Skip to main content

Larry Rossy steps down at Dollarama, hands top job to his son

Neil Rossy to become CEO May 1 as company reports higher revenue, profits

There's going to be a change at the top of the Dollarama discount retail chain as its founding chief executive steps back and his son takes on the top job.

Larry Rossy, 73, will continue as executive chairman, but his son Neil Rossy (pictured here with his father) becomes Dollarama's president and CEO on May 1.

Neil Rossy, 46, is currently Dollarama's chief merchandising officer. He's been with the company since its inception in 1992 and has been a member of its board of directors since 2004.

``Succession planning has been an important focus for the board over the past several years and we believe this is the right time for an orderly leadership transition,'' said Stephen Gunn, lead director of Dollarama's board of directors.

``Neil has shown strong leadership as one of the key architects of Dollarama's success. He is an experienced retail executive with an intimate knowledge of all company operations, and is respected by his colleagues.''

The announcement came as Montreal-based Dollarama reported better than expected revenue and profit for its fourth quarter and raised its quarterly dividend by a penny to 10 cents per share.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, sales were $766.5 million, up 14.6% from $669.1 million a year earlier.

Comparable-store sales were up 7.9% from the same period in fiscal 2015.

Dollarama's net income in the fourth quarter was $124.8 million or $1 per diluted share, up from $100.27 million or 76 cents per share a year earlier. The per-share profit was assisted by a decline in the number of shares outstanding.

Analysts had expected a profit of 93 cents per share and $751 million of revenue for the quarter, which spanned the busy year-end holiday period.

The company also raised is estimates for the current financial year, with its gross margin range rising by one percentage point to between 37 and 38 per cent and its earnings margin rising by one a percentage point to between 20.5 and 22 per cent.

Capital spending was also increased by $60 million to between $160 million and $170 million.

For its full financial year, Dollarama reported sales of $2.65 billion, up 13.7 per cent from $2.33 billion in the financial year ended Feb. 1, 2015.

Its profit increased to $385.1 million or $3 per diluted common share for the financial year ended Jan. 31, up from $295.4 million or $2.21 per share a year earlier.

Larry Rossy grew up in a family of five-and-dime merchants in Montreal and spent most of his career in the family business.

He started Dollarama in 1992 with one store in Matane, Que. The concept proved a hit, as Rossy noted in a Canadian Business interview in 2011.

“We did the concept very well. We did it a lot better than we did 60 or 70 years of general merchandising.”

By 2004 Dollarama had more than 300 stores and had moved outside Quebec to other provinces.

It also began to add more food and consumables to its proven formula of greeting cards, housewares, party supplies and crafts. Rossy, though, has dismissed adding fresh or frozen foods to his stores' mix.

As of a year ago, 38% of Dollarama sales came from consumable products including food, snacks, healthy and beauty, paper products and cosmetics. General merchandise represented 48% and seasonal 14%

Dollarama currently has 1,030 stores countrywide.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds