Canada-based fashion retailer La Maison Simons has announced its plans to invest $215m to establish a multi-service fulfilment centre and expand its presence in the e-commerce and digital sphere to cater to consumer demand.

The company has worked with several partners to secure financing for the project, including the Québec Government, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the Caisse), and Investissement Québec.

Simons and the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ have partnered with regards to property financing, which represents a $20m contribution for buying the land and building for the $100m fulfilment centre. As per the agreement, Simons will serve as the long-term tenant of this facility.

Construction will commence over the next few weeks and is scheduled to be complete by 2020.

La Maison Simons president Peter Simons said: “Our clientele is increasingly choosing to complement their in-store shopping experience with online purchases, which is why we invested in our e-commerce infrastructure over the past few years.

“A new fulfilment centre will allow a company such as ours to respond to our rapidly growing online business while supporting our continued store expansion.

“It also allows us to rethink our order fulfilment processes to better support our distribution centre teams.

“The new fulfilment centre will enable the retailer to increase its productivity and order fulfilment capacity.”

“By providing our employees with the latest technology to be more efficient and productive, we will become more competitive and be able to create more high-quality jobs.”

Québec government will award a $81m term loan to Simons under its ESSOR programme.

The company will use $51m to purchase automated equipment for the fulfilment centre and the remaining amount to buy order preparation, processing and delivery solutions.

The new fulfilment centre will enable the retailer to increase its productivity and order fulfilment capacity, both in-store and online by utilising automated equipment and technologies.

Caisse will invest $27m, while Investissement Québec will fund $17m into the centre.

According to Simons, this marks an important phase, as it opens its “share capital to external partners”.

Simons is drawing its building financing and working capital through its banking partners, which include Bank of Montreal (BMO), National Bank, and Desjardins.

The retailer’s banking partners, including Bank of Montreal (BMO), National Bank, and Desjardins, will provide support for its building financing and working capital.