By Kayla Matthews
Founded in 1927 with its headquarters on St-Hubert Street, Lozeau developed a reputation for its wedding photography and photofinishing business, known for high-quality service and technical expertise. Quickly after opening, the retailer began offering film development, printing services, cameras and photography accessories.
Jean Simard, who took over management of the company in 1973 with his wife Lise Lozeau, says the sale will ensure the store continues to thrive and jobs are safe in the years to come”.
''We've been running a successful, healthy company for the last 90 years. Thanks to this agreement with Henry's, a team for which our family has always had great respect, we can ensure the future growth and sustainability of our banner in an industry undergoing constant change," said Lozeau-Simard.
Manon Lozeau-Simard, their daughter, said the timing of this merger is ideal, as her parents are looking to retire, and her and her brother can begin adjusting to another family-owned business that has been in operation for decades and also shares the same ideals and business values.
Encouraging New Growth
The goal of this merger is to continue the growth and expansion of Henry's, along with saving and creating new jobs. Gillian Stein, chief executive officer at Henry’s, said the merger will preserve 125 positions.
Henry’s, a family-owned business that first opened their doors and began operations in 1909, has quickly become the leading retailer of digital imaging in Canada. This agreement will allow the company to enter the Quebec market and continue its expansion through Canada.
"We are absolutely thrilled to come to an agreement with such a well-respected brand and family in Montreal, and now have the opportunity to further grow the business with a partner who has the same DNA, core values and quality of customer experience," said Stein.
Henry’s will continue to operate under the Lozeau name until the transaction finalizes, with no changes expected to the current customers, staff or operations.
What Comes Next
Overall, this merger could mean good news for the photography industry in Canada, which has been stagnant during the past few years.
The industry is directly tied to the economy. For photographers and their businesses to thrive, consumers must have disposable income and be willing to spend it on professional photography services for their wedding, graduation or other important events. With the economy projected to improve, experts predict the photography industry will expand rapidly over the next five years.
One of the key success factors in the industry is the ability to provide goods and services to those in diverse locations. Right now, the majority of the Canadian photography market consists of small studios who can offer services to a limited geographic area. Their inability to travel or acquire new customers significantly inhibits their growth.
Most of these small studios also hire a limited amount of employees, typically fewer than four, meaning a stagnant job market and no room for new photographers to enter.
Currently, most photographers aren’t able to find full-time work. That means pursuing multiple jobs or even finding non-related work to pay the bills. New photography positions are harder and harder to come by, with jobs typically only opening once someone has retired.
One downside to this merger is that self-employed and small photography businesses may have difficulty going up against with such a powerful competitor. When potential clients start considering media companies, they’re often drawn to companies with larger operations, more experience and more flexible hours. Those in the Quebec and Ontario areas should expect shifts in the market as more consumers flock to the newly merged retailer.
However, this merger will allow the Henry’s and Lozeau brands to offer goods and services to a broader range of people across the county, allowing for more growth, increased job opportunities and perhaps even a shift in the market that will prove beneficial to photographers.
While small business photographers may have difficulty finding their new work due to this merger, the flip side is that this agreement will expand the market and require more expertise behind the scenes, meaning both experienced and emerging photographers will have a better opportunity finding a professional, full-time position offering a competitive salary and benefits.
Henry’s, now with Lozeau by its side, has the advantage of a known high-quality product. Many consumers will flock to a business where they know what to expect each time they visit, while smaller photography businesses often don’t offer the same types of reassurances and guarantees, making them less attractive.
With Henry’s now dominating a more significant sector of the market share, it will have more opportunity to generate new leads and grow their revenue. This type of growth could easily allow the retailer to expand into other regions in Canada, which could be good news for rural photographers. Unprecedented growth could even turn into international expansion, such as into the United States or Europe.
Kayla Matthews is a researcher, writer and blogger covering topics related to technology, smart gadgets, the future of work and personal productivity. She is the owner and editor of ProductivityTheory.com and ProductivityBytes.com. Previously, Kayla was a senior writer at MakeUseOf and contributing freelancer to Digital Trends. Kayla's work on smart homes and consumer tech has also been featured on Houzz, Dwell, Inman and Curbed. Additionally, her work has appeared on Quartz, PRNewswire, The Week, The Next Web, Lifehacker, Mashable, The Daily Dot, WIRED and others.