Quebec paint makers leap at opportunity after Sico leaves for Ontario
MONTREAL Quebec paint manufacturers are seizing on the American-owned Sico paint company’s move to Ontario from Quebec by launching marketing campaigns and tapping into renewed sensitivity around local ownership after a string of closures and layoffs.
Sico, an 81-year-old company bought by American giant PPG Industries Inc. in 2013, said last week it plans to close its plant in Quebec City and distribution centre in the Montreal area next September, eliminating 125 jobs.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume have both invoked the idea of a Sico boycott.
Denalt Paints, whose 60 employees make products under various brand names in Montreal, is buying ad slots on five radio stations around the province on top of a web and billboard campaign. Sales director Nicholas Le Marchand says pride in regional wares and “a perfect storm” of foreign purchases and local shutdowns is fostering more demand for Quebec products.
Patrick Rodrigue, director of operations at the Laval-based Micca Paint Inc., says he is revving up for a multi-platform ad push to capitalize on the “opportunity.” Nearby, MF Paints — which just hired a chemist laid off from Sico — aims to more than double its Quebec market share to 20 per cent after being “swamped” with calls by hardware and building materials stores.
Lowe’s Companies Inc. announced this month it will close 31 stores and other locations in Canada, including nine Rona outlets in Quebec, two years after acquiring the Montreal-area-based retailer. Three days later on Nov. 8, Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. announced it will lay off 5,000 workers company-wide, including 2,500 in Quebec, and sell off two units.
Nicholas Le Marchand of Montreal’s Denalt Paints says Quebec products are seeing more demand.