Our History



Samuel Avrith, together with his wife and 10 children, opened his first store on Mount Royal Street in Montreal selling factory samples with yellow tags which he bought from various shoe manufacturers in Quebec. His concept was so successful that he became widely known to his customers in Montreal as "Mr Yellow" and he named his store simply "Yellow"!


Ernest Avrith, the ninth of 10 children, began working for the family business. With his fluent knowledge of French and natural retail instincts, he soon rose to the level of senior supervisor.


Ernest Avrith bought out his father and took over the chain of 17 stores. The Yellow stores were well known for selling a range of basic footwear for the entire family with full service. His understanding and dedication to keeping prices low to better serve the consumer during that period, lead to a rapid expansion to 43 stores throughout the Province of Quebec. Like his father, he was famously known as "Mr Yellow".


After realizing that the traditional merchandising and full service selling model was no longer sustainable to achieve his aim of providing his clients the “best for less”, he reorganized his store concept to a self-service model, in which the consumers could serve themselves.


The first self-service store opened in Joliette. The radically new concept for its time turned out to be a huge success with the local clientele. Immediately, Mr. Avrith and his staff promptly set out converting most of the 43 stores to the self-service concept. And by the early 70’s, Yellow became one of the largest and most successful shoe retailers in Quebec.


After completing his study at Trinity College, Cambridge University in England, Douglas Avrith, joined his father Ernest at Yellow, where he passed a 5 year apprenticeship, until he became the Director of Operation for the Company.


All company operations were transformed to meet the needs of the existing and future clients envisioned by Douglas Avrith and his team at Yellow. All aspects of the company were improved and new purchasing and styling teams were brought in to change the way in which Yellow would meet the challenge of the new Millennium and still achieve the best product offering for its Quebec based client; a “family tradition since 1916”.


With a new slogan «Yellow has Changed… Change for Yellow» the company launched a massive publicity campaign. Along with the new campaign, four new Yellow concept stores opened simultaneously. Modeled as a shopping mall of different boutiques offering a wide range of quality products for the entire family. The new approach was extremely popular and captivated a completely new generation of Quebec families.

2016 - 100 ANNIVERSARY

Yellow celebrates its 100 year of continued operations in Quebec. Statistics and research show that Yellow amongst francophone quebecers is one of the most admired companies in Quebec and has the highest rate of visitation for quality footwear of any store banner in the Province of Quebec; attesting to its continued success... “At Yellow we are simply doing what we do best since 1916”.