Quebec-based women's jewellery and accessories brand Bizou is looking to substantially expand its store base over the next several years, eventually operating hundreds of locations. We spoke with the company's administrative and corporate affairs manager Alain Duval to learn more.
Founded in Quebec City in 1982, Bizou specializes in women's moderately-priced fashion jewellery and accessories. Its product mix is about 60% for jewellery and 40% accessories. Its target market is women aged 18 to 35, seeking stye and affordability. The company designs its own products and retails them in over 120 retail stores in six Canadian provinces. The company employs over 500 people. Bizou currently operates Canadian locations in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
According to Mr. Duval, Bizou could eventually operate between 250 and 300 Canadian store locations, coast-to-coast. Bizou is currently looking to expand into Western Canada and is seeking a regional franchise partner. The brand is also looking to further expand into Ontario, as well as into the Atlantic provinces. The Quebec market, however, is almost saturated, having in excess of 85 Bizou locations to date - although three locations are on the way for that province.
Bizou will open between four and five stores a year, and this year, so far, the brand has announced that it will open stores at Galeries d'Anjou in Montreal, Les Promenades Gatineau just north of Ottawa, as well as in the International Terminal at the Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Bizou already has a location in the airport's Domestic Terminal.
Bizou is looking for retail space generally in the 700 to 800 square foot range, primarily in enclosed malls, lifestyle centres, airports, and busy streetfronts. Several months ago, Bizou opened its first outlet location at Premium Outlets Montreal, and more outlet locations could eventually follow.
Mr. Duval says that Bizou's successful international expansion into the Middle East and France could see it eventually expand into the United States, as well.
Bizou is represented in Canada by Tony Flanz of Montreal-based brokerage Think Retail.