Retail trade | Germain Larivière eyeing Ontario

Furniture and appliance retailer Germain Larivière wants to gain ground. The family business has every intention of opening new stores in Ontario and looking for franchisees in Quebec.

Posted on 1is October 2021 at 7:00 am

Nathaelle Morissette

The construction in Longueuil of its new distribution center, worth more than 40 million, in partnership with the Montoni Group, will allow the retailer to materialize its expansion plans, according to its executive vice-president, David Larivière.

“For us, expansion means opening additional branches in the coming years. We are studying different scenarios. We have two locations that we are currently looking at, ”said Mr. Larivière, during an interview with Press on the occasion of the first shovelful of earth, Thursday, marking the start of construction of the distribution center on boulevard Marie-Victorin. He was in the company of his brother, Jean Larivière, president of the company.

The new center – where products from manufacturers will be received and where orders are then delivered to customers – will be 106,800 square feet, double the space offered by current facilities, also located in Longueuil. Germain Larivière will be able to move there in the spring of 2022.

Bombed with questions about the cities and regions where they wanted to open new stores, the two men began by saying that they wanted to get out of the greater Montreal area and then replied that they were targeting Canada. “Ontario”, they finally blurted out.

“We are confident that products from here would be appreciated outside of Quebec,” adds David Larivière. Nothing official has yet been announced.

Franchises in Quebec

The company currently has three stores located in Saint-Hyacinthe, Laval, and Brossard (Quartier DIX30). These occupy an average of 100,000 square feet of space. The vice-president is therefore looking in Quebec for new, smaller stores that would be managed by franchisees.

“We have immense purchasing power,” he says. Stores in the regions could offer their customers better prices and a much larger selection of products. ”

“We have huge stores. Smaller stores could benefit, thanks to the web, from all of these products. ”

When the chair is no longer comfortable

In addition, the pandemic was profitable for the company whose sales “really exploded”. Which means ? “That means it’s a lot,” the two brothers answer with a smile, politely refusing to give figures.

“When we reopened the stores [en mai 2020], the attendance was exceptional, remembers Jean Larivière. People stayed at home. Quickly, they realized that their chair was less comfortable, that their mattress was less comfortable. They wanted to spoil themselves for more comfort. ”

The border closures even had repercussions on furniture sales. “There are a lot of people who spent their winter in Florida and decided to buy something or rent something,” says David Larivière. They needed furniture. As soon as we reopened, we saw a boom. ”

Like many businesses, of course, they experienced stockouts, especially when it came to appliances. We do not hide that there is a wait for certain brands of refrigerators, for example, even today.

Nevertheless, the two men boast “of being the largest buyer of Quebec furniture” with 85% of products coming from here. “Products from China represent less than 4% of our turnover”, assures David Larivière.

Regarding the labor shortage, executives, whose company has 250 full-time employees, say they are not suffering. If they escaped it, there is only one explanation for them: “the loyalty” of the members of their team.

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