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Mac retailer in Montreal, Canada closing its doors

updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue September 21, 2004

Montreal Mac shop closes

A Mac retailer in Montreal, CA may soon be forced out of business due to a declining user base and "plunging popularity" of Macs, according to an article in Montreal's The Gazette. B.Mac Le Magasin Inc. has closed three of its four stores in the Montreal area and laid off 37 of 52 employees. The fourth store may be forced to close next month--or face the prospect of bankruptcy, according to one reader. "The newspaper blames poor worldwide Mac sales and a low percentage of the overall PC market but doesn't provide information about Montreal's market where there is an apparently thriving design community that mainly uses Macintosh systems."

by MacNN Staff




  1. mtroute

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Don't blame "marketshare" for your troubles when it was most likely poor managment. Many many other Mac only stores do very well in the same environment...

  1. AboveDesign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Only in Quebec....

    Quebec is a unique market in Canada, they certainly do not represent the whole of Canada. West Coast Mac sales are strong according to a friend of mine who is a Mac retailer.

  1. peterh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    BMac closed in Ottawa...

    BMac closed their store in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada a few weeks back... they had been cutting back hours and inventory over the past months. Yes, Macs have a smaller marketshare, but if you put in place a well supplied and managed store in a good location and have a highly knowledgeable staff... your customer base will be loyal. There has always been a void for that in Ottawa, one which will hopefully be filled by another shop called The Mac Group.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    BMac in Ottawa

    I used to shop at the Ottawa BMac. The problem was they didn't seem to have much business sense. They had a huge store where space cost a premium. In the store they had pool tables, sofas, easy chairs, TVs showing TechTV all day, and wide open spaces with relatively few shelves with products. They had good selection, but their store should have been about a quarter of the size it was.

  1. Souljah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poor location...

    blame it on poor location...the flag ship store is in an industrial area.......the other which was or is downtown was not street level.
    So hard to get to and "casual/just browsing" customer traffic...big mistake.
    Bring in an official Apple store!

  1. ottawayogi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Some Other Options

    It's a pity that B.Mac closed their doors. Though, I can't say that I'm too surprised. I don't think they made very good use of their very large Ottawa retail space (a fairly large percentage of it was dedicated to art supplies and a pool table) and perhaps their marketing wasn't agressive enough.

    I agree - I don't think "market share" is really the issue. Apple's getting so much press these days as a result of the iPod and Music Store's success and I think that many people are starting to take a serious look at their other offerings. It seems that just about everyone I know is turning to Macs when they buy a new computer - especially for personal/home use (it could be that I'm a bit of an influence to their purchasing decision...I should be getting a commission ;).

    I've heard that Best Buy will soon be carrying Macs as well (in the Ottawa area at least). Also CompuSmart sells and services Macs.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Best Buy

    Best Buy already has Macs. A decent selection. But the problem is with the big box stores is they only carry the Macs. They do not carry third party software and accessories, short of Photoshop and Norton Utilities.

    Compusmart is better, and there is The Mac Group on Gladstone.

  1. redwood

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Intelligence on this boar

    It's nice to see so many intelligent comments on this board from local and knowledgeable sources on the topic. Way to go macnn readers.

  1. tabarnak

    Joined: Dec 1969


    very bad services

    maybe the owner should blame himself instead of market share. actually there is many mac users in montreal and the design community is pretty big.

    i stop buying my macs there, the service was terrible. they were lying to consumer all the time. if you had a problem and have to bring your machine there, the guy would answer 'we'll look at it within 48hours and call you back', and by that he ment 'we'll have it for more than a week and not call you back'. when you called to know if they had a product, their answers was yes we have it. when you arrive at the store, they didn't. (happens to me 2 times). the list can go on like that... every mac users i know that has made business with them are avoiding them, me included.

    to bad, it was a good store at the begining. i just which we could see an apple store. but there is many other places right now, never seen so much mac stores in montreal

  1. hypersoft

    Joined: Dec 1969



    bMac had a location in Ottawa up until a few weeks ago when it was closed. It was staffed by good people that knew their way around a Mac and how to get work done on what is simply the best system around. They were helpful and able to provide accurate answers to technical questions on the Mac. I considered them a good resource in the area for Mac repairs and service. (I'd probably even consider hiring some of them.)
    Market share for Macintosh is not the problem. The Quebec market (culturally unique or not) is not the problem.

    It is hard to sell from an empty shelf. Five week waits for eMac delivery from Apple. More than 2 months without iMacs. Long waits for G5s. Spotty availability of iBooks and PowerBooks can all be issues in a market where the margin of profit for a CPU is razor thin.

    The profit on an eMac barely covers one month's telephone bill for residential service let alone a basic business line.

    It is very very tough to make a living selling hardware alone. When you can't get enough computers to sell you can't sell copies of MS Office or printers that will generate repeat sales of ink cartridges.

    As an Apple VAR who loves the Mac OS and Apple hardware over anything else out there, I'd love to open a retail store front operation to sell, service and support Macs in "the Macintosh Way" style.

    The fact is, there still has to be a business case and a way to standout from the crowded market.
    I can do that in a focused market (medical software) by providing superb software and outstanding ongoing support because the profits to enable me to keep answering the phones are there from services and support contracts. The general consumer market seemingly will drive 150 km to save $10.00.

    It is bad enough that both the federal and provincial governments each make more money on a simple sale of an eMac (markup is about 5% vs taxes at 7 and 8%) but when a client whips out the old plastic and the bank wants it's commission on the credit card sale.

    With on-line sales more and more accessible, by an ever larger client base, has come cutthroat prices. The average small retailer can NOT compete with on-line sales on price alone. Big box national chains leverage their volume sales to extract co-op advertising funds from manufacturers and squeeze a few bucks more from the consumer with inflated in-house service contracts but forget about asking a simple tech question... the guy on the selling floor at Future Shop, Best Buy or WalMart knows squat.

    As hard as it can be, I continue in the Mac business because it is the platform that makes the most sense in so many ways - and I can make a decent living at it.

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