The Detox Market expands its Retail Footprint

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By Megan Harman

Natural beauty retailer The Detox Market has opened its third Canadian location inside Canada’s busiest transportation hub – Toronto’s Union Station.

Founded in 2010 in California, The Detox Market specializes in beauty, wellness, health and home products that are eco-friendly, non-toxic and cruelty-free.

After establishing a presence in California, the retailer expanded into the Canadian market in 2012, with the opening of a flagship store on King Street West. A Yorkville location followed in 2015, and in early February, the company unveiled its newest store, located in Union Station’s Front Street Promenade.

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Although the new store is only approximately 300 square feet in size, the busy location provides valuable exposure for the rapidly growing retailer.

  Laura Townsend. Photo: LinkedIn

Laura Townsend. Photo: LinkedIn

“For us, it’s about sharing our message and making these incredible products available,” says Laura Townsend, marketing director at The Detox Market. “Union Station has a quarter million people passing through each day, so we saw this as an opportunity to share this green beauty world with mass amounts of people.  Hopefully we can entice some of them to drop in and get the conversation going.”

In addition to catering to commuters and downtown dwellers, the new location also lets the company gain exposure among travellers passing through the busy transportation hub. Since The Detox Market does not yet have stores in any other Canadian cities, Townsend says the company’s stores are destinations for many visitors to Toronto, who are interested in trying out natural beauty brands.

“The stores are very much destination stores,” she says.

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The company’s core target market includes women between the ages of 25 and 35, who are health-conscious and wellness-minded, according to Townsend. However, she says the products have appeal among a wide range of consumers. In fact, natural products represent the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry worldwide.

“We’re finding that we get different customers from all walks of life – all age ranges,” Townsend says.

In selecting brands to carry within its stores, The Detox Market applies a strict set of standards. Each product must have pure ingredients, must be effective, must be a pleasure to use, and must have beautiful packaging.  The company has a hefty list of ingredients that won’t be found in any of the products it sells, including lead, parabens, propanol and synthetic fragrances, among others.

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The company strives to create educational experiences within its stores, enabling customers to learn about the products it offers and the benefits of embracing a natural beauty regime.

The opening of the new store comes as Union Station undergoes a massive revitalization project. As part of that initiative, the transit hub’s retail offerings are being overhauled and enhanced.

  Vanessa McDonald. Photo: LinkedIn

Vanessa McDonald. Photo: LinkedIn

“As part of the revitalization project, the team at Union are building a culinary, cultural and retail destination that represents the best of our city,” says Vanessa McDonald, VP of brand strategy and partnerships at Union Station.

Located in the Front Street Promenade near The Detox Market are stores including artisanal chocolate shop CXBO, clothing brand The Peace Collective, specialty coffee shop Pilot Coffee, and Naked Beauty Bar.

The Detox Market’s new boutique boasts a look and feel that’s different from the other stores, since the retailer’s founder, Romain Gaillard, strives to make each store unique. The company worked with Suulin Architects to design the space, which aims to reflect The Detox Market’s natural-focused philosophy. Design elements include naturally finished ash wood from Quebec, and a feature wall interspersed with greenery.

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The retailer’s other Toronto locations range in size from 1,200-1,400 square feet.

The Detox Market also offers online sales, which represents a growing proportion of its overall sales, according to Townsend.

With three locations in Toronto now, The Detox Market hopes to eventually expand to other major Canadian cities, such as Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. In the meantime, the company is pursuing further expansion in the U.S. market, with plans to open another store in L.A. and a store in Manhattan.

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Megan Harman is a business reporter based in Toronto. She writes about topics including retail, financial services and technology. Megan covers Toronto’s retail industry through her blog Retail Realm (torontoretail.wordpress.com). Follow her on Twitter at @meganmharman.

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