Founded in 1979, born in the heart of Montreal’s garment district, Point Zero has grown to the No. 1 Canadian brand name and the largest Canadian producer of women’s, men’s and children’s coordinated sports and street wear, and a unique lifestyle brand unequalled in design, quality and affordability. The company boasts extensive product line up of casual wear that extends into the clothing accessories category, including jewellery, socks, knapsacks, handbags, sunglasses, bathing suits, belts, hats, gloves, scarves, and watches, and the Point Zero brand only continues to grow.
Today, the company holds offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, New York, Australia, and New Zealand, supporting product distribution across the globe in small boutiques and large department stores. In North America, consumers find the Point Zero brand on the shelves of several large retailers. In Canada these retailers include The Bay and Sears, and Dillard’s and Macy’s in the United States, along with many small boutique shops in both countries.
While the success of Point Zero lays in fashion that appeals to the masses with the individual flare, the flare comes mostly through its co-founders Maurice and Nicole Benisti. This husband and wife team involved in all operations of Point Zero, all the way down to the details of product concept, design, and merchandising.
Responsive to the latest fashion demands and changes in trends, Point Zero satisfies its customer base with the newest fashion collection each season [Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter]. The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Maurice Benisti about the latest happenings with the company. As to Point Zero being a fashion statement, Benisti said, “Travelling the globe to unearth the next big trend, Point Zero always manages to stay on top and produce outstanding merchandise season after season. Besides remaining on top of the fashion industry, we are introducing many new business approaches to the marketplace, and we expect to continue to grow our trademark and our market in Canada and globally.”
The Big Move
In 2006, the company’s unequivocal success pushed management into the acquisition of a new headquarters for its growing operations – and what a building at that. The magnificent, state-of-the-art building boasts 200,000 square feet and more than 1,000 employees, with half of the building taken up by the apparel designers, and the rest used as a giant showroom, housing marketing, warehousing and distribution, and with a heliport on the roof to accommodate clients flying in and out from all around the world.
Besides the mammoth Canadian headquarters, the company has distribution offices in the U.S., Panama, and the Middle East. The Point Zero brand is available worldwide, with retail locations in North America (with a strong presence in its native Quebec), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Innovative Franchise Concepts
In November 2006, Point Zero launched its first concept retail store, designed with the same futuristic vision of its fashion choices. The retail location offers Point Zero’s full collection under one roof. The entire store space beholds modern elements with a vintage feel, creative design and different concepts separated by several rooms — each room has a unique look and feel that represents different collections from sportswear to formal dress wear.
The company plans to grow its market share through offering this modern store as an innovative franchise concept, franchising these Point Zero stores to the existing customers who already known the brand well and have a loyal Point Zero following. The company currently has 13 stores in Canada and 18 globally, but with the company’s quality product and brand, Benisti expects to launch 200 franchised locations all around the world within three years.
“Our franchising system is completely turnkey. We set up our franchisees with a store and full support along the way that experienced – or inexperienced for that matter – franchisees find vital when delving into a new successful business venture such as partnering with the Point Zero brand, their success is our success and we take this responsibility very seriously,” says Benisti.
‘Luxury for Everyone’
Described as “fashion forward, ready to wear apparel”, Point Zero delivers on quality and comfort, and the brand tagline ‘luxury for everyone’, has been driving Point Zero’s international expansion and market penetration.
“The strength and success of Point Zero lies in its ability to provide today’s customers with the latest fashion trends and attention-grabbing pieces produced in top-notch quality at an attractive price,” summarizes Benisti.
The price attractiveness represents a significant upside for the Point Zero brand as the customers in recent years started to turn their shopping habits towards value. To deliver on consumers’ expectations, the company sources quality affordable outerwear, Sportswear and knitted apparel, but it is the customer-centric focus that propels the Point Zero brand to offer top quality products in both material and style, at a price that the customer can afford.
Winter 2012 — The Fashion is Now
Winter represents Point Zero’s strongest season, delivering high-quality, fashionable and reasonably priced down jackets, with more colour choices and better technology every year to keep its customers warm, comfortable and stylish. Point Zero jackets have polyester shell for water resistance, embellished with rich soft man-made fur detail and a removable hood with zipper. Articulated sleeves with knitted rib storm cuffs and thumbholes adds detail styling and metal mesh eyelets and air vents are added for better air circulation. Engineered to withhold temperatures of -20ºC and under, these jackets are ideal for the unbearable Canadian winter days, translating Point Zero into authentic Canadian heritage.
According to Benisti, the hottest trend of the fall season is the coloured bottoms and denim, and Point Zero delivers warm, calm and earth colours and tones in styles that can be found across the product offering from apparel to accessories. “The collection embraces country chic with a combination of comfort and style; being fresh, optimistic, fun and expressive. Men’s colours range from earth tones and military inspired, as well as bold colours such as red, green and yellow for those fashion-forward,” says Benisti.
Point Zero Expanding in Real Estate
Nevertheless, Point Zero is not just a clothing brand, and is expanding in the world of real estate. With upcoming projects for hotel chains starting from their mother city, Montréal, alongside condominium projects in the pipe line. Point Zero has proven itself to be a universal brand of ‘Luxury for Everyone’.
Combining a passion for design with a flair for fashion, Point Zero is the one stop shop for customers seeking the latest trends in fashion. The Benisti’s same passion for fashion, creativity, and the retail business has trickled down the family line, as the couple’s daughter and two sons have already joined and became a part of Point Zero’s successful international business model.