LoyaltyOne’s rewards program Air Miles has opened its first brick-and-mortar retail store. Called ‘Gifted by Air Miles’, the temporary 1,290 square foot boutique at Toronto’s CF Shops at Don Mills will remain open for the Holiday Season until December 28.
“We thought this would just be a nice way to engage with our collectors face-to-face, but at the same time we’re bringing them a unique experience because most of what they’ll find in the shop is stuff you can’t find anywhere else,” said Rachel MacQueen, VP of marketing for Air Miles’ LoyaltyOne brand.
The new Gifted by Air Miles shop carries items from Canadian artisans including candles, artwork and home decor. The store also promotes the use of Air Miles’ various rewards programs, allowing users to cash in their miles on the items, as well as earning miles on their purchases. Ms. MacQueen said that the goal is to align the Air Miles brand more closely with holiday shopping.
Pop-up retail is a phenomenon that’s here to stay, according to Linda Farha, Founder and Chief Connector of pop-up go, an online platform that helps pair retailers with available temporary retail spaces. "Pop-ups create an air of excitement and scarcity due to their temporary nature, and also allow retailers to test out new concepts and new locations prior to opening permanent stores", she noted. Retail Insider recently published an in-depth analysis on temporary retail space in Canada, which has seen unprecedented growth over the past couple of years.
Gifted by Air Miles is the latest first-in-the-world retail concept to open at Toronto’s CF Shops at Don Mills, which continues to innovate by adding new retail concepts. Pure-play online retailer Well.ca opened its first brick-and-mortar location at the centre over the summer, and more new retailers will be announced in early 2017. As well, on Saturday, December 17, Terhan-based jeweller Azadi Jewellery will open its first North American boutique at CF Shops at Don Mills, across from the new Gifted by Air Miles pop-up.