Brief: Diamond Brand Opening 1st Permanent Store, Nordstrom Rack Announces Vancouver Opening

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COUPLE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS TO OPEN CANADIAN FLAGSHIP AT YORKVILLE VILLAGE

New York City-based Lab-grown diamond brand Couple Diamonds will soon be opening its first permanent store at Toronto’s Yorkville Village shopping centre. The 900-square-foot boutique will become Couple’s Canadian flagship store as part of a retail expansion for the brand.

The Couple retail space will be located on the upper level of Yorkville Village across from Myodetox which opened last year. Couple specializes in lab-grown diamonds which it claims are identical to mined diamonds down to the atom. The raw diamonds are cut and polished and graded by the International Gemological Institute before undergoing a 12-step quality control process to ensure they meet an exceptionally high standard.

MAP OF YORKVILLE VILLAGE WITH RED ARROW INDICATING LOCATION OF NEW COUPLE DIAMONDS STORE

Earlier this year Couple opened a pop-up space in The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West in Toronto where it operated for several months prior to the COVID-19 store shutdowns.

Eric Sherman, VP of Retail for First Capital Realty’s Yorkville real estate, said, “Couple is another incredible fit in Yorkville Village. Having a strong omnichannel retail model is extremely important in today’s retail climate and this physical flagship will compliment their extremely strong online presence perfectly. They are at the forefront of burgeoning lab-grown diamond industry with all their diamonds 100% ethically sourced and produced – again fitting with FCR’s core values of social responsibility”.

Earlier this month we reported that Polestar would be opening three Canadian showrooms, including one at Toronto’s Yorkville Village. Mr. Sherman explained that Polestar will span about 2,000 square feet over two levels. That will include frontage onto Avenue Road as well as an upstairs area, as well as space in the mall’s parking garage for new vehicle deliveries and customer pick-ups.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Polestar’s Canadian flagship to Yorkville Village. Not only is Polestar a leader in vehicular design and performance with a spectacular retail model but their core values rooted in environmental responsibility align perfectly with First Capital’s core focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability,” said Mr. Sherman in a statement.

RENDERING OF EXTERIOR OF WILLOWBROOK SHOWING NORDSTROM RACK AND WINNERS. RENDERING: WILLOWBROOK

NORDSTROM RACK ANNOUNCES 1ST VANCOUVER-AREA STORE OPENING DATE

Nordstrom’s off-price retail concept Nordstrom Rack will open on September 17 at Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley. It will be the first location for Nordstrom Rack in British Columbia and will serve the Vancouver area.

Nordstrom Rack will span about 30,000 square feet and will feature a full range of fashion and footwear as well as other categories such as accessories and home goods. JLL Canada represents parent company Nordstrom and negotiated the deal.

In Canada, Nordstrom Rack operates six stores and, as of September 17, seven stores in Canada. Nordstrom Rack’s first Canadian store opened at Vaughan Mills near Toronto in the spring of 2018. The retailer has since expanded to open at 1 Bloor Street East in Toronto, Heartland Town Centre near Toronto, Ottawa Train Yards in Ottawa, South Edmonton Common in Edmonton, and Deerfoot Meadows in Calgary.

Larger Nordstrom mainline stores are located in Vancouver (CF Pacific Centre), Calgary (CF Chinook Centre), Ottawa (CF Rideau Centre), as well as in three malls in Toronto (CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Yorkdale, CF Sherway Gardens).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CANADIAN MEN’S BRAND S. COHEN FOR SALE AMID RESTRUCTURING

St. Laurent Quebec-based menswear brand S. Cohen, founded in 1923, is up for sale after filing a Notice of Intention to file for creditor protection amid a restructuring. That’s according to a report this week in Insolvency Insider.

According to filing documents, S. Cohen has about $5.1 million in liabilities including about $2.1 million to TD Bank. Even prior to the COVID-19 store shutdowns, the brand was facing declining sales and reduced foot traffic to its stores. The financial hit from mandated store closures further crippled the company. The work-from-home trend again saw the company struggle with revenue and over the past few years men were already dressing more casually. Filing documents noted that men’s suits require exceptional fit and that customers usually require in-store visits to try on product.

As part of the process, S. Cohen is selling its business and assets. PWC is the proposal trustee and Kugler Kandestin is counsel to the company according to Insolvency Insider.

S. Cohen was founded in 1923 by Benjamin Cohen, who emigrated from Russia in the early 1900’s, and sold tailored clothing to locals from a horse and buggy. His son, Saul, helped him start the men’s fine tailored clothing business and guided it through the turbulent 1930’s and 1940’s. In 2017, S. Cohen became the first company in North America to ship custom made-to-measure suits within 15 days. The company grew rapidly and can be found in more than 1,000 multi-brand stores in North America.

HUDSON’S BAY AND TEAM CANADA REVEAL OFFICIAL TOKYO 2021 COLLECTION

Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee have revealed the Tokyo 2021 Team Canada Collection outerwear that will be worn by the athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.

The launch supports the Team Canada Return To Sport program as athletes prepare for their extended road to the Games. The Team Canada Collection, which includes athlete outfits for Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Podium, and Athletes’ Village, is available for purchase now in-store and at thebay.com.

“As the Official Outfitter of Team Canada, Hudson’s Bay has heard firsthand the strong sense of patriotism our Canadian athletes feel when they wear their official Team Canada uniforms,” said Iain Nairn, President and CEO, Hudson’s Bay.

The 26-piece Collection seamlessly blends classic fashion pieces with a street style aesthetic for a collection that is fashionable and ‘unapologetically Canadian’. New for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Hudson’s Bay collaborated with iconic denim brand Levi’s to design key elements featured in both the Opening and Closing ceremony looks.

The Canadian Olympic Committee will be re-distributing 10% of the proceeds from the Tokyo 2021 Team Canada Collection into the Team Canada Return to Sport program which was established earlier this year.

The official Tokyo stripe backpack and red village baseball cap are also available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Canadian Paralympic Team. This marks the first time items from an Official Paralympic Games Collection are available for purchase by the Canadian public.

COUPLE WEARING CLEARLY FRAMES. PHOTO: CLEARLY

NATIVE TOUCH’S AUGMENTED REALITY MOBILE CONTENT BOOSTS CONSUMER BRANDS

Native Touch, an advertising technology company that combines creativity and technological acumen, has created an augmented reality campaign for Clearly, a leading online Canadian eyewear retailer.

At the height of pandemic-triggered retail restrictions, Native Touch provided Cleary customers with an engaged and immersive platform that allowed them to virtually try on a variety of eyewear frames.

“There’s been interest in augmented reality in advertising before, but retail restrictions accelerated its adoption because it fills the try-before-you-buy vacuum,” said Saad Uddin, Founder and CEO, Native Touch. “The appetite for AR advertising innovation is surging as we move into the most critical retail period. Online research is now, more than ever, a key part of shopping, and augmented reality can make the difference between browsing and buying.”

Clearly featured 3 of its most popular eyewear styles in the AR campaign that was included within an ad that ran pre-dominantly in-app. Consumers were able to virtually try on eyewear using the front-facing camera on their mobile devices. The AR concept performed 2 times greater than industry benchmarks in terms of user engagement and 10 times greater in terms of post engagement activity.

Native Touch continues to be at the forefront of mobile advertising as AR mobile advertising fills a void that supports both e-commerce and in-store sales at a time when consumers rely on research and planning prior to purchasing.

PHOTO OF SOUTHCENTRE’S URBAN HIVES BEING ASSEMBLED ON THE MALL’S ROOF BY HONEY MEADOW FARMS. PHOTO: SOUTHCENTRE MALL

CALGARY’S SOUTHCENTRE MALL CELEBRATES BEES

August 17 marked World Honeybee Day and to celebrate the occasion Southcentre Mall has taken steps to help support the local bee population with their own urban hives.

While the initiative helps local beekeepers working diligently to maintain local bee populations through rural apiaries and urban hives, the Southcentre hives also give back to the Calgary community by donating more than 100 jars of harvested honey to the Meals on Wheels ‘Weekends and More’ hamper program — a program that has continued to provide food hampers to thousands of Calgary students and their families during the pandemic.

Southcentre’s urban hives were adopted as part of the shopping centre’s ongoing commitment to actively supporting the local community and promoting sustainability. The honeybees help pollinate and maintain the health of plant life throughout Willow Park, Bonavista, Haysboro, and other surrounding areas, in addition to the other countless benefits bees are known to have on local environments. Southcentre’s hives currently house a growing population of about 100,000 honeybees who gather nectar from up to 3km away each day.

The hives are maintained by Honey Meadow Farms, a family owned and operated apiary located just South of Calgary.

CADILLAC FAIRVIEW AND CANADA UNITED COLLABORATING TO SUPPORT LOCAL POST-COVID

As part of its focus to power retail recovery, Cadillac Fairview has partnered with nationwide initiative, Canada United, to encourage Canadians to shop and dine locally and help kick-start the economy after the COVID-19 shutdown. 

Canada United was created by RBC in partnership with over 60 companies and organizations to bring Canadians together to support local businesses. The movement, which is highlighted by Canada United Weekend (Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30, 2020) hopes to spark support and engage shoppers in buying local and supporting their communities. 

With this in mind, Cadillac Fairview is offering Canadians a chance to win one of 50 $5,000 prizes for a total of $250,000 going back into the retail economy. This, in addition to the $250,000 in cash prizes available to be won for shopping or dining local during Canada United weekend, provides benefits to both consumers and local businesses to stimulate spending in this vital industry.

“From local designers and businesses to national brands big and small, it’s extremely important that we continue to foster relationships and make meaningful connections between brands and shoppers across our national retail portfolio,” said Jose Ribau, Executive Vice President, Digital & Innovation, Cadillac Fairview. “The Canada United movement comes during a critical time when local businesses need our support and we’re proud to collaborate with RBC to extend our commitment and find new opportunities to help accelerate business recovery.”

Shopping local helps small business and larger Canadian retailers for future prosperity
To help get the word out about Canada United, and qualify for available shopping spree prizes, CF is encouraging Canadians to take action and spread the message of the movement by:

  • Downloading the LiVE by CF app (available in iOS and Android), or for those who already have the app, look for a contesting tile on the home screen;
  • Following their chosen CF property on Instagram and sharing a picture of themselves shopping at a CF property that tags their local CF property and uses the #CanadaUnited hashtag.

“Canada United is all about Canadian companies coming together to rally support for the small and local businesses that make up our communities,” said Mike Dobbins, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Royal Bank of Canada. “We’re thankful to have a great partner such as CF who shares our passion and dedication to helping local businesses as they focus on safely re-opening. Our collaboration is a great example of what can be done when we come together with one voice and one purpose.”

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