13 March 2013
New expansion model for Signarama Quebec
ANJOU, QC—A Signarama in Saint-Félicien opened March 4, marking the first Signarama launched under the master franchisor team that acquired the franchise rights for Quebec in 2011.

The rights were bought by Pierre Lachappelle and Roger Perron, under a company called Gestion Per-Lac. Both co-owners are also executives at BO Concept Groupe, a sign business in Anjou, Que.

Lachappelle called the new Saint-Félicien location a "satellite centre," noting that it operates a 900 sq. ft. showroom with capabilities for t-shirts and promo production, but that production of larger banners and signs is centralized at an existing Signarama in Saguenay, 90 minutes away.

M. Jules Bouchard, manager of SAR Saguenay (left), and Gaston Rathée, owner of SAR Saint-Félicien and SAR Saguenay (right)

Signarama Saguenay opened in 2008, and was the first of the province's three locations. The Saguenay centre and its Saint-Félicien satellite are both owned by Gaston Rathée.

Lachapelle said to expect more satellite centres as Signarama expands in the province. "We changed the business model. In the past, the concept was to open new stores for new franchisees, even if they had no experience in the signage business. Buying a Signarama was like buying a Tim Hortons," he said.

"Since we [Lachapelle and Perron] have been in this business for a long time, we know how hard it can be if you don't know the market," Lachappelle said. Now franchisees will be business owners that already work in visual communications, whether a printer or sign business, with staff sizes of less than 10 employees.

"We can help those people, already in the business, to grow. That's our focus," Lachapelle said. Quebec's next Signarama is slated to open in Lavalle in May.
— Jef Catapang
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