In 1930, Laura Wolstein opens a small store for women’s clothing in Montréal, on Saint-Hubert Street. Her friendly customer service is soon appreciated by her clientele and will remain one of the brand’s main characteristic as of today. In 1932, the store moves to the Verdun Avenue.
Kalman Fisher, Laura’s grandson, starts out in the company. The chain has grown with the female baby-boomer generation, as they entered the job market. It operates under 5 brands: Laura, Laura Plus, Laura Petites, Laura Plus Petites and Melanie Lyne, named after Kalman’s wife, who came into his store to apply for a job.
Kalman quickly takes charge of the company and opens a second store in Ville Saint-Laurent in 1973, marking the start of a growth that will spread all over Canada.
Laura is present in almost all provinces and runs two online stores.
About half of the stores are established in Ontario. Apart from Cadillac Fairview, the biggest owners are Ivanhoé Cambridge, Riocan, Oxford Properties and 20VIC management.
Laura’s history is rich, its culture exceptional, its team, devoted and talented and its clientele, faithful.
The company offers a selection of comfortable clothes, with unique designs.
However, like many other Canadian fashion retailers, it struggles to adapt to international competition. The company undergoes some major losses in 2012 and 2013, and, despite a commercial relaunching, it must be restructured. It files a protection claim to its creditors. Laura shuts down 20 stores in a few weeks and looks for a rent reduction on 26 other stores through a restructure designed to ensure the Canadian retailer’s survival.
Today, Kalman and his family still manage the company who offers two of the biggest retail clothing brands in Canada: Laura and Melanie Lyne. The collections are finely orchestrated and are offered in 9 provinces, from Victoria (British Columbia) to St. John’s (Newfoundland) and through the online stores laura.ca and melanielyne.com.
Laura Canada always offers unique products and high-end designs. Its salespersons are always well-qualified and friendly. The stores are welcoming and soothing, even after 87 years of existence.