Outdoor equipment and apparel retailer La Cordée will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in the spring of 2023 with the opening of its flagship store in downtown Montreal.
President Cédric Morisset said the location is strategically located in the Promenades de la Cathédrale complex and this new store concept will have a surface area of 25,000 square feet.
It will be configured to energize the shopping experience by inviting consumers to test products in different spaces. The customer will be at the heart of the store’s narrative, in which everything will be designed to bring their experience to life in real nature. There will be a test bench for footwear, including climbing shoes, a climbing wall, as well as cycling, cross-country skiing and hiking workshops. All of this will revolve around a lobby area designed to encourage interaction and allow the community to come together around a common passion: outdoor activities, he said.
“It’s a great milestone,” said Morisset of the company’s upcoming 70th anniversary. “Not a lot of retailers have 70 years. We’re very proud of that.”
Currently the retailer has six stores plus its ecommerce business.
“We’re very Montreal centric and that’s one of the challenges. As the years are going to come by, we’re going to grow and open new stores throughout the province of Quebec because right now people think of La Cordée as very Montreal,” said Morisset. “We’re in Laval, two stores in Montreal, one on the South Shore of Montreal. So we have four out of six that are within the belt of Montreal and then we have two in Quebec City. One downtown we opened in April our most recent store in Quebec City.”
Morisset said the area around its new flagship store in the spring is being revamped.
“It’s a prime location on Sainte-Catherine (Street) in Montreal. There’s a lot of history and the location that we’re going to open is underneath a real cathedral. It’s amazing. It’s an area where you go down to take the subway. There’s a lot of foot traffic with people who take the subway. Honestly, it’s going to be a great location,” he said.
“We think with COVID there’s going to be a resurgence with the downtown here in Montreal. We’ve seen it already. We have two stores right now in Montreal and they’re double digit increasing week after week. So we see a lot of momentum right now in Montreal.”
Morisset said the retailer is hoping to open one new store per year until 2028.
“We should be around 12 stores in 2028 and we’ll see where we go from there,” he said.
The company was acquired by MACH Capital in the fall of 2020. Recently it announced the addition of two key executives who will enable it to remain a successful organization and continue to occupy a leading place in the outdoors market.
Lalonde has more than 15 years of experience in the retail sector. Lalonde held marketing and e-commerce management positions with companies such as Mondou, Louis Garneau Sports, DeSerres and Renaud-Bray.
“We are pleased to welcome Roxane to our management team,” said Morisset. “Her great expertise in retail and digital marketing, as well as her tremendous energy, will surely help La Cordée optimize its practices and experience new growth. With the significant investments we have made, including the opening of our distribution centre and the launch of a new website, I am convinced that the addition of such a high-calibre professional to the team will greatly contribute to the improvement of the customer experience, both in-store and online.”
Lapointe has extensive strategic and business experience, having developed the full potential of multiple omnichannel platforms in the high-end retail industry and worked with vertically integrated retailers including Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen and La Maison Simons. Lapointe has nearly 15 years of retail expertise with industry-leading companies, focused on integrating and creating a customer-centric physical and digital experience.
“The arrival of a visionary vice-president of purchasing like Charles is great news, not only for our organization and our employees, but also for all our suppliers,” said Morisset. “By joining La Cordée’s executive team, Roxane and Charles will have the opportunity to combine their vast experience and expertise with their passion for the outdoors. These two professionals will certainly add value to the company as it strives to achieve its most ambitious objectives, which, over the next few years, will propel our brand to new heights.”