Being an entrepreneur means sometimes putting your ego aside and having the interests of the company in the decisions. “Our dad always said to me ‘Do you have a choice in life, is it for family business or business for family?’ Said Peter Simons.
After 182 years and five generations of founders, Mr. Simons continued the family recipe by betting on La Maison Simons as Bernard LeBlanc’s president and chief executive officer on Tuesday.
However, this is the first time in its history that a retailer has found an unnamed president named Simons in his baptismal service, and the decision was made despite the fact that it was not too early for him to retire. Former – Boss.
“I am 57 years old. I train four times a week to avoid a quick retirement, ”Mr. Simons said with a touch of humor, acknowledging that the decision was not made without emotion.
“It simply came to our notice then. Business there is good. […] Doing like other people who wait too long scares me the most. People who don’t think about the company rather than about their needs. I did not want to fall into this trap, ”he said.
The businessman is in the organization as the lead businessman, he mainly focuses on the development of “fashion assortment and the impact of the brand” and he continues to sit on the family council. His brother Richard is also in the company.
The Simons family is a shareholder in retail control. The change has been endorsed by other financial partners, such as Investment Quebec and Kaisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.
Mr. Simmons has been thinking about crossing the torch for many months, but the company is now showing growth, good financial health and wants to continue its growth.
“The company speaks in a certain way. There, it was a good time, and she told me: “Have the courage”. You can not ask people to be brave, resist change and resilient during COVID – 19, and when your turn comes, you will leave, ”Mr Simmons assured not to be forced to leave his partners. Post.
The new president and CEO is nothing new to La Maison Simons. Mr. LeBlanc occupied the position of Executive Vice President and Chief of Corporate Affairs until Tuesday. His mandate is to continue the development of stores and online sites.
“In particular, we continue to pursue the business priorities we have established in recent months,” he said, noting that the possibility of opening new stores in Toronto or towards Halifax is ruled out.
Despite the challenges of the epidemic, Mr Simmons has been delighted to complete his digital shift in recent months. La Maison Simons can now count on its $ 200 million distribution center in Quebec.
In 2018, Quebec provided a $ 81 million loan for the project, with Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ $ 20 million, Caisse $ 27 million and Investment Quebec $ 17 million.
For the past two years, Mr. Simons has never hidden the fear of losing his business. In the spring of 2020, all scenarios are on its table, especially the restructuring or the influx of investors. He had to borrow $ 30 million from BDC Capital to help the company.
Although he has not been President of La Maison Simons for 26 years, Mr Simons is closing the door on the idea of plunging into politics next fall.
Maison Simons was founded in 1840 by John Simons. The brand has 15 stores in Canada and nearly 3,000 employees. A 16And The branch will open its doors in May at the Fairview Point-Claire Center.
Prime Minister Franకోois Legalt on Tuesday praised Mr Simons’ work.
“It simply came to our notice then. […] He remains a shareholder and that is important, ”he said.
– In collaboration with Mark-Andre Gagnon