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Spanish Beauty Brand ‘Equivalenza’ Enters Canada with Multi-Unit Store Expansion

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International fragrance and beauty brand Equivalenza’s motto is “a perfume for everyone”.

Now that will include the Canadian market as the Barcelona-based retailer prepares to open its first store in Montreal led by Corinne Barrès, Equivalenza’s Master Franchisee in the country – with many more stores expected on the horizon.

“They’re very well-known in Europe. When you walk into a shop you have a massive wall of fragrances and then you select the fragrance according to the olfactive family,” says Corinne. “It’s 80 per cent of our sales and then we have 20 per cent of the rest of our sales which are cosmetics.”

She said the first location in Canada will open in the Montreal Eaton Centre in Montreal in the early part of December. 

She believes Canada can accommodate more than 40 stores in the next five to 10 years.

Corinne will own the first Montreal store.

“My role basically is to recruit a franchisee and to really develop and create the franchisee network in Canada. I will have a couple of shops on my own but then to have 40 shops and more I will have to recruit franchisee people,” she said.

Corinne left France 15 years ago and lived in different countries with her husband and three children. She has more than 20 years of experience in the information technology field as a sales director.

After working in Montreal for four years, she realized that she wanted to do something different with her career. When in the UK, Corinne and her husband ran a restaurant. She started investigating and researching for a concept that didn’t exist in Canada.

“There was no point for me to open something that was already in Canada,” says Corinne. 

She discovered Equivalenza.

“I phoned Equivalenza. I analyzed the Canadian market and I thought it was a great opportunity because there was no real concept like Equivalenza with a large range of perfumes at really affordable prices. So I contacted Equivalenza and presented the market. I presented myself and said I wanted to launch your brand in Canada,” said Corinne instead of Barrès, who then negotiated the contract for Canada where she has the exclusivity to develop the brand in the country.

Equivalenza is known for providing consumers with high-quality fragrances at affordable prices. Since it was founded in 2011, it has grown to more than 800 stores in 27 countries – Spain, Italy, Andorra, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Romania, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Tunisia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, Chile, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, South Africa, and South Korea.

Founding Partners are Francisco Morán and Miguel Aznar.

The company’s mission is to provide consumers with high-quality fragrance, cosmetic and aroma products by creating emotions and unique experiences. And its vision is to be the world’s leader in single-brand perfumery and cosmetics by providing a unique experience in its stores with the highest quality and minimal environmental impact.

Corinne is working with commercial real estate broker Roger Rhéaume and his company Himalaya in Montreal for retail space selection as the brand expands further into Canada.

Article Author

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 now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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