can come with a high environmental cost. If shoppers don’t make choices wisely, their purchases could end up in the landfill.
The Innovating Commerce Serving Communities (ICSC) conference in Toronto aims to create connections and catalyze deals between the innovators, dealmakers and changemakers who are driving retail forward. The Bensadoun School of Retail Management was well represented at this year’s three-day expo and networking event, which was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Aldo Bensadoun began his career at a chemical company, but that didn’t align with his values – or his vision. The entrepreneur launched ALDO in 1972, with a vision of love, respect, and integrity. Fifty years later, the company has more than 3,000 stores around the world.
Authors: Yuhong He, Saibal Ray and Shuya Yin
Publication: Production and Operations Management
Volume 31, Issue 6, June 2022, Pages 2681 – 2694
Over the next two years, Alimentation Couche-Tard is installing more than 7,000 automated check-outs that use artificial intelligence to recognize the products that customers want to purchase, without having to scan each item individually. There are already more than 500 of these point-of-sale units in place – including at the Bensadoun School of Retail Management’s Retail Innovation Lab, where Alimentation Couche-Tard tested the technology. It has been deployed at locations in Arizona, and is being tested in South Carolina and Denmark.
Congratulations to Changseung Yoo, Assistant Professor, Bensadoun School of Retail Management with affiliation to Information Systems Area, who has been awarded the 2022-2023 FRQSC New Academics Grant (Soutien à la recherche pour la relève professorale) for his project titled “Social Media Content Creation Strategies and Engagement During Disasters” (“Stratégies de création de contenu et de mobilisation pour les médias sociaux pendant les catastrophes”).
Health questionnaires are time-consuming – for doctors and patients alike. “The digitalization of all of those questions would allow patients to do lot of work before visiting a physician,” says Maxime Cohen, a Professor of Retail and Operations Management at Desautels and the Chief AI officer for ELNA Medical, Canada’s largest network of clinics. That would save a lot of time, and could help physicians see more patients, and increase access to health care for more people.