April 14, 2024

Oberson has been the assembly place for skiers for generations. The corporate, based in 1963, is now within the palms of the second era: Alexandra Oberson took over from her father Maurice along with a accomplice, Daniel L’Écuyer.

Nonetheless, earlier than she accepted the presidential chair, she needed to overcome her father’s reluctance.

“My father didn’t establish me as a possible successor as a result of he didn’t wish to promote to the household. He had witnessed many transitions that resulted in disputes or firm failure. That’s why he didn’t contemplate this feature,” says Alexandra Oberson.

Though she was drawn to enterprise, Alexandra Oberson earned a bachelor’s diploma in operations administration from HEC Montréal, adopted by a grasp’s diploma with a focus in shopper psychology. She labored in market analysis earlier than becoming a member of the household enterprise within the early 2000s.

“I joined the corporate as a result of my father wanted a serving to hand. I held numerous operational and administration positions throughout the firm. Since I cherished the sphere, I made a decision to place myself as a successor. Over time, my father’s notion modified, particularly since my brother additionally confirmed curiosity,” she explains.

The switch course of that started in 2015 was accomplished in 2020 with the complete repurchase of the corporate’s shares. Alexandra Oberson took over operational administration collectively together with her accomplice Daniel L’Écuyer, her father’s “proper arm” who served as vp for years. His brother Marc-André, a lawyer by occupation, now runs the subsidiary Ateliers Oberson, which specializes within the restore and upkeep of ski and snowboard tools.

Technological change

At this time, Oberson operates two shops in Laval and Brossard, serving clients who typically come from Gaspésie and Abitibi to purchase their snow or biking tools. The corporate is exploring the opportunity of increasing its territory. “We’re nonetheless searching for acquisitions of present specialist shops. As a result of present recruiting difficulties, we favor this feature,” says Alexandra Oberson.

Due to the digital transformation initiated in 2008, the retailer skilled robust progress in its on-line gross sales. “At the moment they characterize 24% of our turnover, in comparison with 1% once I took over the corporate,” explains Alexandra Oberson.

This digital transformation has allowed Oberson to not solely improve its presence within the Canadian market, but in addition to be resilient within the face of the pandemic. “Our adaptability allowed us to pivot shortly to handle order transport or in-store pickup. The recognition of sports activities actions throughout the pandemic has boosted our gross sales.”

Rising inflation doesn’t seem to have slowed this dynamic, no less than not but. “Gross sales progress continues. Winter sports activities fans typically have the next revenue, inflation doesn’t have a serious impression on our gross sales. Solely longer intervals of recession might actually have an effect on our actions,” explains the supervisor.

Of their growth methods, she and her accomplice give attention to the expansion of on-line gross sales on a pan-Canadian degree. In addition they wish to enter a brand new market phase: the sale of used tools and clothes, which is in rising demand.

HR venture

Your different large venture is attracting and retaining workers. The corporate, which employs virtually 200 folks, has applied numerous measures to offer its workers with a stimulating work atmosphere.

“We’ve got targeted on coaching to verify we retain them season after season. We make use of many college students who stick with us all through their faculty profession, from CEGEP to school, explains Alexandra Oberson. We’ve got additionally improved advantages by providing as much as six weeks of trip relying on years of service. As for salaries, they’ve elevated by greater than 20% since 2015.”

Not too long ago, Oberson has expanded its providing to incorporate the sale of bicycles and tools for cyclists. A market that’s doing properly and already accounts for 38% of gross sales. With this diversification, the retailer stays near its DNA, the mountain.

“That is the one method you’ll be able to differentiate your self and develop into a specialist.” We proceed to honor my father’s philosophy, which was all the time to supply clients chosen merchandise and sound recommendation,” says Alexandra Oberson.



Date based: 1963

Actions: Retail

Shareholders: Alexandra Oberson, Daniel L’Écuyer

Variety of workers: 185