In spite of Léo’s unexpected death, the business performs well. In 1959, a modern women and children’s footwear factory is built on Lacroix Street. All business is conducted on a single floor, which forces Claire to monitor certain employees who tend to get distracted.
Popular Shoe (captions available in both FR and EN) – watch this video with the transcript
Popular Shoe now has the capacity to produce over 2,000 pairs of shoes daily. Claire decides to withdraw from operating the family business, leaving Édouard and Maurice in charge. Smaller than Joseph Papin ltée and the Lafayette factory in terms of square footage and production, it manages to stay in business until the late 1970s. Unfortunately, in spite of having over thirty years in business under its belt, the company is in a bad way.
Claire Papin clearly remembers the persistent challenges they were forced to overcome from the very beginning.
After the war (captions available in both FR and EN) – watch this video with the transcript
In fact, the provincial government helps the company out on two occasions. In the spring of 1978, the Société de développement industriel du Québec offers the company financial assistance to the tune of $300,000 and five years later, the ministère de l’Industrie, du Commerce et du Tourisme guarantees it a loan of half a million dollars. This is in an effort to save 120 jobs in adverse economic conditions for the Canadian shoe market.
In 1981, under a franchising wave for Québec businesses as a result of the adoption of Loi 101, Popular Shoe & Co. Ltée becomes Les Chaussures Montérégie Inc. In spite of government assistance, the situation remains precarious. The company is finally put up for sale in 1986. Chaussures Taurus Inc, makers of Kodiak and Hush Puppies brand buys it. Their stay in Montérégie will be brief. Taurus shuts down its Contrecœur installations in 1989. After the closure of Joseph Papin ltée in the late 70s, this marks the end of the Papin “dynasty”, a line of four generations of shoe manufacturing leaders.