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The Archambault store on Berri Street will close in June

The Archambault store on Berri Street will close in June

The Archambault store at the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine Streets will be closed in June.

The news was announced to staff on Friday morning.

The Archambault Group maintains that it can no longer ignore the “growing deterioration” of the commercial prospects around Place Émilie-Gamelin and management maintains that this makes it “impossible” to renew the lease which was about to expire.

“The evolution of the urban fabric in the sector, together with the evolution of consumer habits, no longer makes it possible to make operations profitable, despite the investments made in recent years,” explains the spokeswoman, Florian Clavo, in an email.

The “turnaround” in the Place Émilie-Gamelin sector has been mentioned as the main source of the decline in the commercial potential of the shop in Brie Street.

Management determines that construction sites are “major” influences that must be considered when evaluating the future of storefront retail.

Over the years, it has been determined, the strip has become a “laboratory of urban diversity”, no longer able to generate enough traffic.

Hotel reallocation to Place Dupuis during the pandemic, old bus station still vacant, new bus station and Berri-UQAM station forming centers for urban migration, decommissioning of the Latin Quarter, decommissioning and reconstruction of the Latin Quarter. CHUM, real estate redevelopment of the adjacent square into skyscrapers, rue Sainte-Catherine becoming pedestrianized in summer, major developments on the Place des Festivals, telework and tele-studies at UQAM and in the city center in general reducing traffic, reduced parking spaces The cars, as well as the work that will be done in the Émilie-Gamelin park and the surrounding area, are all elements that can be included in the definition of “mixed cities”.

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Recognizing the heritage value of the store’s giant illuminated sign, management will not require its removal after closing in June. It is likely that Quebecor’s landlord will decide. The banner’s removal in 2018 sparked protests that led to its swift reinstallation.

The Berry Street shop employs 34 workers, most of them from unions. We were told that they would be able to apply for jobs and places of interest.

Dominic Beland, head of the FTQ’s SEPB 574, said he was concerned first about the people affected by the decision, but also thought about the other side affected by the announcement.

“It’s part of Quebec culture leaving. It’s huge. 1896. It’s part of Quebec City’s cultural history. If it’s not the oldest, it’s one of the oldest entertainment stores in Quebec,” says the shop’s longtime person.

Founded in 1896, Groupe Archambault has been owned by Renaud-Bray since 2015. There will still be 14 Archambault establishments in operation: Boucherville, Brossard, Gatineau, Laval (2), Anjou, Jean-Talon and Place des Arts, La Capitale, Sainte-Foy, Saint-Romual, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Saguenay.

Including the ground floor, the Perry Street store is spread over three floors. In addition to musical instruments, sheet music, speakers, CDs, DVDs, and books, there are also stationery, kitchenware, toys, and games.