BRIEF: Le Creuset Expansion, SAQ to Open Luxury Liquor Location

By Helen Siwak, Retail Insider Brief Editor

  Photo: Ritchie Po

Photo: Ritchie Po

Le Creuset Continues Canadian Store Expansion with CF Richmond Store: French cookware brand Le Creuset has opened a bright new store at CF Richmond Centre in suburban Vancouver. The 900-square-foot boutique is strategically located across from the mall’s recently-opened Uniqlo store, next to the mall’s Hugo Boss location. CF Richmond Centre is one of Canada’s most productive shopping centres in terms of sales per square foot, and an upcoming Retail Council of Canada Shopping Centre Study will reveal that the mall has surpassed $1,000/per-square-foot annually in revenue for the first time. 

On opening day Saturday, signage was in both English and Chinese — Retail Insider’s Ritchie Po, who attended the opening, took the photos for this article. 

CF Richmond Centre is Le Creuset’s second store in British Columbia. The other opened in June 2016 on Vancouver’s tony South Granville strip at 2997 Granville Street. That store remains the largest in the country at about 2,000-square-feet. 

The CF Richmond Centre store is the company’s 12th in Canada. Le Creuset continues to target select markets, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal and it plans to open one or two new boutiques in 2019. Ideal spaces are between 750 and 1,250-square-feet, located on high streets and in super regional malls.

 Photo: Ritchie Po

Photo: Ritchie Po

Le Creuset is represented in Canada by Tony Flanz of brokerage Think Retail, and Mr. Flanz negotiated the CF Richmond Centre deal with landlord Cadillac Fairview. 

Founded in Northern France in 1925, Le Creuset is best known for its colourfully-enameled cast-iron cookware. In Canada, Le Creuset is the number one bridal registry brand, and it's consistently rated the number one or two cookware supplier to all of the company's trading partners. It has more than 250 international mono-brand stores in 25 countries, and is distributed in about 30 countries worldwide.

  Photo: Uniqlo Instagram

Photo: Uniqlo Instagram

Uniqlo Opens at Vaughan Mills: Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo is picking up the pace with its Canadian expansion with plans to open four stores this fall.

Crowds gathered at Vaughan Mills, just north of Toronto, on Friday and over the weekend for the opening of Uniqlo’s 28,150-square-foot store. On October 12, Uniqlo will open an 18,560-square-foot at CF Markville in Markham (north of Toronto) and a 19,850-square foot store will open at Mississauga’s Square One shopping centre towards the end of this year. A store opened on September 14 at Coquitlam Centre in suburban Vancouver.

That takes Uniqlo’s Canadian store count to nine, with plans for as many as 100 locations in the coming years. Given that Uniqlo’s Canadian stores are currently only in the Greater Toronto Area and in the British Columbia Lower Mainland, there’s plenty of room for more.

Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represents Uniqlo as broker in Canada.

THE TEN SPOT Tests a ‘Trillion’ Products before Launching New Line: In 2006, Kristen Gale noticed a void in the market for an option that bridged the gap between luxe spa and low-end beauty salon offerings. She was inspired to create something tailored for the urban professional on the go. THE TEN SPOT was the result, now with 24+ locations on the go across Canada with an additional 17 locations set to open in the next few years with an expansion to the US in the planning stages.

Last month THE TEN SPOT launched a new 4-product line of vegan, free from gluten, parabens, and alcohol line of beauty products all with the brands new signature scent, designed by Toronto-based perfumer and candlemaker Brennan Michael. Gale gets cheeky when asked about the development process and says the company tested over a trillion products, from ultra high end to drug brands, in their search for the perfect combination for their ‘10spotters’ (fans of the brand). 

The scrub, the bath soak, the lotion, and the body wash, all of which are clean and efficient with a touch of luxe to make you feel like a ‘ten’ every day. The products range from $32 to $42 will be sold directly via their online shopping site thetenspot.com and at all locations across Canada. 

Kensington Market Brings the Flavour of Street Food to Your Family: Since the early 1900s, Kensington Market has featured vendors with big, bold flavours that tell the story of this diverse Toronto neighbourhood. Now, these flavours of home can be found in Ontario via Kensington Market Street Food at Longos, Grocery Gateway, and other independent retailers.

Andrew Menceles’ family was no different. Arriving in Canada in 1957, his parents settled in Kensington Market and made the neighbourhood part of their lives for more than 50 years, as they established Fortune Housewares, Canada’s first kitchenware store. Now, with decades of experience under his belt as an entrepreneur launching consumer products, a longtime dream has become a reality: honouring his parents through the launch of Kensington Market street food.

Featuring the bold, familiar flavours from his childhood roaming the market streets, but with an added twist to reflect present-day diversity, the new line is offering a wide collection of pickled fruits (pineapple, cantaloupe), sandwich slaws (kimchi, ginger), tangy dressings (Adobo, Sriracha Caesar, smoked tomato) and locally roasted coffee (Augusta Off the Wall, Baldwin Boho).

Designed to catch consumers’ attention both inside and out, Kensington Market Street Food products are branded with eye-catching graffiti and colourful packaging on the exterior. The brand aims to attract those consumers with an appreciation and openness to innovative and bold flavours with a twist. All Kensington Market Street Food products are sourced locally wherever possible, and all are produced in Ontario. ‘Logo, packaging and web design for Kensington Market Street Food was created by retail branding agency Slingshot Inc., with Public & Influencer Relations and Marketing conducted by LC3 Communications, both of Toronto. 

The brand will participate in the Grocery Innovations Canada Show October 23-24, 2018 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

  Photo: DCNOY Instagram

Photo: DCNOY Instagram

DCNOY Launches ‘Le Papillon’ Spring/Summer 2019 Collection: Since opening in the fall of 2017, the PARQ Vancouver Hotel with its eight restaurants, glittery casino, luxurious spa, and two tony hotels (JW Marriott, Douglas Autograph Collection) has provided producers of large-scale events a gorgeous new venue to exploit with everything from bridal industry extravaganzas to high-end conferences. 

Kerrisdale-based DCNOY luxury women’s fashion brand chose the PARQ as the new venue for its annual gala, as last year’s venue, Trump Tower was deemed not suitable for the level of luxury required and for hosting the number of anticipated guests.

The Fall/Winter 2018 Collection was an extravagant 1,000 seat gala event with tickets ranging from $108 to $698 per seat, and featured a curated front row of VIPs and international guests including Chinese Superstar Mimi Zhang, Western and Chinese media outlets, VIPs, celebrities, and favoured guests. 

Conceived and launched in 2008 by Quincy Dai, DCNOY is the high fashion luxury brand designed in Italy and fulfilled in China with Italian fabrics. The result is a high fashion look and feel, with fabrics such as alpaca, cashmere, leather, and fur, without the ‘Made in Italy’ price-tag.

The brand sells via the Hairuo Fashion Club in Kerrisdale, which is modelled after the European atelier style of retail but includes a tea and coffee bar, tailor, and bespoke gown service areas. There are currently 200+ garments displayed in a series of ‘closets’ which focus on outerwear, casual, cocktail, and formal, which shoppers can move through easily and at their convenience.

The bold move to PARQ and a sold-out audience of 1,000 persons reflects the next phase of the brands' growth – from private shopping to public recognition. Dai is seeking stockists for the brands as the DCNOY product quality is luxury with its mid-to-high price-tag still comfortably lower than Luxury Zone brands such as Hermes, Brunello Cucinelli, and Moncler, which are known for their luxury fabrics and artisanal attention to detail.

  Photo: Blouin Tardif Architecture

Photo: Blouin Tardif Architecture

SAQ to Open Luxury liquor store at Quartier de la Montagne: Located in the new Quartier de la Montagne complex which is under construction, architect’s BlouinTardif has revealed the proposed concept for the luxury version of SAQ, Quebec’s provincial government alcohol distribution agency. While still working with the distinctive character of the SAQ branch style, BlouinTardif has re-interpreted the façade with multiple materials, colours and textures, to create a decidedly upscale exterior. The interior is airy with a 'progressive discovery' lay-out which intends to draw patrons throughout the space.

Called SAQ Signature, the boutique will carry a range of premium spirits catering to affluent locals and visitors. 

  Four Seasons Montreal. Rendering: Blouin Tardif Architecture

Four Seasons Montreal. Rendering: Blouin Tardif Architecture

Situated below the soon-to-open Four Seasons Montreal (166-room hotel and 18 exclusive private residences) and the soon-to-merge retailer Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, SAQ is the latest retailer to join in the transformation of the Sainte-Catherine’s Street Ogilvy location into a unique and exciting luxury retail destination. 

The renovated Holt Renfrew will span 250,000-square-feet and will become the largest in the Holt Renfrew network next year upon completion, offering innovative new retail concepts and a rich assortment of luxury fashion and beauty brands. The updates will include an extensive assortment of luxury fashion and beauty brands, the Apartment and an expanded personal shopping program, Holts Café, valet parking, a concierge service, and other premium services tailored to the Montreal market.

INDOCHINO to Open Halifax Showroom: The world’s largest made-to-measure menswear company, Vancouver-based INDOCHINO, will be opening a retail showroom at the Halifax Shopping Centre in Halifax in 2019. That’s according to local publication Halifax ReTales on Sunday, and the tip is confirmed by job postings for the new Halifax location. 

INDOCHINO is seeing explosive growth as it continues to open locations in Canada as well as in the United States. Led by CEO Drew Green, INDOCHINO is a Canadian success story and is helping men look their best. Not to be left out, INDOCHINO is reportedly looking at also doing made-to-measure women’s clothing — keep an eye out for a future announcement if the idea comes to fruition.  

Halifax ReTales beat INDOCHINO to the punch with this announcement — the publication has a huge following in Nova Scotia and is worth checking out if you’re interested in what’s happening in the region. Founder Arthur Gaudreau also recently secured a weekly placement in the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Congrats Arthur, keep up the excellent work. [Halifax ReTales]

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Canada has an Impulsive Shopping Problem - Did We Really Need a Study?! Did you know that Canadians have spent an estimated $8.8 billion on impulsive shopping purchases?  According to a new report released today by Finder Canada. Almost 2 in 3 Canadians (63%) have made an impulsive purchase in the past year. Or in other words, an estimated 18.1 million Canadians have fallen prey to impulsive shopping. The average amount per impulsive shop was estimated at $73.81. While that number isn’t mind-blowing, repeat enough times, and you get the idea!

While women were more likely to impulsively shop than men (69% of women compared to 56% of men), men spent the most on their impulsive purchases, with an average spend of around $80 compared to women’s spend of just $69 – a difference of $11. 

  Photo: Great Canadian Gift Company

Photo: Great Canadian Gift Company

Despite constant flack for spending big on avocado toast (which is so worth it), Millennials were surprisingly not the worst culprits overall, with an average spend of around $77. This is compared to the bigger spenders - Gen X’ers - who dropped $80, and Baby Boomers, reputedly more conservative shoppers rang in at $64. 

However, when US and Canada are compared, we have proved to have a lot more self-restraint, with Americans spending a whopping $23.09 billion on impulsive shopping – over $10 billion more than Canadians. 

A few more stats to think about:

  • Finder Canada report found an estimated $8.8 billion spent on impulsive purchases in the past year 

  • Almost 2 in 3 Canadians (63%) have made an impulsive purchase – an estimated 18.1 million Canadians 

  • Average spend per impulsive shop was $73.81 

  • Women more likely to impulsively shop than men (69% of women compared to 56% of men), however men spend more on average ($80 for men compared to $69 for women)

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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