One of the oldest family-owned retailers in Canada hopes to defy the predictions of a troubled sector by achieving an expansion of Simons brand across the country.
Simons, founded in Québec City 175 years ago, will open its ninth store in the province next month in Gatineau, before entering markets in Ontario and British Columbia and expand its presence in Alberta.
The fashion retailer will spend up to $ 200 million over the next four years to open eight stores. He argues that the aim is to increase its annual sales base of over 350 million.
A branch will open this fall in West Vancouver, British Columbia. It will be followed next year by openings in Mississauga and Ottawa, Ontario.
On the side of Alberta, a second store in Edmonton and another in Calgary will be launched in 2017. Two more offices should be established in the suburbs of Toronto or Scarborough in 2018 and at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in 2019.
The Atlantic provinces, the Prairies and Winnipeg could be added to the list for a total of 25-30 stores a maximum, said the CEO, Peter Simons.
But Mr. Simons said not feel any pressure to act quickly.
“You do not think in terms of quarters ahead when you are a private company of five generations, he has argued since Quebec. You think about a progression over 25 years. ”
The downtown Toronto, one of the retail markets of the hardest to penetrate the country, is absent from the expansion plan Simons. The Canadian company had taken steps to settle the Eaton Centre, but they do not materialize.
Randy Harris, retail analyst at Trendex, believes that the gradual expansion of Simons will make a “national locomotive” in the Canadian clothing market.
According to Mr. Harris, intermediate and high price Simons private label offering will resonate with consumers looking for something new.
In addition to clothing, Simons sells products for the home. The company will soon introduce in the market for shoes and a new restaurant concept named “Eve.”