BRIEF: Uniqlo Completes Fall Expansion, Pet Store Expansion, Burton Opens 2nd Flagship

By Helen Siwak, Retail Insider Brief Editor 

  Square One Location. Photo: Uniqlo Facebook

Square One Location. Photo: Uniqlo Facebook

Uniqlo Almost Doubles Canadian Store Count in 2 months: On Friday, Japanese retailer Uniqlo unveiled its ninth Canadian store at Square One in Mississauga. Landlords confirm that more locations have been secured and as a result, more announcements will be made for new Uniqlo stores in Canada. 

The Square One store spans about 19,850-square-feet and is located in the mall’s newest expansion wing, which is being made possible by repurposing a former Target anchor space. Next year, the expansion will see several new tenants including entertainment concept The Rec Room as well a multi-vendor food market called ‘Food District’ and a two-level Indigo store, which will replace a standalone Chapters store located across from Square One. 

Crowds gathered throughout the weekend to check out the new Uniqlo, which was the fourth store to open in less than eight weeks in Canada. On October 12, Uniqlo opened in a former Forever 21 space at CF Markville  north of Toronto and prior to that, on September 28, Uniqlo unveiled a 28,150-square-foot store at Vaughan Mills, just north of Toronto. The four-store expansion began on September 14 when Uniqlo opened a 15,970-square-foot unit in a space formerly occupied by Old Navy at Coquitlam Centre in suburban Vancouver. 

Uniqlo has indicated that it could eventually operate as many as 100 stores in Canada, which means it has many more to go if that number is indeed accurate. The company has five stores in the Greater Toronto Area and four in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland — we’ll be watching for Uniqlo to expand into other markets, especially as it has been hosting pop-up events in cities such as Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg. Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represents Uniqlo as broker in Canada.

Mondou Pet Stores Expands Locations and Giving Pet Program: As a family-run business established in the province of Québec for the past 80 years, Mondou has opened six new stores province-wide this year. The latest being the two openings — one on November 10th in Alma, and another December 1 in St-Laurent —putting the number of stores to 67 by year-end and employing more than 750 employees. 

It is important for Mondou to give back to the community by supporting a number of causes dedicated to animal welfare. These include shelters (on June 1st, they gave $130,000 for the animal shelters across Quebec via their Mondou Mondon for the shelter’s campaign), adoption days and the MIRA Foundation, which they have been supporting for more than 20 years. The 4th annual Mondou Mondon MIRA campaign closed November 5th with funds raised $375,170. For over 20 years, more than $2 million and the equivalent of half a million meals have been given towards Mira, thanks to the generosity of the people and loyal customers of Mondou. 

Always striving to be much more than a mere pet food store, Mondou has distinguished itself from its competitors by employing a team of skilled advisors and by its commitment to refrain from selling animals. Their reward card, Câlin card, was elected number 1 in Canada in terms of generosity perceived according to the loyalty study conducted by Léger and R3 Marketing in 2017.

  Photo: Indigo

Photo: Indigo

Indigo Opens on Robson Street: “Cultural department store” retailer Indigo held its grand opening of their new flagship store in downtown Vancouver this past weekend. Located at 1033 Robson Street, the two-level, 29,000-square-foot location marks the company's return to downtown and includes a Starbucks café.

Indigo Robson is organized in a shop within a shop concept, including Books, Wellness, Joy of the Table, A Room of Her Own, Home Beautiful, IndigoKids and IndigoBaby. The Vancouver flagship has over 58,000 unique book titles, and customers can also access an unlimited selection online through in-store kiosks, including exclusive online items which offer free shipping of all items to store with no minimum spend, plus free returns. 

Designed to be a destination for the whole family by award-winning design firm Burdifilek, customers enjoyed a grand opening weekend of events which included photography installation by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. Indigo and Burtynsky are committing $25,000 each to the Ancient Forest Alliance, a non-profit organization working to protect BC's endangered old-growth forests and ensure a sustainable, second-growth forest industry.

Indigo will also be supporting the local community through the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to putting books in the hands of Canadian children. Since inception, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has provided over $29 million to high-needs elementary schools across Canada, with $3.5 million to British Columbian schools.

Indigo replaces a Forever 21 store that once occupied the Robson Street space. The store also replaces a flagship Chapters bookstore at the corner of Robson Street and Howe Street that shuttered in 2015, and is now occupied by a Sport Chek store. Indigo is represented in Canada by brokerage JLL, formerly Northwest Atlantic and Chris Wood handled the Robson Street lease negotiations. 

  founder Stephanie Ray (Left) and Michele Romanow (Right). Photo: Grayes Facebook.

founder Stephanie Ray (Left) and Michele Romanow (Right). Photo: Grayes Facebook.

Canadian Women’s Wear Brand Grayes Partners with Michele Romanow: Grayes, an online Canadian-made professional women’s wear brand, has joined forces with television personality (Dragon’s Den) and serial entrepreneur Michele Romanow, to host a series of pop-ups. The Driven by Grayes campaign landed in Toronto last week, where clients were able to shop the Grayes collection in-person, including Romanow’s top picks for the season and the newest addition to the collection - the Iron Check Suit

This fall’s partnership with Romanow extends the original Spring 2018 Campaign and includes a selection of Michele’s Picks, several items curated for women looking to transition to a fall/winter wardrobe with all items made in Canada. 

The showroom tour will also include an event series, in which Romanow will host a panel discussion with prominent local Toronto businesswomen, including Andrea Stairs (eBay), Rhiannon Trail (Economic Club of Canada) and Kristy Wieber (Rent Frock Repeat).

The series kicked-off on October 17th in Ottawa, and then October 29th in Toronto, and will continue expanding across to the west coast in early 2019. For more information or to book your appointment, email shop@grayes.com

Burton Opens Second Canadian Flagship in Montreal: Burton Snowboards has opened their second Canadian flagship store in Montreal, QC. Located in the trendy Griffintown neighbourhood (1420 Notre-Dame) with a retail space of 1,500-square-feet. The showroom is 1,500-square-feet, and there is an additional 3,000-square-feet of office space.

Being one of the two flagship stores in Canada, the location sells exclusive brand collaborations such as the recently launched limited collection from Burton x Carhartt WIP. Pieces from this collection are only available at flagship locations and online at burton.com.

Also, the new flagship includes all Burton categories for men and women, from socks to boards and everything in between. It features exclusive brand collaborations, limited release product, industry-leading technical collections, and trend-right, fashion forward styles. Hard good offerings range from classic boards, boots and bindings; to cutting edge new releases such as the new Step On boot/binding interface, and the all-new M4 Magna-Tech® goggle by anon.

 Jake Burton founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn in 1977, dedicating his life to snowboarding. He’s been instrumental in growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a global world-class sport. The company has its headquarters in Vermont with offices in Australia, Austria, Canada, California, China, and Japan.

Joshua Hasen of brokerage Aurora Realty Consultants represented Burton in the Montreal lease deal.

Burton’s first Canadian store launched about a year ago on Ossington Avenue in Toronto, with CBRE negotiating the deal with landlord Hullmark

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Bloor Street Entertains Announces New Partners: On November 28, Bloor Street Entertains (BSE) will once again bring together the city’s finest culinary masters, luxury retailers, and creative florists to host a beautiful evening for guests and raise money for vital Canadian HIV and AIDS research. A yearly staple on the Toronto events calendar. 

Chaired by Bernadette Morra and her husband Jimmy Molloy, this is the largest annual fundraising gala event supporting Canadian HIV research, having raised millions of dollars over the last 22 years. Each year, Bloor Street Entertains hosts Toronto’s business, fashion and philanthropic leaders for a night of dining and entertainment. 

BSE has just announced its Partners for this year’s dinner, and super-luxury condominium development 50 Scollard is proud to be among the likes of Coach, Holt Renfrew, and Mulberry as one of the participating venues. The new 41-story luxury build, with 77 exclusive residences will be providing its beautiful presentation centre for the evening event.

Young Living Brings Canadian Convention to 3,000 Advocates in Vancouver: A global leader in wellness products and essential oils, Young Living, hosted its 2018 Canadian Convention in Vancouver at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre on November 2-4.

Young Living has tapped into what the National Post reports is a global wellness market whose value is expected to reach $12.85 billion by 2023. Drawing together more than 3,000 delegates, Young Living’s Canadian Convention featured keynote speakers, entrepreneurially focused professional development sessions, and networking opportunities.

The 2018 Canadian Convention focused on fostering entrepreneurial skills, tapping into robust networks and strengthening relationships towards health and wellness in Canada. The event is the place where the Young Living communities of natural health and wellness advocates connect and set the foundation for the year to come.

The company’s purpose-driven approach is one of the major drivers of Young Living’s 55% year-over-year growth in the Canadian market, which now encompasses over 143,000 wellness advocates across Canada.

Flagship Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue Unveil Toronto Holiday Windows: On Sunday, November 4, Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue unveiled their annual Holiday Window displays. Two Canadian musicians kicked-off the event — Johnny Orlando was first on stage, followed by headliner Carly Rae Jepsen. 

Thousands gathered for the unveiling on Queen Street West at the intersection of Yonge Street. The combined Hudson’s Bay Queen Street/Saks building is part of the massive CF Toronto Eaton Centre complex, and landlord Cadillac Fairview was a sponsor. 

The 2016 Holiday Window unveil was also a biggie — Mariah Carey sang a couple of songs to excited fans, and she was reportedly paid $1-million for the brief appearance. 

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Helen Siwak is the publisher of EcoLuxLuv.com Magazine, a Marketing & Media Strategist for numerous luxury based companies and content creator for local digital and print publications. When not writing, she is attending fashion events, traveling, and advocating for animal/human rights. helensiwak@yahoo.com.

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