We are proud to announce that a new Empire store will open its doors in Trois-Rivières next Spring and that it will be none other than the TR skate and snowboard community legends Karen and Ben Périgny who will run the show!
New name, completely revamped store, best selection of skate AND snowboard brands in Canada, all operated by the Périgny family. We seriously couldn't ask for better!
It’s after several decades of friendship and common projects that the co-owners of the Empire stores, Fred Pierre-Antoine and Phil Grisé, as well as the co-owners of the Périgny store, Ben and Karen Périgny, decided to join forces! A union of know-how in the field of snowboarding and skateboarding and a shopping experience combining the spirit of the Trois-Rivières community that was maintained by the Périgny family for the past 40 years and the bulletproof structure of the Empire stores.
"The Périgny fam and I have been partying together for over 20 years! It was about time we got down to serious business!"
- Phil Grisé
“Two successful companies joining forces to make things better. I don’t see any negative in that."
- Ben Périgny
NEW STORE, SAME COMMUNITY
The Périgny family has been established in the skate and snowboard community in Trois-Rivières since the 80’s and we are happy to announce that this is not about to change.
“We were one of the first skate retailers in Quebec! back in the days, my dad would go to the US to pick up boards that we didn't have here. Almost 40 years later, we still gravitate in this universe and we are really proud of it” Ben Périgny explained in an interview last week about the impending merger. “Phil has been my friend for a long time and this fusion has happened very organically. We had been talking about it for a little while, then Covid slowed down our plans, but we opened the file again a few months ago and we finally took action"he added.
On his end, the co-founder of Empire boutiques Phil Grisé affirms that an organic collaboration was the only way to proceed and that there’s no way he would have opened a store in Trois Rivières if it wasn’t with the support from Ben and Karen: "There is absolutely no question of wild capitalism here and if my friends Ben and Karen hadn’t found an interest in an alliance, I just don't believe we would have settled down in Trois-Rivières for the moment”.
UNITY IS STRENGTH
Ultimately, the merger of both entities is a team decision, a decision that will bring a host of benefits to both parties. "It may sound cheezy, but the expression unity is strength is very representative of the Empire / Périgny partnership" said Phil Grisé.
For him, it’s a question of location and brand positioning: "Mauricie is a key region located at the junction of major highways and directly between Quebec and Montreal. We’re not trying to hide it, opening an Empire store there will certainly contribute to our brand positioning throughout Quebec. On the other hand, it will also allow the Périgny family, with the Empire infrastructure now behind them, to offer more to their community".
For Ben and Karen of boutique Périgny, the decision is also quite strategic and aims to benefit from the structural advantages of a bigger store like Empire. “Not only will this alliance allow several new brands to enter our store, but it will also allow us to benefit from a more developed marketing department, a better budget, a centralized accounting department… In short, we will be able to offer much more to our community and take more time to make sure we have the best brands on the floor, hire the best staff and provide the best service” explained Ben.
"Empire has quite established the bases of operating an independent skateshop in a structured way in Quebec and I'm happy to know that we will be able to take advantage of this structure and grow with Empire" added the co-owner of boutique Périgny.
WHAT'S TO COME
As we have already mentioned, the union generates a host of advantages for both Empire and Périgny, but will also be for the benefit of the Mauricie’s skate and snowboard community and that, on several levels.
First of all, the store will totally change its look. A serious period of renovations is planned before the opening in Spring 2021 to give the store a new look and, most importantly, more space. This makes Ben Périgny happy as he mentioned he had renovation projects in mind for a long time already: “We were already thinking of renovating the store before the deal materialized. It’s clear that having Empire’s support will allow us go bigger and better at this level”.
Phil Grisé, for his part, said that the Empire/Périgny alliance will highlight the reintroduction of snowboard products across the range of brands available at the Trois-Rivières branch. "Périgny hasn’t offered snowboards, boots or bindings for a few years now and we are happy to announce that the new Empire store will have a wide selection of snow products for the whole family" he explained.
You have no idea of how happy we are that 2020 has ended with such great news! We definitely needed it!