In 1928 Joseph Schreter, who at the time was 23 years old, immigrated to Montreal, Canada, from Romania to start a new life. After a year of peddling his wares, he opened a retail outlet on St. Dominique Street. The apartment above the store served as the family residence. After a few moves within a couple of years, the store settled on the corner of Saint-Laurent and de Montigny (de Maisonneuve today), where the business continued to grow.
In 1948 Joseph's first cousin, Irving Schreter, arrived in Canada and started to work in the store. In the following years, Imre, Joseph's brother and Barry (Dov) Kratz, another cousin, also worked in the store. Joseph pursued other business interests, and in 1958, sold the business to Irving, Imre and Dov.
In 1953 the company, J.Schreter, was incorporated. At the end of 1955, there was a major fire that destroyed the store and thus the business was subsequently moved to its present location at 4358 Boul. Saint-Laurent on the corner of Marie Anne.
After the passing of Imre in the mid 1960's and the retirement of Dov in 1980, Irving continued running the business with his two sons, Steve and Joey. Both sons worked in the family business throughout high school and college. Joey came into the business on a full time basis in 1976 and Steve in 1981. Irving retired in 1985 and Joey retired in 2008. Today, Steve and his son Lonnie (the 4th generation) manage the business.
When Joseph started the business, he had a very simple business philosophy: “Make sure that the customer gets the best possible value and leaves the store satisfied and happy with his purchase”. This philosophy has never changed. As a result - "no hassle money back guarantee" became the store's motto.
In the past, the business was mainly wholesale - selling to smaller storekeepers or customer peddlers. Selling directly to the retail public was always done, but made up only a small part of the overall business. As the wholesale type of customer started to slowly disappear, the company started to focus more on the retail side of the business. In the early 1980's, the first advertising campaigns started on radio and newspapers.
On January 18 1997, the doors to the newly expanded store opened. The walls to two adjacent stores were opened to allow for the physical space to change. This gave more room to spread out the large selection of merchandise available, Aisles are now larger and the merchandise is displayed in a much more customer friendly set up.
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