British organic natural health and beauty products retailer Neal's Yard Remedies plans to open stores across Canada over the next several years. Its first North American location opened in Canada last year, and a second store has just been announced. We spoke with Lisa Costello, CEO of Neal’s Yard Remedies Canada, to learn more.
Founded in 1981 in Covent Garden, London, Neal's Yard Remedies has more than 80 stores in 21 countries across five continents. It has grown to become a global leader in ethical, organic beauty and health, and its award-winning products are manufactured by hand in England using sustainably sourced, certified organic ingredients.
Neal's Yard Remedies' first North American location opened in June of 2014 in Calgary. The 1,000 square foot free-standing store is located in the city's Mission district, on 4 Avenue SW. Neal's just announced a second Calgary location, set to open in November, at Southcentre in the city's southern suburbs. Neal's plans to open about 10 Canadian locations over the next five years through its Calgary based Canadian 'development agent', headed by Ms. Costello.
Ms. Costello explained her company's strategy for a cross-Canada expansion, as well as how some locations may differ. Neal's will consider retail spaces both within busy shopping centres, as well as streetfront locations similar to its first Calgary store. The chain's streetfront stores will typically include treatment rooms, allowing for a blend of 'inner health' and 'outer beauty'. The current Calgary location, for example, includes an acupuncturist providing facial treatments. Shopping mall locations, however, will lack treatment rooms, though they may be roughly the same square footage as Neal's streetfront stores. Its Southcentre location, for example, will measure almost 1,000 square feet and will focus primarily on the brand's products.
Although no immediate plans were revealed, Ms. Costello said that Neal's Yard Remedies may look to open in a variety of Canadian cities, provided that the 'right' retail locations become available. She mentioned that a third Calgary store could be a possibility, and that markets such as Toronto and Vancouver could prove to be prime markets for future Neal's locations.
Ms . Costello also mentioned that there could be a possibility that Neal's Yard Remedies could partner with a larger retailer by opening shop-in-store concessions. Although no plans are in place, Ms. Costello noted that concessions within department stores are a trend internationally, including in Great Britain where Neal's Yard Remedies was founded.