By Mario Toneguzzi
The unique boutique Nespresso cafe brand is in a growth phase in Canada with more locations on the horizon.
Alexis Giguere, VP of Retail for Nespresso Canada, told Retail Insider that the new boutique concept that it has rolled out both at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary and at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C., brings a fresh experience to the company’s retail experience, focusing more on the experience than the “upfront transaction.”
“Sustainability is also an important topic for us and has always been since the very beginning. Our recycling solution surely is a good example, but the table-tops made from used coffee grounds that are in our new boutique concept or the wood that has been 100 per cent sourced from reforestation programs that we use to build them are also good examples of our commitment,” he said.
“2018 surely is, and continues to be, a big year for us as we will roll out great projects that will positively impact the environment and the way people consume our products.”
Giguere said the company has a good network of stores in major Canadian cities like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City. There are still opportunities for it to solidify these clusters. Ultimately, it will be looking at increasing its store footprint in cities with strong potential like Winnipeg and Victoria, for example.
There are 26 Nespresso boutiques in Canada in five different formats - pop-up boutiques, temporary boutiques, boutiques at Hudson’s Bay, boutiques in a mall and boutique-bar - where customers and Club Members can purchase machines and Nespresso Coffees.
When asked how many locations he ultimately sees in the Canadian market, he replied: “We do have a secret magic number, but . . . it is secret. We do have ambitious objectives for Canada and our retail expansion is surely a key-driver to our omni-channel growth strategy. Ultimately, we want to ensure that our brand is physically accessible to the most Canadians possible, without saturating the market. It is all about finding the right balance between brick-and-mortar and online in order to answer the needs of today’s consumer.”
Nespresso was founded in 1986 in Switzerland with the launch of its now famous portioned coffee system. A little more than 30 years later, Nespresso is present in 76 countries around the world and has a retail network of more than 700 boutiques.
Nespresso’s Canadian story started a little more than 10 years ago in November 2007 with its first boutique at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto. The same year, it opened another Boutique at Hudson’s Bay in Vancouver (December 2007). Its third Canadian boutique opened in Montreal, on Crescent Street, in February 2009, being the first boutique-bar where food was served.
“What differentiates us is that we have all the tools to offer customers and our Club Members the ultimate coffee experience, whether it is through our systems, Original and Vertuo or through our Nespresso coffees that are all developed in-house, in our Swiss headquarters, by our Coffee Experts,” said Giguere.
“We also have premium and personalized customer service, as well as convenient recycling solutions available across Canada. Nespresso capsules are fully recyclable, demonstrating how much we value sustainability. On a retail standpoint, what differentiates us is definitely our flexibility. With our five formats, we are able to open temporary or permanent locations and test markets. Our new store at Metropolis at Metrotown is a good example as the opening of this permanent boutique is the result of a test we did more than two years ago with a pop-up within the mall.”
Giguere said it is not the company’s plan right now to open more larger boutique/café concepts in Canada such as the Yorkville Boutique Bar at 159 Cumberland Street.
“While this concept is a good opportunity to develop our brand and give an additional experience to the customer, our focus is towards our new concept store at the moment,” he said.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org