BRIEF: Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Store, Drake’s OVO Opens to Crowds in Vancouver

By Helen Siwak, Retail Insider Brief Editor

Pusateri's opening in Oakville, via Norman Katz

Pusateri's opening in Oakville, via Norman Katz

Upscale Grocery Pusateri’s Announces Closure of Oakville Location: Last week Pusateri’s Fine Foods owners Ida Pusateri and Frank Luchetta announced on their Facebook page that they would be closing the Oakville location of their family business. Opened in July of 2016, the 18,000-square-foot Oakville location was the first and only store for the company outside of Toronto. 

“We have truly appreciated the opportunity to share our wonderful foods and shopping experience with the Oakville community and would like to express our gratitude to our valued guests and the business community for all their support. We look forward to our remaining time at Oakville Place and will be fully operational to serve you through the holiday season.”

The company’s other Toronto locations, as well as the Saks Fifth Avenue food halls in CF Sherway Gardens and CF Toronto Eaton Centre are not affected by the closure. 

Citing low sales as the reason for the closure on December 31st, Pusateri’s is engaging with commenters on social media feedback and say they are committed to providing relocation positions within their network for staff members.

Oakville is home to one of six Whole Foods locations in the GTA, and last week Farm Boy opened its first store in the city as well.

Cadillac Fairview Gets In the Spirit with CF ‘Gift Wrap Valets’: CF Sherway Gardens and CF Toronto Eaton Centre surprised shoppers on December 11th, during the annual holiday hustle with helpful random acts of kindness. A fleet of uniformed bellhops helped amplify the holiday spirit by helping guests with their holiday parcels and handing out complimentary vouchers for the CF Gift Wrap Valet.  

The CF Gift Wrap Valet at CF shopping centres across Canada is a pop-up service that provides a unique and efficient gift-wrapping experience. Guests are invited to bring their unwrapped gifts to be wrapped as part of a special white glove, valet service. Within the lounge, guests can relax, and a portion of the proceeds will go to WE, CF’s national charitable partner, supporting youth empowerment programming in Canada.

If you are leaving your shopping until the last minute, consider doing it at CF Toronto Eaton Centre on Thursday December 20th, because this is the second instalment of the holiday hustle and last day that the uniformed bellhops will be helping out. 

Drake’s OVO Brand Opens in Vancouver to Huge Lineups: Drake’ fans lined up overnight to check out the new October’s Very Own (OVO) store on Vancouver’s Robson Street. Exclusive pieces were on hand from the OVO x Murakami Collection, (by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami) available only at that location — they’re said to have sold out. A retrospective of Murakami's work was held earlier this year at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The downtown Vancouver OVO store is located at 1044 Robson Street, in a 2,000 square foot retail space recently vacated by multi-brand menswear retailer Boys’Co. CBRE Vancouver’s Mario Negris and Martin Moriarty negotiated the Robson Street deal. 

OVO also recently opened at the Square One shopping centre in Mississauga, and is the first in the chain to have a children’s clothing department. OVO opened its first store in Toronto on Dundas Street in December of 2014, and has since opened units at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre as well as in Los Angeles, New York City, and London UK. 

Hanes Brands Bringing Sock Drive to Toronto via The Scott Mission: 2018 is the first year that Hanes Brand will operate their annual iconic Hanes National Sock Drive in Canada with downtown Toronto being the chosen location.

Hanes Brand has nine years of bringing comfort to the homeless in American cities, and since its inception in 2009, the program has provided more than 2.5 million pairs of socks to those in need. Partnering with The Scott Mission in Toronto will see 2,500 pairs of socks being distributed on December 18th at 502 Spadina Avenue (northwest corner of College and Spadina).

Alongside the Hanes employees will be volunteers serving hot food to the poor, homeless, abandoned, and vulnerable of all ages. If you can spare some time and would like to get involved, contact The Scott Mission and help make a change in someone’s life.

CBD-infused Flow Glow Launched by Top Spring Water Brand: Flow Water Inc. has introduced a functional beverage line Flow Glow, offering consumers an ultra-hydrating, mineral-rich, H20 superfood that nourishes cells to the fullest with naturally occurring minerals and the qualities of CBD. Flow created Flow Glow with their popular 100% naturally alkaline spring water and added botanical extracts, antioxidants, and infused it with CBD.

Citing consumer research, Flow posits 63% of adult Canadians are familiar with CBD, with 40% already consuming it for both recreational and medicinal purposes, and 67% interested in consuming it in the future. With the market demand, Flow is working with industry leaders and experts to offer an innovative wellness product like this to help consumers achieve their health goals.

While no information is available on where the product will be available, the non-CBD infused Flow Alkaline Spring Water is available in over 15,000 retailers across North America and Europe including Whole Foods, Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, and Farm Boy in Canada. 

Fine Jewelry Brand Mejuri Opens First US-Based Showroom: Mejuri, the brand known for pioneering the weekly drop model in fine jewelry, opened its first US-based showroom in New York at 43 Spring Street this month. 

Mejuri releases 52 editions every year. Fuelled by community feedback and a social media following of more than 300K on Instagram (!), they have flipped the script on the traditional male-to-female gifting with 80% female customers (and an 80% female team). The brand has captured the millennial market and is the fastest-growing fine jewelry brand - maintaining a 400% year over year growth at scale. With recent investment from Felix Capital (also invested in Goop and FarFetch), Mejuri continues to grow.

With New York being the strongest sales market for the brand, Mejuri chose to open their second showroom and customer activation space (following Toronto) using their non-traditional retail model in Nolita. The showroom allows customers to touch and try-on the pieces, and shoppers can order on the spot with next day shipping. 

Founded in 2015 in Toronto, Mejuri is millennial-izing fine jewelry with strong social strategies, direct relationships with customers, and catering to millennials who are informed about the products and brands with whom they shop. 

Helen Siwak is the publisher of EcoLuxLuv.com Magazine, content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. helen@ecoluxluv.com

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