Pollack was one of the department stores behind the commercial success of Quebec City’s Saint-Roch neighbourhood for much of the 20th century. The business was founded in 1906 by Maurice Pollack (1885–1968), an Eastern European Jewish immigrant. After moving to Quebec City in 1902, he became a travelling salesman, going from farm to farm to sell clothing. He then opened a men’s haberdashery on Rue Saint-Joseph.
In 1911, Pollack moved into a larger space and began selling women’s and children’s clothing as well. Although customers of the time were used to haggling in department stores, Pollack innovated by displaying fixed prices.
The store continued to expand throughout the 1930s, eventually reaching five storeys and extending all the way to Boulevard Charest. Equipped with escalators and elevators, it was considered ultramodern.
In 1951, Pollack moved into a brand-new building at the corner of Boulevard Charest and Rue du Pont. At the same time, the founder handed the reins of the company over to his three sons.
Pollack closed in 1978, a victim of the consumer preference for suburban shopping malls in Sainte-Foy, although it had tried setting up a mall outlet. The Pollack store building in Saint-Roch subsequently became the Place Cartier shopping centre, and is now an office building known as Le Cartier.
Chabot, Kim. « Capsule historique : Maurice Pollack, un homme d’affaires philanthrope » Impact Campus, Université Laval, 23 février 2015, http://impactcampus.ca/arts-et-culture/capsule-historique-maurice-pollack-un-homme-daffaires-philanthrope/. External link
« Maurice Pollack » Ville de Québec, Ville de Québec, https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/citoyens/patrimoine/quartiers/saint_roch/interet/maurice_pollack.aspx. 2018. External link
« Pollack, Maurice » Ville de Québec, Ville de Québec, https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/citoyens/patrimoine/personnalites/plaques-ici-vecut/epigraphes_fiche_pollack.aspx. 2018. External link
Trépanier, Paul et Céline Mérette. «Le grand magasinage. Une tournée des magasins qui ont fait les beaux jours des rues commerçantes», Continuité, no 42, hiver 1989, p. 37.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor