WHO WE ARE

Our colourful history

 

Corbeil becomes
Quebec-owned in 2017

To engage consumers and help one of Quebec’s national treasures rise to new heights, the Amiel Group acquires Corbeil Appliances in 2017. Before this transaction, Corbeil had been passed down from the Corbeil family to Cantrex and then to Sears Canada.

 

The post-war boom

The Second World War is over. Most Quebeckers are using iceboxes as refrigerators. Ice vendors wander through the streets selling blocks of ice.

Ernest Corbeil travels to Ontario and the United States to load up his truck with fridges to resell to his buddies Roland Faucher (aka the “Roi des bas prix”) and Gaston Clermont: two businessmen who each own their own appliance stores.

Ernest goes from being a reseller to an appliance store owner to make more money.

Ernest starts Corbeil Électrique. The first store opens at 2392 Beaubien Street in Montreal (right beside the movie theatre). The appliance industry boom is in full swing. In its early stages, Corbeil Électrique’s annual revenue reaches $10,000.

The early
1950s

The 1950s

Televisions are gaining in popularity. Without knowing a word of English, Ernest manages to become the sole distributor and vendor of Crosley TVs.

On top of selling appliances, Ernest adds TVs into the mix. TVs turn out to be more profitable than appliances until custom advertising campaigns take over.

Around 1953, things are going so smoothly at the first Corbeil store that Ernest asks his older brothers, René and André to help out.

1956–1957

The Corbeil brothers, René and André end up wanting their own stores. Their father helps them open a second Corbeil Électrique store on St-Hubert Street.

To sweeten the deal, René partners with a furniture store just up St-Hubert Street.

Ernest keeps the Beaubien Street store so that when his two youngest sons are old enough, they can take over from him.

1959

Ernest Corbeil passes away. He leaves the Beaubien Street store to his wife Estelle Taillefer-Corbeil and son Raymond. Televisions get pulled off the floor. Estelle, who wants no part in running the Beaubien Street store, sells her shares to her son Raymond who moves the store to Bélanger Street. 

René is extremely competitive, even with his family. In a cut-throat competition with his brother Raymond, René forbids any suppliers from selling him appliances, ultimately forcing him to close the Bélanger Street branch.

René Corbeil gives up his stores to spend more time taking care of his 23 racehorses on his farm in Oka. His son Michel becomes increasingly interested in taking over the family business.

René’s brother, Jean Corbeil, who has been working at the St-Hubert Street store since 1960, also takes note of the store’s unprecedented success. He is part and parcel to Corbeil’s massive success for 48 years.

Microwaves make their way onto the market. When elderly people see them in stores for the first time, they mistake them for TVs. The Corbeil’s were the first, and arguably the best, microwave vendors in Quebec. They open a cooking school on the second floor of their St-Hubert Street store to teach people how to use microwaves. They even get the legendary Jean Benoît to teach night classes, which undoubtedly becomes a huge hit.

Front-loading washing machines make their debut in Quebec. The Europeans convince the Corbeil team that they are better at cleaning clothes. This type of appliance becomes the talk of the town.

Stainless-steel appliances and removable black panels are now being sold at Corbeil. The black panels don’t last long.

René Corbeil opens his second Corbeil Électrique store in Laval on Autoroute 444 alongside big-name stars like hockey player, Jean Béliveau.

Unsurprisingly, René Corbeil strikes a deal with another furniture store just down the hall from his store in Laval.

Corbeil opens a third store on Chambly Road in Longueuil. Without ever borrowing a penny, René Corbeil owns three stores that generate 40 million dollars in sales and employ over sixty people (mainly salespeople). The Corbeil Électrique ethos remains the same: buy in bulk to get the best prices.

Liberal Trade Minister Gérald Tremblay introduces Bill 59, allowing businesses to stay open on Sundays, which helps boost Corbeil’s sales.

Michel Corbeil passes away at the age of 40. He was meant to take over from his father. René Corbeil’s health starts to deteriorate and he is forced to sell his company.

Cantrex hopes to take Corbeil Électrique to the next level. Cantrex severs ties with the two furniture stores. Corbeil Électrique becomes Corbeil Appliances to eliminate any confusion associated with the word “Électrique” and electronics. Cantrex pushes for Corbeil to be recognized as THE appliance specialist.

New stores are popping up everywhere. Corbeil headquarters moves to Boulevard des Grandes-Prairies and Michel Sirois becomes Corbeil Appliances first franchisee.

René Corbeil passes away at the age of 70.

Corbeil is awarded the ENERGY STAR® Recruit of the Year Award by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Natural Resources Canada.

At the end of April, General Electric Capital sells Cantrex to Sears Canada.


In April, Sears Canada sells Cantrex but holds on to Corbeil.

According to an enquiry by “Protégez-vous,” Corbeil Appliances’ advisors are highly regarded. They know their stuff and don’t pressure their customers into buying.

Following an enquiry by “Protégez-vous,” Corbeil joins the ranks alongside other companies recognized for providing an exceptional customer experience.


The Amiel Group buys Corbeil Appliances, which still belongs to Sears. The Group is committed to supporting the growth of the Corbeil brand, particularly throughout its network of franchisees.

This was a year of celebration for the Corbeil brand. The company celebrated its 70th anniversary on May 5th and successfully hosted the “70 Shades of Red” gala. The event was Corbeil’s way of paying tribute to the past and looking forward to the future.

This pivotal year was the perfect opportunity to dust off the brand’s image and strengthen Corbeil’s bond with its customers. Corbeil’s “A Thousand Thanks” campaign was a send-off for former spokesperson Yves Corbeil and a celebration of Corbeil’s franchisees, dedicated employees and loyal customers.

Corbeil gets a facelift

While the majority of the appliance industry uses limited time promotions and low prices to grab the attention of their customers, Corbeil does things a bit differently. We have a unique way of piquing public interest that moves away from pushing the lowest prices and the hottest deals. We relate to our customers by investing in what they really care about—genuine human connection and community values. Corbeil wants to do away with the retailer image and focus on our commitment to customer satisfaction, giving back to the community and protecting the environment.

We are also working toward integrating our new image into our website and reimagining our showrooms to make them high-energy, interactive and playful spaces where shopping is an adventure.


Community engagement is our driving force.

WHO WE ARE

 

Our colourful history

Corbeil becomes Quebec-owned in 2017

 

To engage consumers and help one of Quebec’s national treasures rise to new heights, the Amiel Group acquires Corbeil Appliances in 2017. Before this transaction, Corbeil had been passed down from the Corbeil family to Cantrex and then to Sears Canada.

The post-war boom

The Second World War is over. Most Quebeckers are using iceboxes as refrigerators. Ice vendors wander through the streets selling blocks of ice.

Ernest Corbeil travels to Ontario and the United States to load up his truck with fridges to resell to his buddies Roland Faucher (aka the “Roi des bas prix”) and Gaston Clermont: two businessmen who each own their own appliance stores.

Ernest goes from being a reseller to an appliance store owner to make more money.

Ernest starts Corbeil Électrique. The first store opens at 2392 Beaubien Street in Montreal (right beside the movie theatre). The appliance industry boom is in full swing. In its early stages, Corbeil Électrique’s annual revenue reaches $10,000.

The early 1950s

To make his customers happy, Ernest insists on offering lightening-fast delivery on appliances. He loads up his own truck and personally delivers appliances directly to his customers. The first Corbeil showroom is simplistic and leaves room for displaying more appliances.

As discounts from his appliance suppliers roll in, Ernest is committed to selling his appliances for the lowest possible price to make big profits.

The 1950s

 

Televisions are gaining in popularity. Without knowing a word of English, Ernest manages to become the sole distributor and vendor of Crosley TVs.

On top of selling appliances, Ernest adds TVs into the mix. TVs turn out to be more profitable than appliances until custom advertising campaigns take over.

Around 1953, things are going so smoothly at the first Corbeil store that Ernest asks his older brothers, René and André to help out.

1959

 

Ernest Corbeil passes away. He leaves the Beaubien Street store to his wife Estelle Taillefer-Corbeil and son Raymond. Televisions get pulled off the floor. Estelle, who wants no part in running the Beaubien Street store, sells her shares to her son Raymond who moves the store to Bélanger Street. 

René is extremely competitive, even with his family. In a cut-throat competition with his brother Raymond, René forbids any suppliers from selling him appliances, ultimately forcing him to close the Bélanger Street branch.

1957

 

The Corbeil brothers, René and André end up wanting their own stores. Their father helps them open a second Corbeil Électrique store on St-Hubert Street.

To sweeten the deal, René partners with a furniture store just up St-Hubert Street.

Ernest keeps the Beaubien Street store so that when his two youngest sons are old enough, they can take over from him.


René Corbeil gives up his stores to spend more time taking care of his 23 racehorses on his farm in Oka. His son Michel becomes increasingly interested in taking over the family business. 

René’s brother, Jean Corbeil, who has been working at the St-Hubert Street store since 1960, also takes note of the store’s unprecedented success. He is part and parcel to Corbeil’s massive success for 48 years.

Microwaves make their way onto the market. When elderly people see them in stores for the first time, they mistake them for TVs. The Corbeil’s were the first, and arguably the best, microwave vendors in Quebec. They open a cooking school on the second floor of their St-Hubert Street store to teach people how to use microwaves. They even get the legendary Jean Benoît to teach night classes, which undoubtedly becomes a huge hit.

Front-loading washing machines make their debut in Quebec. The Europeans convince the Corbeil team that they are better at cleaning clothes. This type of appliance becomes the talk of the town.

Stainless-steel appliances and removable black panels are now being sold at Corbeil. The black panels don’t last long.

René Corbeil opens his second Corbeil Électrique store in Laval on Autoroute 444 alongside big-name stars like hockey player, Jean Béliveau.

Unsurprisingly, René Corbeil strikes a deal with another furniture store just down the hall from his store in Laval.

Corbeil opens a third store on Chambly Road in Longueuil. Without ever borrowing a penny, René Corbeil owns three stores that generate 40 million dollars in sales and employ over sixty people (mainly salespeople). The Corbeil Électrique ethos remains the same: buy in bulk to get the best prices.

Liberal Trade Minister Gérald Tremblay introduces Bill 59, allowing businesses to stay open on Sundays, which helps boost Corbeil’s sales.

Michel Corbeil passes away at the age of 40. He was meant to take over from his father. René Corbeil’s health starts to deteriorate and he is forced to sell his company.

Cantrex hopes to take Corbeil Électrique to the next level. Cantrex severs ties with the two furniture stores. Corbeil Électrique becomes Corbeil Appliances to eliminate any confusion associated with the word “Électrique” and electronics. Cantrex pushes for Corbeil to be recognized as THE appliance specialist.

New stores are popping up everywhere. Corbeil headquarters moves to Boulevard des Grandes-Prairies and Michel Sirois becomes Corbeil Appliances first franchisee.

René Corbeil passes away at the age of 70.

Corbeil is awarded the ENERGY STAR® Recruit of the Year Award by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Natural Resources Canada.

At the end of April, General Electric Capital sells Cantrex to Sears Canada.

Sears doubles its profits in the second quarter by acquiring Cantrex Group and its subsidiary, Corbeil Électrique.

Corbeil recycles 92% of the metal and used packaging from their appliances to earn them the “Here we recycle” (Ici on recycle) award.

In April, Sears Canada sells Cantrex but holds on to Corbeil.

According to an enquiry by “Protégez-vous,” Corbeil Appliances’ advisors are highly regarded. 

They know their stuff and don’t pressure their customers into buying.

Following an enquiry by “Protégez-vous,” Corbeil joins the ranks alongside other companies recognized for providing an exceptional customer experience.


The Amiel Group buys Corbeil Appliances, which still belongs to Sears. The Group is committed to supporting the growth of the Corbeil brand, particularly throughout its network of franchisees.



This was a year of celebration for the Corbeil brand. The company celebrated its 70th anniversary on May 5th and successfully hosted the “70 Shades of Red” gala. The event was Corbeil’s way of paying tribute to the past and looking forward to the future. 

This pivotal year was the perfect opportunity to dust off the brand’s image and strengthen Corbeil’s bond with its customers. Corbeil’s “A Thousand Thanks” campaign was a send-off for former spokesperson Yves Corbeil and a celebration of Corbeil’s franchisees, dedicated employees and loyal customers.

 

Corbeil gets a facelift

While the majority of the appliance industry uses limited time promotions and low prices to grab the attention of their customers, Corbeil does things a bit differently. We have a unique way of piquing public interest that moves away from pushing the lowest prices and the hottest deals. We relate to our customers by investing in what they really care about—genuine human connection and community values. Corbeil wants to do away with the retailer image and focus on our commitment to customer satisfaction, giving back to the community and protecting the environment.

We are also working toward integrating our new image into our website and reimagining our showrooms to make them high-energy, interactive and playful spaces where shopping is an adventure.


CORBEIL ON DEMAND

From unveiling new stores to setting up shop in unique locations, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to serve you better.