'Great time to be expanding': Old-school retailer Simons keeps faith in beautiful stores in Age of Amazon. Sears Canada's departure has also boosted Simons. Peter Simons, CEO of the 178-year old family run company, at best sounds cautiously optimistic about the industry's future.Clement Allard for National Post. We are private and we have the luxury and the DNA to work longer term. We are old-school merchants.