Towards the end of the XIXth century, the Eaton’s and Simpson’s department stores in Toronto and, slightly later, that of Dupuis Frères in Montreal, published magnificent catalogues which were distributed practically everywhere in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. Some stores went so far as to publish a special Christmas catalogue.

This new way of shopping, by mail-order, turned consumers’ habits upside down. From now on they could buy their gifts in advance without having to wait for the frantic rush in the last days before Christmas. This new sales promotion tool also reached a completely different clientele in rural areas. Dupuis Frères (the only Montreal department store managed by French Canadians) used this sales method to make massive inroads in retail sales, betting quite rightly on the loyalty of Quebec Francophones.
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