After the pandemic, the outdoors

Après la pandémie, le plein air

Photo: Do sport
For a few weeks, the owner of Do Sport, Dominique Vallée, has been the only one to run the company, which has normally five to seven people. Do Sports manufactures boards to paddle.

Pelican, a manufacturer of kayaks and paddle boats, is ready : the company laval has increased its sanitary measures and the announcement of the déconfinement of the manufacturing industry is, for her, as for many others, a great new. But the unknowns are many, ” says its president and chief executive officer, Danick Lavoie. Among the major issues : the consumer. “We hope that the demand is going to be the appointments,” he says.

For the specialists in sports equipment and leisure, the arrival of the beautiful time is always a period of strong, but the year 2020 will have provided its own set of problems. Shops closed, income declines are drastic in the usual customers, vacation plans suddenly uncertain. From one company to the other, the situation is different, but they all cross the fingers for the return of some normality.

“The stress and fear of the people, it has been felt immediately,” says Dominique Vallée, the owner and president of Do Sport, who manufactures including boards, paddles and wakesurf in Trois-Rivières. One of the problems : not only the shops that would buy the planks are normally closed, but they are going through financial difficulties are enormous. “We had three weeks where we said, “how will we get through ?” But since two weeks, it starts to move. And the effect of buying local encourages people to learn more. We note a lot of interest. “The pandemic has, therefore, produces a double,” said Ms. Valley : negative on the finances, but positive impact on the awareness of what is manufactured here.

One of the big issues, it’s going to be the ability to provide the products to retailers

— Guillaume Leblanc


For a few weeks, Ms. Valley was all alone to run the company, which normally account for five to seven people. Phone, social networks, but also from the work shop such as sandblasting, etc, After verification with the government, operations resumed partially it was a week and a half, with a small team. If the shops are going to be able to reopen, an unidentified plane to the horizon : the fate of the schools. “What are the best ambassadors for us. When they go into the schools, people can try our boards. But here, in these schools, there is a lot of stress at this time. “However, the board is perfect for social distancing,” she said. “It is for this reason that the schools are eager to see what will happen at the government level. When one is on our board, there is no proximity as is the case for many other sports. “

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Deliveries impossible

Specializing in the manufacturing of boats such as canoes and kayaks, abitibi & co., Rouyn-Noranda, has partially restarted this week after consulting with the government to maintain a level of production minimum in order to encourage the recovery. “One of the big issues, it’s going to be the ability to provide the products to retailers, says Guillaume Leblanc, co-owner and general manager. The crisis came at a time when we began our deliveries. But at the same time, the retailers were also closed. During this time, your fixed costs will continue, but you have no income. All businesses are in the same boat, if I can say. “The company will re-double our efforts to support our retailers,” he said. “It sells very rarely directly [to the public]. If it does, it is because there is really no retailer in the area. “

“There has been a positive effect,” says Simon Bergeron, co-owner of Panorama Cycles. Specializing in the fatbike, the SME performs the bulk of its sales with its Internet site. The greater part of the manufacturing is done in Asia, and the final assembly takes place in Quebec. “There is a craze for online sales,” he says. Why ? “We say that people may have cancelled travel plans and opted for a bike, or that people want to buy quebec. “There may be the effect of the models released in the fall,” he continues. It is possible, also, that people have the time and think of the bicycle at the approach of summer. In the end, ” it’s going a little better than what we had anticipated “.

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