Canadian Firm ‘prisma construction’ Expands Internationally

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Montreal-based construction firm prisma construction has developed a reputation for its experience over more than 30 years being retail construction specialists across Canada.

Now, the company is expanding its reach with a goal of building stores throughout North America and overseas after it recently completed its first store in China for client la Vie en Rose.

“We’ve been in business for over 30 years and have always prioritized our client’s deadlines,” said Alessandro Iacampo, project manager with prisma.


“It’s about our experience. There are a lot of contractors capable of building stores, but what distinguishes us is our experience, expertise gained and dedication to each project that makes the difference. Over three decades of business in the same field speaks for itself. There is a lot of value in that,” said Diego Puente, senior project manager and business development manager with prisma.

prisma has been in business since the late 1980s.

“Our clientele, for the most part, has focused on retail… anything to do with malls. Our main clients have been Garage, Dynamite and la Vie en Rose predominantly,” explained Puente. “Today, we’re also moving towards commercial and office work but that’s fairly recent.”

The company has built retail stores for numerous retailers across Canada.

“We specialize in tenant improvements in malls or outlets,” added Puente.


He said clients today want to be involved in the construction process much more than they used to be. “They want to participate in the build out. Cost is always a priority.”

“Although there’s always an inclination towards doing a project as quickly as possible, they never really want to sacrifice a store for a quicker timeline,” said Puente. “When a retailer is progressing, moving forward, evolving, they are concerned mostly with making sure the store’s overall concept and ideal is respected and ready for showcasing goods.”

“In some cases, however, because retailers have faced challenges in recent years, the main focus is maximizing return on investment while targeting fewer locations,” says Iacampo.

The Garage store on Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal is one of the company’s biggest ever projects.


“There were many, many elements of construction that you tend not to see in retail such as red structural steel for instance,” said Iacampo. “Two floors about 6,000 square feet. In terms of scope and complexity the Garage store was by far one of the biggest ones we have done.”

The company just finished building la Vie en Rose’s first corporate store in China in the city of Guangzhou.

“That build-out was an incredible experience,” said Puente.

The retailer’s President and CEO, François Roberge, said: “We were ready to accept the challenge of taking our first steps in China. We are looking at our first two years in the country as a real learning period. It’s very important to understand how the market works in order to build a foundation for our expansion.”


“Over the next two years, we plan on opening several physical locations in Guangzhou and continuing our expansion in China from there,” said Aurélie Daoust-Lalande, Vice-President, Strategy and Development at la Vie en Rose. “We have the ambitious goal of doubling the size and profitability of the company by 2022, and our expansion outside of Canada will definitely play a major role in achieving this objective.”

Puente said la Vie en Rose has been prisma’s in-house client for more than a decade.

Iacampo said prisma is also looking at expanding into the United States in early January to build retail stores there.

prisma construction has two sister companies, ICM Millwork and PMB Metal, that work in concert with each other developing and manufacturing custom fixtures. They also work independently, with both sister companies focusing on their areas of expertise.

“We’re getting into hospitality and we are also expanding pretty heavily on importing goods from China to service our clients,” said Iacampo.


prisma describes itself as “retail construction specialists with soul.”

“We are passionate, creative, hard-working and modest. We are experienced, intelligent and determined. We are always accessible to our clients, partners, employees and suppliers. prisma construction is a people business dedicated to deliver outstanding work. We pride ourselves in proposing retail solutions with the upmost craftsmanship which contributes to a client’s success,” it says on their website.

“prisma construction is a leading retail construction specialist. We do development, rollouts management, project management plus, coordination and follow up. We give it our best, every day. That’s prisma construction.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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