An innovative new retail concept is opening on June 25 in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Toronto. Called Improve, the massive 320,000 square foot centre features about 400 construction and design related businesses under one roof. The complex also includes meeting rooms, cafés, a 200-seat auditorium for product launches and 1,500 parking stalls.
The centre features 38 categories of home improvement products, including cabinetry, lighting, fencing and fireplaces. Hundreds of companies have purchased space at Improve, including Creative Group Interiors, Canadian Stucco, Canaroma Bath and Tile, American Standard and Best Brand Appliances, among others. Improve describes its concept as "a win-win for retailers and consumers, making shopping easy for potential customers and providing maximum exposure for home improvement-based businesses".
Improve is located at the nexus of Highway 407 and Keele Street (address: 7250 Keele Street) in Vaughan, as per the map below. It is close to Highways 407 and 400 for motorists, and is also near the new York University subway station, expected to open in early 2018.
Several years ago, founder Oleg Chekhter found that while renovating his own home, locating products such as cabinets, countertops or lighting was very time consuming. He set out with two business partners to create a one-stop shopping experience for consumers. Such concepts exist in Europe and Asia, but is new to Canada. According to a description on Improve's LinkedIn page: "An indoor mall is appealing to consumers, who would rather visit one location and avoid the time and hassle of having to drive all over the city in search of a particular product or service."
Last year, the large electronic sign in front of Improve was awarded first place in the category of Electronic Message Centre at CONSAC National Sign & Graphics Tradeshow. It was created by Pride Signs Limited.
Due to the sheer size and number of vendors, Improve's website breaks it down into searchable categories, also providing a map of the centre. The magnitude and selection of product could become overwhelming if a trip isn't pre-planned, at least to some degree. Improve's website also offers useful tips to renovators, for example, with a recent blog post discussing how to make ceilings appear higher. Planning ahead may also be useful given how potentially crowded it might get -- Improve expects over 2,000 daily visitors once it opens to the public next week.
Thank you Carlo Gon for notifying us of this topic.