La Maison Simons, 176-year-old Quebec-based retailer, continues with its $200 million expansion plan with the hopes of bringing the same high levels of brand awareness and credibility it currently enjoys in Quebec to the other Canadian provinces. Venturing outside its home province meant establishing its unique position and ensuring consumers understand it. For Simons, that’s meant offering fashion pieces targeted at specific demographics to a home collection featuring exclusive merchandise. “Taking a consumer-led go-to-market approach with its private labels has been one way Simons differentiates from other retailers,” explains Philippe Normand, VP of Marketing. Furthermore, Simons debuted awareness campaigns with its agency partner ahead of openings in new provinces, with advertising focused on its eight private labels and 48 international designers. Normand reports on the success of these campaigns in driving sales in areas that weren’t familiar with the brand. Online growth has also been important for the brand, with roughly 10% of its sales driven through e-commerce and future plans to deliver what Normand calls a “seamless” experience in-store, online and on mobile. Moving forwards, Simons is also looking to promote an environmental focus with shipment via wind-powered sailboats, electric cars and eco-focused stores selling merchandise made from organic cotton and viscose derived from non-endangered forests.