May 27, 2022

A new shopping extravaganza is underway at the Fairview shopping centre.

Simons, the 182-year-old department store, has opened at the mall in the West Island.

It’s the 16th store to open across Canada and shoppers and officials couldn’t be happier.

“I wanted to make sure we had an interesting place where we could do not something rushed but a nice store and I think we waited and it was worth the wait,” Peter Simons, chief merchant, La Maison Simons, told Global News.

Dozens of clients packed the store when the doors opened at 10 a.m.

“They have a nice collection and the price is down to earth, it’s not like over the sky,” Ariel Chen, a Simons shopper, told Global News.

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Along with Peter Simons, the company’s CEO, Bernard Leblanc, was also at the entrance to greet shoppers.

He’s hoping the department store will act as a strong anchor to entice people to the mall.

“We hope so. It’s always your ambition that people are excited and want to visit the store,” Leblanc said.

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Many shoppers are thrilled to be back in stores for in-person shopping after many were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While online shopping continues to grow, efforts continue to be made to entice shoppers to the brick-and-mortar stores and it appears to be working at Simons.

Leblanc said Simons shoppers make their purchases “two-thirds (by) physical shopping, one-third online.”

And retail sales in the last year have grown, according to recent statistics from Statistics Canada.

Clothing and accessories increased by 38 per cent across the country between December of 2020 and December 2021.

Simons, the Canadian institution that made a humble beginning in Quebec City in 1840, hopes to continue to grow for years to come with plenty of more expansions similar to the one at Fairview.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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