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Canadian Retailer ‘Groupe Marie-Claire’ Launching Lifestyle Brand LIVOM with Multiple Store Locations [Feature Interview/Renderings]

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Canadian-renowned retailer Groupe Marie-Claire is launching its latest lifestyle brand LIVOM, which is an omni-channel shopping experience featuring durable and sustainable furniture, clothing and decor.

The launch is expected in August and will consist of a cross-Canada online store as well as brick and mortar locations in Quebec initially with expansion plans into Ontario. 

“With LIVOM, we want to offer a sensory experience to our customers: a moment for them to relax and dream. To imagine their ideal space, wardrobe, or decor. In a time where shopping has become almost more of a task than an activity, we are looking to offer a completely new universe with a timeless lifestyle that allows us to marry fashion, furniture and decor,” said Paule Lafrance, the company’s Director of Creative & Marketing and grandchild of its founders.

“We hope to make the act of shopping for home decor easier and more enjoyable in an environment that is conscious, meaningful, and impactful to our customers. We believe in offering options that are made of recycled, organic or eco-friendly materials and being as transparent as we can be with our offerings.

Rendering: LIVOM

“We look forward to introducing LIVOM and our slow-living lifestyle to Canadians and welcoming them to our concept, online marketplace and, first retail store, in late 2022. This first opening marks a very important moment in our history, of which we hope to spread throughout the rest of our beautiful province.”

Based in Montreal, Groupe Marie-Claire is a Quebec family business specializing in the retail sale of women’s ready-to-wear and skin care.

Groupe Marie-Claire was above all born from the common passion of Réal and Marie Claire Lafrance for clothing. In 1965, Réal Lafrance, a representative for an oil company and his wife Marie Claire, a teacher, decided to go into business by opening a tiny women’s clothing store in Saint-Hyacinthe.

Today the Group has about 300 stores under the brands Grenier, Marie Claire, Claire France, San Francisco and Dans un Jardin boutiques throughout Quebec as well as in Ontario and New Brunswick. It also has a brand that is only online geared for private companies and their uniforms. 

Rendering: LIVOM

The company said LIVOM will be a one-stop shop for all things decor, furniture, and clothing that are eco-conscious, sustainable, minimalist, and timeless. LIVOM’s online marketplace and stores will allow customers to discover new products and explore the endless possibilities to expand their homes or wardrobe essentials with eco-conscious choices, all the while ensuring they are encompassing a responsible shopping lifestyle, and a “slow living” mentality, it said.

In addition to their online store which is expected to launch in mid-August, LIVOM is set to launch five brick-and-mortar stores across Québec by the end 2022, and aims to expand their brick-and-mortar retail experience to Ontario in 2023. Their first four retail stores will launch in August and September in Repentigny (August), Saint-Hyacinthe (August), Chicoutimi (September) and Sherbrooke (September).

“Next  year we’ll increase to 10. We’re planning on eventually opening in Ontario and also trying to see how logistically it would be possible to also expand to the rest of Canada. It’s a totally new concept for us so we’re taking a step at a time. We’re going to see how the launch goes and how this half of the year is going to go for us with the store openings and then obviously the expansion is going to depend on that. That’s our plans for the moment. One step at a time,” said Lafrance.

“Whatever fashion and accessories is going to be open to the whole of Canada and anything that is big furniture will be more for Quebec and Ontario.”

Rendering: LIVOM

Lafrance said LIVOM’s online marketplace and stores will allow customers to discover new products and explore the endless possibilities to expand their homes or wardrobe essentials with eco-conscious choices. At the forefront of LIVOM’’s values is a commitment to sustainable and eco-conscious practices, transparency, and only using eco-responsible materials, said the company. Many of Livom’s apparel selections will be made from recycled plastic bottles and natural fibers, as well as designed locally in Canada. In addition to their apparel, LIVOM’’s furniture and home decor will also be made with recycled materials, such as recycled wood or hand-woven furniture. All fibers, materials, and fabrics will be carefully chosen to ensure that the brand’s products are made to last over time and to become a staple of their customers’ homes, it said.

“We started the idea during the pandemic. Obviously a lot of people were spending time at home and I think a lot of people realized that comfort is a very important thing and a very important part of everybody’s lives,” said Lafrance. 

“There’s not that many concepts that include furniture, decor and fashion in one space. And we wanted to be one of those people who would offer that. 

And we were also very influenced by the Nordic mentality where they have more green initiatives and we wanted to offer that as well. So have tables made out of recycled wood or clothes made out of recycled plastic bottles and have natural fibers and components and also work with artisans all around the world. Some parts of our clothing collections are made locally in Canada. That’s one of the parts we’re very proud of.

Rendering: LIVOM

“We tried and take green initiatives and also to encourage local production but we also want to be very transparent about it and that’s our mentality. Transparency. Because I think that it’s easy to promote. We want to be transparent so people can make a conscious choice. We wanted to offer something that is timeless, that is ageless, that is comfortable, and that is transparent.”

Lafrance said it was a long process to come up with the new brand’s name. It’s a combination of the word live and the yoga mantra ‘om’ which people recite for serenity. 

“Also when you hear LIVOM it sounds like live at home. And om in one of the Nordic languages also means home,” said Lafrance. “Everything made sense (with the name).”

Additional Renderings Below

Rendering: LIVOM
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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 National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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