Our Story – Rooted in Retail
The origins of Cantrex began in 1960, when a group of like-minded Québec Independent retailers in the furniture and appliance categories teamed up to form the Prestige buying group. These forward-thinking business owners understood that, as a group, they could compete better against the larger retail chains and grow their businesses, while still maintaining their independence – a vision that continues to this day.
The Cantrex Group was established in 1982 when Prestige merged with another Québec-based group of furniture and appliance retailers, Servi-Meubles.
This important milestone signaled a significant period of growth, development and diversification as Cantrex expanded across Canada and extended its service offerings to include Independent retailers in the bedding, consumer electronics, floor covering and photography industries. It continued to grow and solidify partnerships with hundreds of important vendors, big and small, across its diverse industries. Moreover, to better serve its Members and business partners across the country, Cantrex established offices in Toronto and Vancouver, in addition to its primary Montréal location.
Cantrex became the largest buying group in Canada for Independent retailers operating in multiple industry categories.
Cantrex continued to develop ambitious retail business solutions for its membership, including turnkey retail banner networks, and an extensive array of financial, marketing, purchasing and merchandising programs – all designed to help Independents grow their businesses and stay ahead of the curve in their respective markets.
In 2005, former multi-channel retailer, Sears Canada, became the sole shareholder of Cantrex and seven years later, another important milestone marked our story.
In April 2012, U.S.-based Nationwide Marketing Group acquired Cantrex, and with this move, Cantrex joined an industry leader who understood and shared the same vision: to help Independent retailers grow and successfully compete against big box stores and chains.
Cantrex became Cantrex Nationwide and, combined with its parent company, became the largest buying and marketing group of its kind in North America.
Today, Cantrex Nationwide continues to operate as an independent division of Nationwide Marketing Group to best serve the distinctive nature of the Canadian marketplace and to offer an enhanced array of retail solutions to better compete in today’s rapidly-changing physical, and online retail environments.
Most notably, digital marketing has become an important anchor in the organization with an in-house, highly experienced marketing team helping Members make the necessary digital shift to ensure continued growth and success.