By Retail Insider
Mattress-in-a-Box Brand ‘Casper’ to Open Calgary Showroom: New York City-based sleep brand Casper, which has been expanding its Canadian operations by opening showrooms as well as a new flagship/headquarters, is opening a 2,200 square foot showroom at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary with construction now underway. It will be the fourth standalone Casper location in Canada.
The Calgary Casper storefront will be located on the main level of CF Chinook Centre near the entrance to the mall’s Nordstrom anchor store. A large Microsoft store is located next door and retailers Birks and Tumi are located across the way. CF Chinook Centre is the leading shopping centre in southern Alberta in terms of overall sales-per-square-foot productivity and tenant mix, and is anchored by Hudson’s Bay as well as Alberta’s only Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom stores. As well, Louis Vuitton opened a standalone store in the centre last year and more big names are on the way.
Casper opened its first Canadian location in the spring of 2018 at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens. That was followed by its Canadian flagship at 342 Queen Street West in Toronto, which also houses the brand’s Canadian headquarters. Casper recently announced that a Canadian manufacturing facility is now producing mattresses for the local market. Future locations are planned for British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, as well as even more in the Ontario market.
Last month we revealed that Casper is opening its first Vancouver storefront soon as well — it will be located at 2294 W. 4. Avenue in the city’s trendy and upscale Kitsilano area.
Casper was founded in New York City in 2014 as a direct-to-consumer online retailer and has celebrity backers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Adam Levine and Ashton Kutcher. The company boasts sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Nordstrom Men Continues its Pop-up “Concept” Series with a Patagonia Shop-in-Store: Nordstrom’s New Concepts@NordstromMen series continues with the retailer’s fourth pop-up: Patagonia. The collaboration with the popular outdoor brand marks the first time New Concepts will expand to include products for women and children. Canadian shoppers can view the collection at Nordstrom’s CF Pacific Centre location in Vancouver until July 7th, 2019 as well as online.
Meticulous curation continues to be the theme of the “Concepts” series. The Patagonia shop will showcase a collection of favourites like Responsibili-Tees, Baggies shorts, and Snap-T fleece pullovers to name a few. Echoing the rise of slow fashion and giving gently used clothing a second life, the shop will showcase items from Patagonia’s “Worn Wear” program. The program is an effort to help reduce the related carbon, water, and waste footprints that are associated with the fashion industry.
“The more you learn about Patagonia, the more you connect with their overall mission to protect the planet,” said Sam Lobban, VP Men’s Fashion at Nordstrom. “I’ve always been a fan of sustainable fashion that is functional, well made and built to last, and we’re excited to share Patagonia’s story through our pop-ups.”
Each Patagonia pop-up shop is custom designed in collaboration with the outdoor retailer and features unique fixtures crafted by artist Jay Nelson that are made from reclaimed and sustainable lumber sources. A core part of Patagonia’s mission is to save our home planet; they are a certified B-Corporation along with being internationally recognized for their commitment to product quality and environmental activism.
Relaunch of Audi Queensway Dealership by Dilwari Group in Toronto: Designed by WEIS and Associates and RH Carter, the newly relaunched Audi Queensway dealership in Etobicoke is based on the Terminal Design from Audi AG and the company says that it focuses on customer convenience and future growth. Audi Queensway was relaunched to create the most immersive and customer-focused brand experience for premium automobile enthusiasts in western Toronto, according to the retailer.
Audi Queensway now features unique designs, including a frameless glass edge at the front of the showroom, encompassing one of the largest Audi showrooms in the country. The new indoor vehicle handover area was designed with cloud lighting made to resemble natural sunlight and emphasize the bold lines and exceptional design of each Audi vehicle, while the six-vehicle dual lane heated service drive through ensures customers do not need to step outside during any of Canada’s four weather seasons.
Customers can relax during service appointments in the 1,500 square-foot private customer lounge and adjoining rooftop terrace and putting green. Perhaps most notably, Audi Queensway boasts an environmentally green rooftop to help positively impact Toronto’s urban environment.
The multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art dealership is reflective of the premium Audi brand and Canada’s largest automotive dealership enterprise, Dilawri Group. The relaunched Audi Queensway dealership opens Tuesday, June 19, and is located at 1635 The Queensway, Etobicoke.
Staples Launches Innovative “Solutionshop” In-Store Concept: Retailer Staples Canada continues to uphold its updated brand promise of being a place to “Work. Learn. Grow” with the launch of its new “Solutionshop” concept at all 305 stores nationwide and online. This new concept from Staples is a reimagination of their previous Print & Marketing services. The Solutionshop offers a range of design, print, marketing, shipping and tech services to help people achieve their business goals.
"Whether you're a student, teacher, side-hustler, entrepreneur or small business owner, we want Solutionshop to be the place that you turn to for expert advice and support," said Gogi Grewal, Chief Services and Transformation Officer, Staples Canada. Staples has secured exclusive partnerships with FedEx, Purolator, and Xpresspost, giving entrepreneurs and small businesses access to one of Canada’s largest shipping networks. The retailer’s Connected Tech service will help customers in-store, at home, or at their office with all their tech needs from computer maintenance to data protection and recovery.
To support entrepreneurs across the country, Staples launched the “This is How I Grow my Business Contest” which will give three Canadian small businesses the chance to win a $20,000 prize package from Staples. The three winners will also receive a mentorship opportunity with Joe Mimran, founder of Joe Fresh and recent Staples collaborator. To learn more about the contest, click here.
As well, brand consultancy Jackman Reinvents announced this week that it is communications agency of record for Staples. Jackman was also behind Staples’ rebranding and strategy for its new store format that we profiled recently in Retail Insider, which includes interactive spaces that include in-store co-working areas.
Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Unveils Renovation: The iconic Toronto hotel, the Fairmont Royal York is revealing some newly renovated areas ahead of its 90th anniversary. The redesign was conceived by New York-based architecture and design studio, Rockwell Group. When the hotel originally opened in June of 1929, it was designed by Ross and Macdonald (along with Sproatt and Rolph), who was one of Canada’s most respected firms of the 20th century.
Two levels dedicated to retail, including ground-floor and a concourse level connected to the PATH pedestrian network, have been refreshed as part of the renovations. Once upon a time, Canada’s major luxury department store, Holt Renfrew, operated a small store at the Royal York in decades past.
The inspiration for the renovated Royal York was a journey from Toronto’s past to its present. Due to its proximity and connection to Union Station, Rockwell incorporated elements and details cued from the aesthetics of train cars and railroads. It was very important to the Fairmont Royal York and Rockwell group that the history of the hotel was preserved in a way that would catapult it into its next era.
ENDY Releases Bed Frame to Compliment the Brand’s Mattresses: The popular Canadian mattress-in-a-box brand Endy has released its first furniture piece to their assortment of products: a bed frame. The launch of the bed frame is a logical extension of the product line; Endy already offers other sleep essentials like sheets, mattress covers, and pillows.
The Endy Bed Frame features a German-engineered connecting system and does not require the use of screws or tools to be assembled, which is a lovely contrast from the flat-packaged, self-assembled furniture many people have come to know over the years. The new addition was designed with a modern and sleek look and low profile for a stylish feel.
In a first for the Canadian furniture industry, the slats of the frame are made from sustainably-sourced and Canadian-made materials. Endy’s new bed frame is built to last and can hold up to 1200 lbs. The Endy Bed Frame is available in mattress sizes from twin to California king with prices ranging from $299 - $450. Endy’s American competitor, Casper, offers a range of bed frames including an adjustable option. Casper’s product lineup also includes nightstands and dog beds; it’s possible that we will see similar offerings and new innovations from Endy to maintain their competitive edge.