Brief: Fendi Grows, MINISO Expands in Ontario, Decathlon Announces 2nd Canadian Store



Fendi Expands its Presence in Canada: Italian luxury brand Fendi continues to grow its presence in Canada, including new and expanded concessions contained within Holt Renfrew stores. 

The ground-floor Fendi accessory boutique at 50 Bloor Street West in Toronto recently saw its space grow to include an expanded offering with pieces of ready-to-wear. The expansion was made possible by taking space in front of the existing Fendi boutique inside of Holt’s, which has operated there for several years. Vergo Construction, which has worked with a number of luxury brands (as well as Ladurée, which opens next week at Yorkdale) built-out the new Fendi space. 

Fendi also operates a women’s ready-to-wear boutique at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver — the shop opened several months ago, and it also includes luxurious furs. Fendi is expected to open standalone stores in Canada at some point, though nothing is yet confirmed. 

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Lightspeed Appoints New Chief Technology Officer: Innovative Montreal-based Lightspeed, known for its cloud-based point-of-sale system for retailers and restaurants, has announced that John Vandermay will be the company’s new Chief Technology Officer. His nomination comes in the midst of incredible growth for Lightspeed, following the announcement that the company closed a US $166 million (about $207 million Canadian) series D round investment

Mr. Vandermay has over 25 years of software engineering and global leadership experience — he was most recently with Visto (formerly Collective), an advertising technology company in NYC and as CTO there, he led the transformation of the company from an advertising media service provider to a technology platform by building a breakthrough SaaS enterprise advertising platform that seamlessly provided transparency and interoperability between the myriad of ad technologies.

 Mr. Vandermay will also curate a blog series entitled Lightspeed talks code. Read the first entry here.

“It’s incredible to welcome John back to Canada and into our Lightspeed community, at the height of growth in our development sector. John’s extensive experience in software engineering and product development will make him an invaluable asset to the Lightspeed team,” said Lightspeed Founder and CEO Dax Dasilva, “as a Canadian company, we’re proud to be part of an innovative network of technology companies that are attracting top industry talent back to Canada.”

In 2016, Lightspeed launched its omnichannel product, seamlessly merging in-store POSeCommerce and mobile, empowering customers to sell anywhere, at any time.

Bayview Village announces Canadian exclusive holiday pop-up with design superstar, served up with fine wine: Toronto’s Bayview Village Shopping Centre has secured the exclusive Canadian location for celebrity favourite and cult handbag designer ela’s holiday pop-in. Opening December 1, ELA & VINO will also be serving a selection of the world’s best wines and Prosecco courtesy of Noble Estates Wine & Spirits in a first-of-its-kind shopping experience.

Meghan Markle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sophie Trudeau are fans of the ela handbags brand, which has risen to cult status due to its signature silhouettes and humble luxury aesthetic. 

“The Bayview Village shopper is very much an ela girl – she is sophisticated, glamorous yet understated, and values the quality craftsmanship of luxury brands. As the ‘hautest’ shopping destination in Toronto, Bayview Village was an obvious choice for our holiday pop-in,” says Ela Aldorsson, co-founder, ela. “Of all the possible locations in Canada and the world, we are thrilled and delighted that ela has chosen Bayview Village. ela is a natural addition to our 360-degree premium lifestyle experience,” says Melissa Evans-Lee, Marketing Director, Bayview Village. 

ELA & VINO runs from December 1 to 29 and is located in the Centre’s East Corridor, adjacent to TNT – The New Trend. Wine and Prosecco sampling will take place from Noon to 9pm Monday to Friday, and Noon to 7pmSaturday and Sunday. A launch party will take place Tuesday, December 5, from 4pm to 7pm.

(Photo: Bloor-Yorkville BiA, via Twitter) 

(Photo: Bloor-Yorkville BiA, via Twitter) 

Sorelle and Co. Opens First Standalone Toronto Location: Vaughan-based bakery Sorelle and Co., which sells artful gluten-free, soy-free, sesame-free, vegan, nut-free & preservative-free food, known particularly for its desserts. 

The beautiful new space at 161 Yorkville Avenue is located at the base of the former Four Seasons Hotel on Avenue Road. The interior is reminiscent of its other two locations — a standalone cafe and bakery in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, as well as a concession in the Pusateri’s Food Hall at Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Toronto (which opened about a year ago). 

The Yorkville space is beautifully decorated and boasts a bright corner space — it includes high tea service as well as space for private gatherings. Sorelle and Co. is a welcome addition to the Yorkville area, which is undergoing a remarkable transformation that includes new retailers, restaurants, and billions of dollars in commercial and residential construction. 

Toronto’s Hottest New Pop-Up Space Sees New Tenants: The three-level 202 Queen Street West commercial building in Toronto continues to see cool new installations. The retail space housed hat retailer New Era for about 10 years — New Era left its Canadian retail operations over the summer. 

Since then, several companies have hosted pop-ups in the space. For example, Microsoft Xbox hosted a One X pop-up on November 18-20, and on October 18-22 Square hosted the space. Photos above are of the Xbox pop-up. 

Below is a 3D tour of the space, which was provided by Warren Vandal of GEOmarketing Solutions — he uses an innovative Matterport platform to photograph stores to make it appear that one is walking through the multi-level space. 

For more information on 202 Queen Street West, contact Joseph Gatto of Chestnut Park Realty at:


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Sandro and Maje Open at CF Toronto Eaton Centre: Upscale Paris-based brands Sandro and Maje have opened at  CF Toronto Eaton Centre, sharing a 3,285 square foot retail space that was most recently occupied by American fashion retailer BCBG between the mall’s Marc Cain store and its Apple Store.  Sandro and Maje will also open soon at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Vancouver — their first outlet locations in Canada. 

Sandro and Maje opened their first Canadian stores in the fall of 2016 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Until the fall of 2016, Canadians could only buy Sandro and Maje collections in a handful of concessions at Hudson’s Bay

Last year in an interview, SMCP representatives said that Canada could see approximately five freestanding locations each for both Sandro and Maje, and that Vancouver was certainly a target city for at least one location for each of the brands. 

Sandro and Maje are considered to be in the ‘contemporary’ price-point — Sandro began in Paris in 1984, and is known for focusing on "sleek, chic and effortlessly cool womenswear and menswear” — there are over 500 Sandro stores worldwide, and parent company SMCP (which stands for Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot) operates close to 1,200 points of sale globally in 35 countries, with about 4,300 staff. Sister-label Maje, dedicated to women's fashions, was founded in Paris in 1998 and with over 400 locations worldwide, is known for "bohemian-chic, solar, and more feminine womenswear collections".  

CF Pacific Centre Partners with ClickDishes for its updated Urban Eatery: Vancouver’s CF Pacific Centre, part of the Cadillac Fairview mall portfolio, has partnered with Canadian startup ClickDishes on a new initiative. The partnership enables restaurants at CF Pacific Centre’s newly reopened Urban Eatery to offer Starbucks-esque mobile ordering to mall patrons, making it one of the first smart food courts in Western Canada.

ClickDishes is a social foodie app and mobile platform — with their launch at CF Pacific Centre shoppers are able to order their meal from the restaurant of their choice via the ClickDishes mobile app, skip the line, and pick up their food from the restaurant when it is ready.

ClickDishes also gives shoppers the chance to make the most out of their time at the centre while still being able to enjoy the diverse food options there. For restaurants, it helps them gain more customers and process more sales.

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MINISO Continues Push into Ontario: Chinese variety retailer MINISO, known for its value-prices, continues to open stores in Ontario. Its first store in the province opened on October 21 at Pickering Town Centre, east of Toronto, followed soon after by a store at Stone Road Mall in Guelph. A store at Upper Canada Mall will open this weekend, with Richmond Hill’s Hillcrest Mall and Oshawa's Oshawa Centre to see MINISO locations open in early 2018. 

MINISO opened its first Canadian stores in the spring of 2017 in Vancouver, where it continues to rapidly open locations. The company says that it plans to open as many as 500 stores in Canada in the coming years. MINISO’s product offerings are also extensive, including home goods, kitchenware, underwear, cosmetics, toys and even electronics. Products are branded by name and are considered to be of exceptional quality for the price. The company was co-founded in 2013 by Japanese designer Miyake Junya and Chinese entrepreneur Ye Guo Fu, and is headquartered in Guangzhou, China. MINSO’s goal is to open 6,000 stores globally by 2020, averaging 80 to 100 store openings per month. 

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INDOCHINO Launches ‘The Proposal’ campaign: Vancouver-based made-to-measure suit company INDOCHINO has launched a fun campaign called ‘The Proposal’ — men who ask their significant other to marry them by next Valentine’s, dressed in a new INDOCHINO suit, will receive a free custom suit to wear on their wedding day.

How it Works:

  1. Between now and December 31, 2017, buy a suit from INDOCHINO. 
  2. Propose to your partner by next Valentine's Day in your new INDOCHINO suit.
  3. Share a photo or video of the proposal publicly on Facebook or Instagram up until 11:59pm EST on February 14, 2018. Tag @Indochino in your post and use the hashtag #TheProposal.          
  4. The first 200 verified participants to enter will receive an INDOCHINO premium two-piece suit for their wedding.       

“Every year, we dress thousands of grooms and it is always a huge honour to be a part of this very special moment in a couple’s life,” said Drew Green, CEO of INDOCHINO. “Now, we want to celebrate the beginning of such a beautiful journey and give these valued customers their wedding suits, ensuring they look their very best on their wedding day.”

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Decathlon Secures Second Canadian Retail Location: Value-priced large format French sporting goods retail chain Decathlon has announced that it will open its second Canadian store in Laval, near Montreal in 2019. Over the summer, the retailer announced that it would open its first North America location in suburban Montreal at Mail Champlain next spring — Quebec is the launch point for Decathlon on the continent. 

The Laval store will be located at Centropolis de Québec, at the intersection of Highways 40 and 540. Cominar REIT is the landlord -- the $300 million Centropolis de Québec commercial centre will include a 340,000 square foot Ikea store, opening in the summer of 2018. 

Founded in France in 1976, Decathlon Group has more than 1,100 stores in 28 countries, with more than 78,000 employees and revenue of about C$15 billion. It designs, manufactures and distributes a wide range of sports-related equipment and accessories, with over 20 in-house brands dedicated to different sports, and each with its own design team. The company has yet to enter the United States, though it opened a store last year in Mexico. 

Decathlon could disrupt the Canadian retail industry if it expands nationally, potentially threatening homegrown retail chains including FGL SportsSAILSportiumMEC, and even retailers such as Canadian Tire. While some question its brand awareness, our August of 2017 article announcing its arrival was one of our most-read articles of the year — if that’s any indication of the level of excitement, we think it will do just fine. 

*Retail Insider will periodically feature pop-up concepts in its Briefs. For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Craig Patterson at: 

For more of today's news: Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: December 1, 2017

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