Olivier Soapery pulls out of Riverview centre
The Olivier Soapery, the Sainte-Anne-based soap and skin care company, has moved out of the Chocolate River Station in Riverview citing low traffic.
The Olivier Soapery had plans to expand its retail store at the Chocolate River Station to a tourism destination and a production centre for training videos.
The company even accessed a provincial government grant that covered about 25 per cent of the store’s initial capital investment.
But the project never took off. Doug Beck, the controller at Olivier, said the company kept the store open for the required amount of time to honour its agreement with the provincial government.
"It was a pretty unique operation. We're rather disappointed in that it was going to be our flagship," Beck said.
"But, however, that didn't happen."
The Chocolate River Station in Riverview has several businesses that contribute to a unique "sensory experience." While the Olivier Soapery was the first store to open, it now has outlets for Ganong Chocolatier, Briggs Maples and Gateway Gallery.
Beck said the Riverview location was going to offer a unique product to its customers.
"We had facilities there where we could have shows, where we could have training sessions recorded, livestreamed out to our representative chain," he said.
"We have over 80 reps out in the field and so were using that facility to train them. Of course this was all going to be paid for by retail sales in the outlet. And those retail sales never materialized."
Olivier continues to operate at its Sainte-Anne headquarters and Highfield Square in Moncton, as well as at the Dieppe and Moncton markets.
New tenants needed
The loss of the Olivier Soapery means Riverview town officials must find a new occupant to fill its spot.
Shane Thomson, the director of economic development for the Town of Riverview, which oversees the Station, said the town has already received some proposals from businesses hoping to set up in Olivier’s old location.
"I think the focus down there has broadened for us in terms of being tourism-centric," Thompson said.
"I think that what we've realized is, to be a viable business model, it should really have to serve local demand as well. So, not just tourists, but Riverview and not just Riverview but greater Moncton."