By Retail Insider
BESTSELLER Shutters Canadian Stores: Trendy, Denmark-based multi-brand fashion retailer Bestseller has shut five of its Canadian stores after entering the country in 2015. The store locations that closed were in the Montreal area and a Winnipeg location were recently rebranded as ‘Jack & Jones’.
Family-owned Bestseller was founded in 1975 in Brande, Denmark with an aim to provide "fast affordable fashion for women, men, teenagers and children", according to its website. Bestseller is also the name of the parent company for brands including Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Noisy May, Y.A.S., Only, Selected, and others. The company is one of Europe's largest fashion companies and its products are available in markets across Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and India.
Canada was the first international market for Bestseller when the retailer launched its concept here nearly five years ago. Stores carried fashions for men and women from Bestseller’s roster of designer brands. While Bestseller’s mono-brand stores will continue to operate in Canada, two of Bestseller’s brands ADPT and Studio 75 were exclusive to the multi brand concept stores in Canada when they opened.
Retail Insider reader Dave Donacin notified us of the store closures.
Bestseller’s first Canadian store opened in September of 2015 at CF Carrefour Laval in suburban Montreal, spanning nearly 7,400 square feet on one level. A second location opened a week later at Montreal’s CF Galleries d’Anjou. In October of 2015, a location at Place Ste-Foy in Quebec city opened along with a store at CF Promenades St. Bruno near Montreal. In the spring of 2016, Bestseller opened its first store outside of Quebec at CF Polo Park in Winnipeg — the Winnipeg store is operational under a Jack & Jones nameplate.
In 2015, Retail Insider interviewed a representative from Bestseller who said that the retailer planned to open about a dozen stores in Canada. The goal of the multi-brand store concept was to showcase Bestseller’s roster of brands as part of an effort to create name awareness to consumers. Given the strength of mono-brands in the eyes of consumers, Bestseller’s multi-brand model is in some instances becoming obsolete. At the same time, the Bestseller retail concept was intended to be a testing ground for its sub-brands to determine if mono-brand stores should open within close proximity to Bestseller’s storefronts.
Canada Goose Pulls Out of La Maison Simons: Toronto-based outerwear and fashion brand Canada Goose has begun pulling some of its wholesale accounts as it continues to open standalone stores globally. Large-format Quebec City-based La Maison Simons, which sold tens of millions of dollars of Canada Goose jackets annually, recently lost the brand which will hit Simons' bottom line this year.
Montreal correspondent Maxime Frechette noted last week that the Canada Goose section at Simons’ Montreal flagship was vacant, and employees at Simons’ West Edmonton Mall store confirmed that Canada Goose would no longer be carried in the chain’s stores. A couple of Goose jackets remained at Simons’ West Edmonton Mall store as was seen by Retail Insider over the weekend. Canada Goose opened a standalone store at West Edmonton Mall in the summer of 2019 and an impressive Montreal flagship store in the fall of 2018.
Canada Goose opened its first Canadian store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in the fall of 2016 and the brand has since opened 20 more stores globally. Of those, seven are in Canada including units at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal. An eighth Canadian store will be announced for CF Toronto Eaton Centre soon in a retail space recently vacated by Apple which relocated downstairs in December.
The direct-to-consumer trend is of concern to many multi-brand retailers as brands choose to open stores to engage with consumers. We expect to see more of this in 2020 and will soon report on another well known Canadian fashion brand which will also be opening its first standalone store with details to follow.
Orchestra to Shutter Only Canadian Storefront in Montreal: French children’s and maternity retailer Orchestra will shutter its only store in Canada next month after opening at Montreal Eaton Centre in 2015. The Orchestra concept was expected to open stores throughout Canada along with a US expansion that appears to have been halted as well.
Orchestra was founded in France in 1995 and the retailer has grown over the years. The retailer’s business model is unique, and includes a subscription-based model that provides a 50% discount to members for an annual $100 fee.
In 2011, Orchestra launched its Club Orchestra concept in Spain, France, Belgium, and Switzerland. That was followed with stores in Turkey and China. In 2012, Orchestra took over Belgian maternity wear and baby accessory brand Prémaman, which led to an expansion of that brand into European markets. In 2015, Orchestra expanded into Morocco, Canada, and Mauritius. That year, Orchestra had nearly 560 stores in 40 countries globally and had more than three million subscribers.
Retail Insider Montreal correspondent Maxime Frechette notified us of Orchestra’s store closing after visiting the store this month. The retailer’s US website has been shut down though it says there is still a store at the King of Prussia centre in suburban Philadelphia, which opened in 2017 and was the first US store.
The children’s fashion market has seen considerable competition in Canada from a range of retailers. Households stretched financially have the opportunity to buy clothing and other items from inexpensive retailers such as Walmart, Justice, and Old Navy as well as off-price retailers such as TJX Group. Some households are also buying kids clothing second-hand. Other standalone retail concepts in Canada such as Okaïdi have opened store locations over the past several years. At the same time, retailers such as Jacadi have been closing stores in Canada, with Jacadi having vacated its CF Sherway Gardens location in Toronto last month.
Luxury Brand ‘The Row’ to Open Montreal Men’s Concession: After opening in the spring of 2019 in the 40,000 square foot men’s floor of Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal, New York City-based Olsen-twin-owned luxury brand The Row will open a boutique space.
The Row is a high-quality pricey brand known for its sleek, simple designs that include exceptional fabrics and leather. The brand produces both men’s and women’s fashions and was started in 2006 by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. The Row’s men’s line launched in 2011 with a comprehensive selection coming in October of 2018. On Holt Renfrew’s website, a men’s The Row suit is priced at $5,000 and is also available at Holt Renfrew’s Vancouver store.
Holt Renfrew is investing a fortune into its 250,000-square-foot Holt Renfrew Ogilvy store, and the investment is a risky one. Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, which will be completed in April, will be the largest luxury store of its kind in Canada and one of the largest in North America. On the men’s floor at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, boutique spaces for Givenchy and Fendi have yet to open and a planned Celine men’s concession appears to have been cancelled.
Article Opens First Canadian Warehouse and Expands In-House Delivery Program: Online mid-century modern inspired furniture retailer Article has opened its first Canadian distribution facility in Vaughan, near Toronto. The 170,000-square-foot warehouse facility was built to increase local product availability, decrease delivery times for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) customers, and better support eastern Canada order fulfilment.
"We're committed to delivering our entire catalogue to customers fast. Having products warehoused where our customers are located is a major competitive advantage," said Article Co-Founder and CEO Aamir Baig. "In 2019, 70 per cent of orders were delivered in two weeks or less. Extending our distribution network to Canada will allow us to provide a faster, and more reliable delivery experience.”
This recent addition to Article's existing network brings the company's combined capacity to more than 1.2 million sq. ft. Article is also introducing its in-house delivery program, Article Delivery Team (ADT), to serve customers within the GTA.
As part of the in-house delivery program, Article delivery trucks are staffed with employees who engage directly with customers to solve common inquiries on the spot, such as shipping alternate product sizes or colours. Article's in-house delivery program improves customer experience while reducing average delivery times by as much as two days. So far it has been successful in Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York.
The Toronto warehouse and ADT team are currently operational and will ramp up deliveries over the coming weeks.
Founded by four engineers, Article's proprietary technology removes inefficiencies in the traditional retail model to make the customer experience simple and easy. Since launching in 2013, the company has delivered more than 500,000 orders to customers across the U.S. and Canada.
Eataly Opens 4th Restaurant in Toronto: Italian-themed grocerant concept Eataly recently unveiled its fourth restaurant space at the Manulife Centre in Toronto. The Milan-themed ‘Trattoria Milano’ overlooks busy Bay Street at the southwest corner of the second level of Eataly, which opened to fanfare in November of 2019.
Trattoria Milano is described as being Eataly’s ‘upscale’ dining destination that currently serves dinner and lunch. The 76-seat space will also introduce ‘Cultura’, which is a speaker series that will include talks by cultural thought leaders, followed by an Italian meal. Chef Luca Lussoso, who was raised in Milan, relocated to Toronto in 2012 and worked in some of the city’s top Italian kitchens before joining Eataly in 2019.
The new restaurant offers traditional Milanese cuisine as well as Northern Italy-inspired wine and spirits in a space featuring light grey microsuede walls. Art prints from Enzo Mari’s Nature Series, including La Mela and La Pera, hang alongside his six Simboli Sinsemantici. Other prints on the walls include pieces from 35-year-old artist Olimpia Zagnoli, whose designs have graced the cover of The New Yorker magazine as well as on tote bags at Milan’s first Uniqlo store. Vintage displays in the restaurant include street maps and tourist brochures from 1970s Milan, as well as mid-century lighting.
The 50,000-square-foot Eataly location at Toronto’s Manulife Centre has been consistently busy since opening about three months ago. Retail Insider profiled the space last year, which spans three levels and includes a concourse-level brew pub, a street-level cafe space, and a second-floor grocerant that includes an assortment of grocery and food items as well as prepared foods and sit-down dining options. A source said that Eataly representatives were recently in Toronto again to check on a space for a second location in the city which would span about 25,000 square feet on one level. Montreal and Vancouver are also said to be in the running if Eataly can find the right space in either or both cites.
World’s Largest Sticker Store Launches History of Stickers Museum & Stickers: RePEELed in Innovative Brand Strategy: Unique Canadian sticker brand StickerYou has launched the History of Stickers Museum and Stickers: RePEELed sticker art exhibition at the world’s largest sticker store on Queen Street West in Toronto.
It's part of an innovative, 3-dimensional brand strategy that showcases the history, development, and influence of the adhesive sticker, from revolutionizing the UK postal system in the 1800s to inspiring countless pieces of street art from around the world today.
The museum houses artifacts like a UK penny black stamp from 1840, an original decal vase from the 1800s, fruit crate labels from the 1910s, Wacky Packs stickers from 1974, a vintage Velvet Underground album with an Andy Warhol-designed banana sticker on the front and more.
The exhibit, curated by editors of the seminal sticker zine Peel Magazine, Dave and Holly Combs, includes works from artists including Shepard Fairey, who celebrated the 30th anniversary of his iconic Obey Giant sticker-turned-brand last year, Rodger Beck, Robots Will Kill, Matthew Hoffman and more.
Founded in 2008, StickerYou is a global e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products that empower businesses and consumers to create professional-grade materials for marketing, packaging, decor, and personal expression. In 2019, StickerYou opened StickerYou: The Store in Toronto. This is the company’s first retail location and the largest sticker store in the world, featuring a unique, 3-storey high sticker-bombed design on the storefront.
B.Beautiful Studio Kicks off 2020 Partnership with Rethink Breast Cancer: Toronto-based B.Beautiful Studio kicked off its partnership with Rethink Breast Cancer by announcing the news on Flow 93.5 earlier in the month.
During particular months of the year, the beauty and lifestyle studio will be donating proceeds earned from popular services to help combat breast cancer.
Throughout the months of February and October, 50% of the proceeds on all High Definition Brow services at B.Beautiful Studio will be donated to Rethink Breast Cancer. In the month of June, 10% of the proceeds from all microblading services will be donated to Rethink.
By channeling retail therapy into cause marketing, Rethink Breast Cancer and B.Beautiful recently collaborated to arrange a microblading treatment for a breast cancer survivors.
Microblading is one of the hottest trends in eyebrows right now. While a technician must be licensed to perform this service in the United States, one does not need a licence to offer this service in Canada.
“I think anyone performing microblading needs to be a licensed aesthetician so they can understand different skin types, skin conditions and how they would react to a technique like microblading that essentially is tiny scratches to the skin,” says Brittni, owner of B.Beautiful Studio. “If not done correctly, you can leave permanent scarring.”
In addition to microblading, the most popular service at B.Beautiful Studio is High Definition Brows, which combines simple brow shaping with a brow tint. It is quick, has no commitment, and can last 4-6 weeks.
This retail partnership hopes to encourage people to be mindful of their health, the validity of their beauty service providers, and ultimately raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, in the hopes of one day conquering it.