Sobeys acquires Ricardo Media right after ‘intense year’

MONTREAL – Ricardo Media strengthens its ties with IGA as Sobeys, operator of the model, acquires the majority shareholder situation in Ricardo Larrivée and Brigitte Coutu’s enterprise. The transaction sum and just about every party’s share of shares had been not disclosed.

Until now, the entrepreneurial couple absolutely owned Ricardo Media. “We’ve experienced an powerful 12 months,” claimed Coutu, president and CEO of the small business. “We did pretty properly. But as business owners, we generally surprise how to consider the small business to the up coming amount, to go speedier, further more. We understood we couldn’t do it on your own we necessary a strategic husband or wife. We have been doing work with IGA for 20 yrs.”

“We want to improve on a a lot more solid financial basis,” included Larrivée, Ricardo Media govt chef and co-founder. “All the corporations IGA is effective with are family members-owned, have kept their temperament, are escalating, and these who do the job there have a superior excellent of lifestyle.”

The Ricardo brand, set up in 2002, will not be compromised by the new partnership. The Larrivée-Coutu team will retain their present positions and continue primary the company, whose range incorporates a magazine, books, a television creation household, kitchen area extras, cafes, boutiques, an on line retail outlet and completely ready-to-try to eat foods.

“Ricardo will not come to be IGA. It remains an impartial organization. There will be no convergence obligations,” stated Pierre St-Laurent, government vice-president and COO of Sobeys.

“We’re even now right here for many years to arrive,” Coutu added. “We’re not going, it’s however Ricardo Media, we’re staying with the identical crew, we’re however an innovation unit for Sobeys. We will be developing articles for Sobeys as effectively.”

The get-togethers see the partnership as an prospect for development and innovation in digitalization, product or service structure and the distribution of extras, in addition to an exchange of knowledge.

“We are constructing a completely automatic distribution centre in Pointe-Claire (Voilà par IGA) that will permit us to supply on the internet orders to 85 to 90 for every cent of Quebec households,“ St-Laurent claimed.

“From our facet, we know in authentic time what men and women are searching for on our web-site,” Coutu added. “This is facts we will be capable to share with IGA.”

For Ricardo Media, which experienced been contacted by other media and grocery groups in recent decades, Canada is a lot more obtainable than ever thanks to the new partnership with IGA.

“Our English magazine would even now exist if I had partnered with IGA before,” Larrivée said. “How could I manage to get my accessories to kitchens in the Yukon or on Prince Edward Island usually? It normally takes a lover with a electronic eyesight and quite sturdy backers, primarily as we are up versus Amazon.”

IGA is anticipated to present approximately 20 more Ricardo goods in their shops. Just before COVID-19, the grocery retail outlet chain marketed a dozen distinct Ricardo solutions 26 new ones, predominantly meals, sauces and desserts, had been added to the selection through the pandemic. The pandemic increased product sales of Ricardo food stuff products and solutions at IGA by six.

“We are fortunate to be diversified,” Coutu reported. “It was really challenging for the cafe sector and it nevertheless is. But the media sector carried out extremely well. The guide ‘À la plaque’ was a excellent results, also in English-speaking Canada. We had a better year than ahead of the pandemic many thanks to the media and food items.”

“We did not buy (the shares) at a lower price,” St-Laurent claimed. “The business enterprise is wholesome. The distribution of equipment with (the on the internet orders and grocery assistance) Voilà par IGA will be a lifeline for Ricardo Media, for instance.”

And the rivals?

For now, Ricardo products, components and publications will however be supplied by stores who are now rivals. “We are not changing nearly anything at the second,” reported Mario Bélanger, president of Mayrand food items depots, which have roughly 60 Ricardo goods in their assortment. “We are not negative players and we are very pleased with Ricardo. It sells very properly.”

Ricardo Media employs approximately 100 personnel (roughly 200 just before the pandemic). In 2020, 54 per cent of the company’s income came from retail and 46 for every cent from the media sector. In 2021, it was 48 per cent for retail and 52 for each cent for the media sector, due to outlets and restaurants currently being closed through the pandemic.

In 2019, Larrivée admitted that he felt suffocated by the Big Tech corporations and that it was crucial to diversify the actions of his firm.

“We have misplaced about 45 per cent of our media revenues in two years, because of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon,” he instructed Voir. “Never have I gained so lots of awards, but never has it been so challenging, hardly ever have we been so in danger. If it weren’t for the Ricardo sauces in the IGAs, we’d presently be shut. We ought to diversify our sources of money, because we can no for a longer time just count on media. Finally, media will be just 10 for every cent – and not more, simply because I do not see any other short-time period remedies. (…) Our current market can only grow outside of Quebec, in English-speaking Canada and in French-speaking Europe. The United States, I never put a great deal of hard work into it,” he stated.