50 years of building our communities together!
Six men met at 520 Curé-Labelle Boulevard in Chomedey. In a small, windowless room of the Marc Rousseau hardware store, each of them affirmed his faith in the fledgling group and chipped in a cheque for $2,500. Thus, Marc Rousseau, Bona Major, Georges Bertrand, François L’Espérance, René Lortie and Clément Létourneau had just created Union Six, which would become BMR within a year.
During the 1970s, BMR was confronted with the new market reality: construction of new houses was in decline. Renovation was the way of the future, and the dealers had to adapt, shifting their focus from purchasing to retail. The new strategy worked—that decade saw BMR triple its number of dealers while sales climbed substantially.
In 1982, BMR started developing its private brands. Along with private brands, the 1980s marked the arrival of many products linked to a single company, including the "in-house" credit card. BMR quickly joined in the fray, launching its very first credit card in 1987.
With the arrival of "big-box stores," BMR analyzed its sales strategy and saw that two solutions were in order. First, the organization reoriented its marketing design toward full renovation centres, for "one-stop shopping." BMR then pursued the integration, making a big splash with the addition of hardware in 1997: suddenly, more than 16,000 additional products were available to dealers.
In August 2005, BMR Group faced a major challenge when its head office on De la Province Street in Longueuil burned to the ground. Undaunted, the team members all rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly on setting up new headquarters. Their hard work paid off: in one week, the new BMR office was up and running. BMR Group was once again able to serve its dealers and continue planning its expansion.
The brand added some muscle when Hugo Girard, Quebec's most famous strong-man, signed on as the new spokesperson for BMR. "My association with BMR is a perfect fit. Even though BMR is a big-time player in the renovation industry, its main concern remains serving real people. I also like the fact that BMR is both an ambitious organization and a class act. We share a lot of the same values," explains Hugo Girard.
In 2010, BMR launched its new agriculture department, Agrizone. The group started 2010 with a bang, adding 1,300 new products to its existing selection.
Also in 2010, the BMR 360 reward program was introduced. It allows consumers to collect points and use them to buy in-store products and gift cards or redeem them for Transat gift certificates.
Since 2011, BMR has been a major partner of the Quebec Games. Sports and youth are two of BMR's three main altruistic causes (the third being health). It was only fitting that the organization partner with the Quebec Games to promote personal excellence.
La Coop fédérée, the largest agri-food organization in Quebec, acquired BMR Group. This is how 175 Unimat dealers came to join BMR Group, bringing the total number of affiliated stores to 335 in 2015.
That same year, BMR Group became involved with Children's Wish, a foundation that brings a ray of sunshine into the lives of children and their families. Through its support of Children's Wish, BMR is proud to build hope and bring smiles by helping to make the dreams of sick children come true.
In 2015, BMR Group became a proud supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) as well, taking part in some 15 Relay For Life fundraisers. In addition to helping CCS financially, BMR Group promotes the cause internally by encouraging BMR dealers and their thousands of employees to participate in their local Relay for Life events. BMR's partnership with CCS remains vital to this day.
In 2016, Valérie Taillefer becomes the design ambassador for BMR Group. Always searching for new trends and inspiring projects, Valérie is a hands-on woman who goes beyond home decoration to work on creating dream-worthy living spaces.
BMR Group celebrates its 50th anniversary! As for its Unimat and Potvin & Bouchard chains, they are celebrating their 40th and 85th anniversaries respectively.