Jeremy Reitman, chairman and chief government of Reitmans Canada Ltd., has died, leaving a legacy as a builder of each his household enterprise and Montreal’s style business.
Reitmans, Canada’s largest ladies’s attire retailer with 587 shops beneath 5 manufacturers together with Reitmans, Penningtons and Addition Elle, introduced his demise on Sunday. Reitman died “peacefully in Florida on Saturday,” in accordance with his obituary within the Montreal Gazette. He was seventy four years previous, based on an organization spokesperson.
Reitman, a graduate of Darmouth School, McGill Regulation, Westmount Excessive Faculty and Camp Kennebec, labored for greater than forty years on the household-managed, publicly traded enterprise his grandparents Herman and Sarah Reitman based in 1926 with one store on Boulevard St. Laurent in Montreal. Reitman’s inventory fell 1.seventy four per cent on the Toronto Inventory Trade to shut at $1.thirteen per share on Monday.
He held the position of director since 1975 and was named chairman and CEO in 2010, the beginning of a difficult decade for Canada’s retail business because it grappled with the doorway of huge U.S. rivals and the explosion of on-line buying.
Reitman can be missed as an icon in Canada’s retail style business, stated Retail Council of Canada chief government Diane Brisebois, who has labored with Reitman all through her 25 years on the business group.
“It’s troublesome to not know Jeremy when you’re in retail. It’s an iconic household and an iconic model,” Brisebois stated, describing Reitman as a jovial however no-nonsense sort of man. “Jeremy was very targeted on his enterprise, on the expansion of his enterprise.”
Reitman leaves a wealthy legacy as a champion of Montreal’s trend business and as a mentor to individuals moving into the attire enterprise, Brisebois stated.
“He and his household have been a part of the constructing of Montreal as a centre for attire and style,” she stated. “Individuals will keep in mind him as a builder within the business.”
Beneath the management of Reitman and his brother Stephen Reitman, who serves as president and chief working officer, the retailer survived the disruption of the previous decade when its friends Jacob, Mexx, Comark and Categorical couldn’t make it work in Canada.
Brisebois sees this as a praise to the brothers. Household retailers are sometimes run tightly, however she stated the Reitmans introduced on individuals who have been capable of help the modifications that wanted to be made to grapple with new rivals and the digital shift.
“They weren’t afraid to make robust selections when the market turned fairly disrupted,” she stated. “They’ve constructed a really robust ship.”
Nonetheless, Reitmans wasn’t resistant to the business-large hardships. It launched an activewear line referred to as Hyba to attempt to tackle the ‘athleisure’ development, however it closed the standalone shops in February after they didn’t get sufficient traction. In its newest quarter it closed 37 shops, primarily because of decrease gross sales from its plus-measurement manufacturers, in response to firm paperwork.
Prior to now decade, Reitmans shrunk its retailer footprint by forty per cent from a peak of 980 shops in 2010.
“They have been in all probability probably the most weak due to the variety of shops that they had,” stated Maureen Atkinson, a senior advisor at international retail consultancy J.C. Williams Group.
Jeremy Reitman and his household have been a part of the constructing of Montreal as a centre for attire and style
However Reitman was ahead-considering sufficient to take a position considerably in digital although a few of his rivals didn’t embrace on-line purchasing quick sufficient, stated Atkinson.
“I’ve actually been an admirer,” she stated. “They’ve the suitable combination of understanding the Canadian feminine however then additionally being open to vary and innovation and understanding that they do have to vary.”
Reitmans additionally hit a house run with a partnership with actor Meghan Markle, who was named a model ambassador in 2015 earlier than she turned world well-known as Prince Harry’s fiancé after which the Duchess of Sussex. The contract ended as deliberate in 2017.
“I’m unsure they foresaw she was going to marry a prince, however she epitomized the sort of model they needed to speak… actually trendy however achievable for the typical Canadian lady,” Atkinson stated.
In an interview with La Presse earlier this yr, Reitman stated he was targeted on making an attempt to maximise each bricks and mortar shops and e-commerce. He was additionally working to scale back supply occasions and personalize e-mail advertising.
In his obituary, Reitman is described as a faithful and loving father and stepfather, an adoring grandfather, an expensive brother and a beloved companion that can be missed by many.
“A passionate golfer, skier, Moishe’s common, toastmaster and philatelist, Jeremy was additionally a robust supporter of Israel and Jewish causes and a most devoted good friend,” the obituary said.
A funeral might be held in Montreal on Thursday.