BRIEF: World's 1st Combined Bass Pro/Cabela's Opening in Canada, Uniqlo Launches Innovative Pop-Up

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By Helen Siwak, Retail Insider Brief Editor

World's 1st Hybrid Cabela's/Bass Pro Shops to Open Soon in suburban Halifax: According to local online retail publication Halifax ReTales, The world's first combined Cabela's/Bass Pro Shops will be opening at the massive Dartmouth Crossing big-box centre in suburban Halifax. The outdoor hunting/fishing and outdoor gear retailers will co-brand a space that will span about 50,000 square feet. 

Cabela’s announced that it was opening a Halifax-area store almost three years ago, and locals have been waiting patiently — the original announcement was made on June 9 of 2015, when it was revealed that Cabela’s planned to open a store. The original announcement stated that the store would employ about 150 people. 

Bass Pro acquired Cabela’s in the fall of 2017, and some questioned the future of some of the store branding. The co-branded Dartmouth Crossing store is an interesting move — we hadn’t heard back from Cabela’s Canada as of press time as to what the plan is for other stores and their branding. Cabela’s currently operates 10 stores, while Bass Pro Shops operates 5 stores. 

One of Bass Pro’s stores is in suburban Moncton, New Brunswick. In February of 2018, suburban Moncton’s Cabela’s store suddenly closed — when the combined Halifax location opens in the next while, it will therefore be the only Cabela’s nameplate in the Canadian Maritime provinces. 

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The Shoe Company & Shoe Warehouse are Picking Up What Sears Dropped: The Shoe Company and Shoe Warehouse are helping Sears customers “get back on their feet” with a month-long discount offer. Sears Canada’s closure earlier this year left thousands of individuals with defunct Sears loyalty memberships or unredeemed gift cards. 

When shoppers visit any The Shoe Company or Shoe Warehouse location before May 15th and present their old Sears card, they will receive $5 off their entire purchase. Plus, as an exclusive one-time bonus, new Shoe Lover Rewards members will receive an extra 2000 points upon sign-up which is equivalent to an additional $10 off your next purchase. 

With these offers, the company hopes to alleviate the loss, and provide an alternative for those looking to fulfil their footwear needs.

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Indochino Announces 8 More Showrooms: The world’s largest made-to-measure suit retailer has announced that it will open eight more showrooms in the United States over the next four months. The reason it’s remarkable is because by the time the stores will have opened, the company’s base of showrooms will have been expanded by a third in a relatively short period of time. 

Showrooms in Denver and Bethesda, MD will open in May, followed by Short Hills NJ and Scottsdale AZ in June. Columbus OH and Newport Beach CA are also scheduled to open this summer in addition to previously announced locations in Dallas, opening May, and New York’s Madison Avenue, slated for late summer.

Indochino’s unique virtual inventory model enables it to run a very efficient retail business, which it is leveraging via its expansion strategy. The company achieved 49% Gross Margin in 2017 with 52% forecast in 2018. It is expecting to end the year with a 53% three year Compound Annual Growth Rate.

In December 2017, Retail-Insider reported that Indochino announced plans to open up to 18 locations in 2018 following the 8 which opened in 2017. Indochino launched and established itself online before opening its first bricks and mortar location in Vancouver’s Gastown in 2015 and is continuing to make strides with its immersive and engaging showrooms and its three-week delivery promise on all orders.

UNIQLOs Graphic Tee Exhibit is an Ode to Pop Culture: UNIQLO’s huge new series of collaborations is a game-changer for anyone who’s ever dreamed of wearing images ofyummy Chupa Chups, the never-ending Star Wars, loveable alien ET, American artist Basquiat, and the highly desirable Ladurée macarons on their tee-shirts.

To celebrate the launch, UNIQLO is hosting a four-floor exhibit at 202 Queen Street West from May 2nd-5th. Attendees will be able to view nearly 1,000 different graphic tee designs displayed among art installations and other interactive pieces. Pop-up facilitator thisopenspace provided the venue, and an invite-only party was held to unveil it on Tuesday of this week. 

This year’s limited-edition collection overseen by Rei Matsunuma, Director, UT Collaboration for UNIQLO, draws on a massive range of authentic cultural references, and takes inspiration from traditional brands, up-and-coming artists and comic book characters. Each design was created exclusively for the collection.

There will be plenty of niche collaborations for shoppers to choose from like one with Japanese manga Weekly Shonen Jump for its 50th anniversary, 30 top animé and manga titles including Dragon Ball, Naruto and Hunter x Hunter, the winning designs of 2018s Marvel-themed UT Grand Prix, and six unique versions of Mickey Mouse. 

 Visit the exhibit to scope out this epic collection of pop culture from around the world.

Six Hundred Four Launches VR Sneaker Gallery: Six Hundred Four, the limited-edition sneaker brand, located in the heart of Vancouver’s Gastown and steps away from the world famous steam clock, creates shoes based off of art pieces. 

In an attempt to parlay their retail business into a unique online experience, they have recently launched the Six Hundred Four virtual gallery that merges VR and e-commerce. It allows virtual visitors to ‘click and stroll’ around the flagship store, viewing the original art pieces while adding shoes and other items to their shopping cart. The best part is that the shopping experience does not require a VR headset.

The brand sees the problem with VR and e-commerce is that one usually hinders the other. A full, immersive VR experience makes it difficult to complete a purchase, while standard e-commerce prevents a deep brand experience which VR offers. Up until now, it has been one or the other.

Six Hundred Four's retail space is both an art gallery and a shoe store, coined as a "Sneaker Gallery." This arrangement produces a minimalist aesthetic that makes it ideal for this type of platform, allowing visitors to engage with individual products without feeling inundated.

Six Hundred Four partnered with Method Visual on the project, a leader in 360 photography and VR to create an exciting experience with practically no learning curve resulting in a platform that is intuitive, clean, and user-friendly.

Toronto’s OKV Launches Environmentally Conscious Leather Bag Line for Men: New luxury leather bag line, OKV, will launch its website and e-commerce platform on May 8th featuring the brand’s first men’s handbag collection Primo Edition. The collection consists of six on-trend yet classic styles with a price range of $190 for a wallet to $1,800 for the limited edition custom painted hold all. 

Created and designed by Wayne Mayers in Toronto and produced in Italy, OKV is leading the resurgence in sustainable fashion with its responsible and environmentally-safe methods of production. Each item is tanned using only plant-based products including fruits, fruit pods, leaves, oak, chestnut quebracho, and mimosa tree bark. 

Meyers was looking to lessen the environmental impact of traditional leather production and sourced a Tuscan facility, which is a member of the Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium, to produce OKV’s luxury pieces. 

The initial collection is produced by running 50-90% solar energy, with waste from the leather making process recycled to manufacture construction industry bricks, wastewater is collected, reused, and purified, hairs and small fibres from the skins are also repurposed into fertilizer. 

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Bumble Hive Bringing “Female First” Programming to TO: From May 4-6th dating app Bumble will be hosting three days of ‘female first’ programming with notable speakers, performers, and panels to Toronto. While the app has presented similar spaces in New York, London, and Los Angeles, this is its first time in Canada, and guests can expect complimentary entertainment, drinks, snacks, and an impressive array of interactive sessions. International thought-leaders and entrepreneurs including Erin Foster, Maria Qamar, and Alex Williamson are all on the roster.

What began as a ‘female first’ dating app quickly grew into one of the top online dating apps, with over 27-million downloads, and has been valued at over a billion dollars. It is now a ‘beehive’ of empowerment for women looking for the ability to control the conversation when not only dating, but in finding friends and networking online. The unique Bumble business model put women in charge with the dating app, Bumble BFF, Bumble Bizz, and an online community that shares on friendship, careers, wellness, city guides, and navigating campus life.

The 3-day Bumble Hive Toronto event will be held at 950 Queen Street, and RSVPs are required through the website. 

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Bumble Hive LA

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Helen Siwak is the publisher of EcoLuxLuv.com Magazine, a freelance content creator specializing in retail and luxury lifestyle. She is a regular content contributor to Boulevard Vancouver (English & Chinese), Retail-InsiderBLUSH Vancouver, and has lifestyle blogged for StyleDemocracy and Daily Hive. When not writing, she is attending fashion events, traveling, and advocating for animal/human rights. helensiwak@yahoo.com.

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