When you work for a large company, it sometimes helps to put things in perspective. Look around you, and you see stores, our head office, the team that you are part of, and the merchandise that we offer to the customer. But there’s a story behind that snapshot. There was a time when all we were was just one store with a small team. Today, we are a major player on the Canadian retail stage, and you are now part of that story, and that success.
Over the years, we have taken everything we learned from each experience. We listened to people, promoted them and helped them grow. And by doing so created something stronger than any of us could have done alone.
We opened Stitches in downtown Toronto in 1975 and that was the start of YM. The Company grew to include Urban Planet, Sirens and Siblings. In 2003, we added one of Canada’s most recognized fashion brands, Suzy Shier. Two years later, we acquired Bluenotes, one of Canada’s oldest retailers with a rich and dynamic history stretching back to 1942. In 2011, Urban Behavior became part of the YM Group. In 2013, Canadian specialty retailer West 49/Amnesia joined the YM family. Today we have over 650 stores that cover the entire young fashion market with great selection at the right price. With each step and every challenge, we’ve gained knowledge and experience.
And now, it’s your turn. As the Company grows, these opportunities are there for anyone who wants them and is prepared to earn them. My vision is to continue to grow the Company. I want to increase merchandise and create more beautiful stores that are the envy of the industry. Our Company will carry the best merchandise, at the best prices, in all stores. And I firmly believe that by working together, we will achieve this vision.
Growth means everyone benefits. It puts us at the forefront of fashion retailing. It means that more opportunities for advancement become available. It opens the door to success, both corporately and personally. At the centre of my philosophy on running a business I believe in three key organizational strengths: experience, integrity and compassion. You absolutely need these three qualities to succeed. They are what define the character of a person. And it’s all about people. I want us to be known as the employer of choice in fashion retailing. But more than this, I want us to be known as an employer where anything is achievable. Where hard work, commitment and dedication pay off. Where there are no barriers to your success.
We’ve come a long way. It’s been a long journey and we have accomplished more than we could ever have dreamed. The most exciting years still lie ahead in our future. I look forward to seeing what future successes lie in store for us.