Growth in Canadian Québec’s Retail Clothing Sector
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ announced on September 15, 2015 that it has invested CAD 4.95 million in RUDSAK and CAD 6 million in Souris Mini
These investments, made to support the growth of these two successful Québec apparel retailers, were announced by Normand Chouinard, Fonds de solidarité FTQ Executive Vice-President (Investments) at Carrefour Laval, where RUDSAK and Souris Mini recently unveiled their new concept stores. Also on hand for the announcement was Léopold Turgeon, Director General of the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail. The growth of these two companies should create about 40 jobs in Québec.
“Thanks to the dedication and creativity of Annie Bellavance and Evik Asatooorian, as well as their employees, Souris Mini and RUDSAK have managed to excel in a competitive market,” said Mr. Chouinard.
“RUDSAK has shown great resilience, withstanding the financial crisis and beating back foreign competition. The growth of this increasingly popular brand will be fuelled by expansion both in and outside Québec, consolidating and creating local jobs.”
“Souris Mini, for its part, has become a Québec leader in its market. The company’s prudent and disciplined management team, combined with high-quality, novel products, are paving the way to a very bright future for Souris Mini and its employees,” continued Mr. Chouinard.
“The last few months have been tough for the apparel industry but there are still some brands, like ours, that have been doing well. We thank the Fonds de solidarité FTQ for their investment, which will allow us to continue making inroads,” said RUDSAK founding President Evik Asatoorian.
“We are very pleased to partner with the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, which we feel is a natural fit due to our shared values. This investment will allow Souris Mini to move ahead with its expansion plan,” added the retailer’s co-owner, Annie Bellavance.
“These two sizeable investments by the Fonds de solidarité FTQ show just how important the retail trade is for the Québec economy. RUDSAK and Souris Mini are top-notch retailers that stand out with their in-store and online offer. The CQCD commends them both for their ability to successfully leverage technology,” concluded Mr. Turgeon.
RUDSAK was founded in 1994 by Evik Asatoorian, RUDSAK designs, imports and distributes leather coats and accessories.
In addition to the RUDSAK brand, which enjoys excellent brand awareness in Québec, the company markets products under two other labels, Rud (sold at Macy’s, among others) and Atelier Noir (sold at Costco). The company has some 330 employees, including 170 at its Montréal head office and close to 160 across its Québec and Ontario stores.
The expansion projects are expected to create over 65 jobs in the medium term, including about a dozen at the Montréal head office.
Souris Mini is the brainchild of Annie Bellavance, a creative, energetic Quebecer with a passion for fashion and interior design, who in 1989 decided to create a children’s clothing line. Since then, Annie has released a new, original and trendy collection each and every season.
Souris Mini’s collections are distributed across 29 points of sale in Québec and Ontario, one store in France and an online boutique. In Europe, they can also be found on Melijoe, a chic, trendy e-shop specializing in children’s fashion.
This company’s expansion plan is expected to create 60 jobs: 30 at its Québec head office and distribution centre, and 30 in its stores. The growth will be largely fuelled by an increase in online sales and new boutiques slated to open in 2016 and 2017 in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of CAD 11.1 billion as of May 31, 2015, the Fonds is a development capital fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help create and maintain jobs and further Québec’s development. The Fonds is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in more than 2550 companies. With 610605 shareholder-savers, the Fonds has helped create, maintain and protect more than 176000 jobs.
Conseil québécois du commerce de détail is an association representing a large majority of Québec’s retailers and distributors, the CQCD is the voice of the retail trade in the province. On the cross-border e-commerce issue as well as other matters, the CQCD works to identify solutions to fuel the thinking of the provincial and federal governments and help them arrive at strategies and decisions.