Five students from the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) traveled to Montreal, Québec on Nov. 15-17 to participate in the inaugural (R)Tech Global Retail Challenge.

It was hosted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Bensadoun School of Retail Management at McGill University.

The Aggie team finished in first place.

The event marked CRS’s first international student trip.

The international event exposed students to the retail challenges of sustainability and the circular economy, equipping students to find innovative solutions. The competition showcased new ideas for the future of retail for the next generation of industry leaders.

Students spent eight weeks preparing their presentation prior to the competition with the coaching of Mays MIS professor James Abbey and MS Business program Director Kris Muir. The group was also accompanied and coached by MIS professor André Araujo at the competition in Montreal. The team consisted of Manu Garikipati ’19, Faith Knox ’20, Steven Vinezeano ’20, Elizabeth Key ’20, and Maria Pope ’19.

“When working with this team, I noticed a strong sense of Aggie Spirit and determination,” Araujo said. “The students emphasized the importance of representing Texas A&M and Mays Business School in the best way possible, regardless of the outcome of the competition.”

The team’s final presentation consisted of a business case study that focused on a baby clothing subscription service for Millennial and Generation Z parents to promote sustainability practices in the retail industry.

A major part of the group’s success came from their ability to listen and adapt from the mentoring they received in Montreal. The students listened carefully to their coach, along with industry experts, to obtain new insights and ideas for their presentation. After many team meetings and rehearsals, the Aggie team members refined their presentation to deliver a well-crafted pitch to the panel judges that would ultimately win first place at the inaugural event.

“Without hesitation, I can say that our team delivered the best presentation in the finals,” Araujo added. “It was a joy working with them.”

Other participating universities included the University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California, University of Calgary, Paris Nanterre University, Asheshi University, and McGill University.