Simons takes on outside investors as it looks to build new distribution centre

QUEBEC — Department store operator Simons is taking on outside investors for the first time as it looks to build a new $215-million distribution centre in Quebec City to better compete in the retail market.

The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, the province’s pension-fund manager, is investing $27 million, while Investissement Quebec — the provincial government’s investment arm — is putting $17 million in the privately held company.

The Quebec government itself is also providing an $81-million term loan, while the institutional investor tied to the province’s largest labour federation is contributing $20 million through a real estate partnership for purchasing the land and building the new project.

Simons’ new facility is expected to use automated equipment and technologies that will allow the company to increase its productivity and order-fulfillment capacity, helping it remain competitive in the retail market.

Company president Peter Simons told reporters he’s “going to war.”

“The ultimate question is this: Are we able, here in Quebec City, to have the ambition, the passion, the vision and the courage to build a world-class company? My brother and I say yes.

“We are going to war — and it’s a war for us. There are the Amazons of this world … I have my team and we are going to war and we are going to innovate like we have done for the past 10 years.”

Simons, a family company founded by John Simons in 1840 in Quebec City, has been expanding across Canada in recent years and now has 15 stores including locations in Ontario, Alberta and B.C.

The new centre in Quebec City, which is expected to open in 2020, will cover about 53,000 square metres and be able to process 15,000 customer orders per hour.

Part of the investment package announced Tuesday will go toward converting the company’s existing distribution location in Quebec City into a multi-use centre that will “accelerate online commerce,” Simons said.

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Red Deer woman saving animals at wildlife centre with TV show

Victoria Bolhuis, 22, interned at Hope for Wildlife for 10 weeks before moving into paid position

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month