Brief: French Retailer Exits Canada, Starbucks Closing 100 More Locations

La Cure Gourmande Exits Canada

Upscale French biscuit, confectionery and chocolate shop La Cure Gourmande has exited Canada after a six-year run in the Montreal area. Plans were in place to grow the business in other parts of Canada via Montreal-based franchisee Nazar Najarian.

La Cure Gourmande’s first Canadian storefront opened at the Place Montreal Trust in downtown Montreal in 2014. In 2017 two kiosks opened at CF Carrefour Laval in Montreal as well as at CF Fairview Pointe-Claire near Montreal. In 2015 Mr. Najarian explained to Retail Insider how Montreal was used as the brand’s North American gateway and that sales were already strong. The initial focus was on opening more stores in the province of Quebec followed by Ontario. The province of Ontario was expected to eventually see 12 to 15 locations, with as many as 30 to 35 Canadian locations planned La Cure Gourmande for the long-term.

EXTERIOR OF LA CURE GOURMANDE STORE. PHOTO: LA CURE GOURMANDE
EXTERIOR OF LA CURE GOURMANDE STORE. PHOTO: LA CURE GOURMANDE

Founded in Balaruc-Les-Bains, France, in 1989, La Cure Gourmande uses traditional techniques to create a variety of edible sweet and savoury traditional biscuits, Berlandises (fruit pulp candies) Choupettes (old fashioned lollipops), chocolates, caramels, calissons, nougats mixed with strawberry paste or candied orange zest, and chocolate ‘olives’ (roasted almonds covered in dark chocolate). Product is made in the South of France. The retailer continues to operate storefronts in Europe with most being in the southern part of France.

EXTERIOR OF A DOWNTOWN TORONTO STARBUCKS COFFEE SHOP. PHOTO: STARBUCKS
EXTERIOR OF A DOWNTOWN TORONTO STARBUCKS COFFEE SHOP. PHOTO: STARBUCKS

Starbucks to Close An Additional 100 Canadian Locations on Top of 200 Already Announced

Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks says that it will be closing 100 more locations in Canada in addition to the 200 locations that were announced for closure/relocation in June. Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of Starbucks, says that the retailer is examining its physical footprint in light of changing traffic pattern due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our team has started the process of repositioning the portfolio over the course of the summer, accelerating the strategic plans”, said Johnson. “We already had in place, what we’ve learned is that we’ve been able to manage the closures much more efficiently than we had originally anticipated and that’s largely about the average lease exit costs.”

In June Starbucks said that it would shut or relocate about 600 locations in North America with about 200 of those being in Canada. Now Starbucks is looking to close an additional 200 units with half of those being in Canada. Canada is currently home to about 1,400 Starbucks locations.

EXTERIOR OF PET VALU STORE. PHOTO: PET VALU
EXTERIOR OF PET VALU STORE. PHOTO: PET VALU

Canadian Retailer Pet Valu Closing All 358 US Stores

Canadian pet food retailer Pet Valu will shut all 358 of its US stores. Pet Valu says that operations are shutting down “due to severe impact from COVID-19”. The company’s warehouses in the US Northeast and midwest will also close along with a country office in Chester County near Philadelphia. Closing sales began Thursday of this week and will be ongoing.

Pet Value entered the US market over 25 years ago. Pet Valu Canada will continue to operate its more than 600 stores across Canada.

EXTERIOR OF CANADA GOOSE STORE AT YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE. PHOTO: JM
EXTERIOR OF CANADA GOOSE STORE AT YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE. PHOTO: JM

Canada Goose Unveils Yorkdale Store Expansion

Toronto-based outerwear and fashion brand Canada Goose has expanded its store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The store now spans 6,500 square feet and boasts the deepest assortment of Canada Goose products in Canada including hundreds of styles and colourways in jackets, apparel, premium accessories, and youth, kids, and baby styles. A cold room allows visitors to try jackets in sub-zero temperature. The store also features several ‘firsts’ for Canada Goose.

That includes being the first Canada Goose store in the world to feature product personalization. Seven design options are available for personalization and can be applied to almost 60 items permanently via a heat-sealer laser. The artwork choices are:

Monogram: 2-3 characters that designate it as yours

Coordinates: the longitude and latitude of a location

Monogram and Coordinates: a combination of the two

Box: a box outlining the monogram or coordinates

This Jacket Belongs To: an ownership label that is applied to the parka’s interior pocket

Made in Canada: a tribute to Canada Goose’s commitment to Canadian manufacturing, this is the application of “Made in Canada”

Manufacturing Label: aligned to the interior label, this details the style name, style number, size, colour and cut number, a unique identifier used in production

For outerwear ($75), placement can be on the shoulder, collar, sleeve, and interior and exterior pockets. For accessories ($25), either the top or wrist of the glove and the side of the mask. The unveiling of personalization coincides with Canada Goose’s launch of customized hood trims, which are available as an interchangeable accessory to outerwear or as a pre-attached element to select pinnacle pieces. Personalization is currently an in-store offering with customers able to book a personalization appointment online.

The store also features a 15-foot tall ‘Story Tree’ described as being “a meeting place where North and South come together telling the story of harmonization between nature, human, animal, and plant life. Story Tree is a southern symbol of ancestry, knowledge and enduring strength”. Toronto artist Alex Fisher created the tree which is based on a drawing by Inuk Artist Qavavau Manumie. The tree is made of hand-painted waterjet cut aluminum with layered Baltic birch cylinder seating. An Inuk figure clad in traditional parka and mukluks ‘breathes life into the canopy of the tree furnishing the branches with whales, elk, octopuses, squid, chargeese, and figures from Inuit myth – representing the harmony of human, animal and plant life.

The Canada Goose expansion at Yorkdale was made possibly by annexing a retail space formerly occupied by foodservice concept Nadege, which occupied about 2,000 square feet next to the world’s first Canada Goose store which opened at Yorkdale in 2016.

Canada Goose recently opened stores at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto and at CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa. Canada Goose also operates stores in markets including Vancouver, Calgary, Banff, Edmonton, and Montreal as well as in major global hubs.

EXTERIOR OF PROVINCE APOTHECARY STORE. PHOTO: COSMETICS
EXTERIOR OF PROVINCE APOTHECARY STORE. PHOTO: COSMETICS

District Ventures Capital Invests in Canadian Clean Beauty Brand Province Apothecary

District Ventures Capital has announced it has closed an equity investment with Canadian clean beauty brand Province Apothecary Inc..

The organic beauty brand was founded in 2012 by Julie Clark, and was created with the intent of producing natural beauty products suitable for all skin types. Using only high quality, certified organic ingredients sourced from each Canadian province, the Province Apothercary product line remains committed to innovation, sustainability, and small-batch skin care, and includes ingredients such as organic seaweed from Nova Scotia, maple syrup from Quebec, organic sunflower oil from Ontario, and organic beeswax from Alberta.

INTERIOR OF PROVINCE APOTHECARY STORE. PHOTO: COSMETICS

“After learning about Province Apothecary and their organic product line, we were excited to learn more about the formulation process and company mission,” said Arlene Dickinson, General Partner, District Ventures Capital. “We came to discover a product that not only provided incredible skincare results for consumers, but a Canadian company that supported an array of sustainable practices and provided a fresh perspective into the beauty industry.”

Regarded as a leader in the clean beauty space, Province Apothecary’s product line is free from petroleum, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and toxins of any kind. In addition to an array of products, the clean beauty brand offers a variety of services from their Toronto clinic including Naturopathic Consultations, Facial Rejuvination Acupuncture and Eyebrow Shaping and Tinting. In Q4 2020, Province Apothecary will also be revealing new innovations. “We’re delighted to partner with District Ventures Capital and to continue growing the Province Apothecary brand with their knowledge and expertise,” said Julie Clark.

The deal marks District Ventures Capital’s second investment in clean beauty – a category which is estimated to generate over $22 billion annually by 2024.

BC Jewelry Designer and Dr. Bonnie Henry Collaborate to Support Those Suffering in Vancouver Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

BC-based jewelry designer Melissa Caron has partnered with Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Chief Medical Officer, to create The Bonnie Bees Fundraiser in an attempt to support local charity the WISH Drop-in Centre Society amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providing relief to vulnerable women during this challenging time — especially those living and working in the Downtown Eastside —  every Bonnie Bee pendant purchased will help provide food, essential supplies such as clothing and toiletries, access to sanitation such as showers and toilets, educational programs, and essential support to those in need.

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⭐️Introducing The Bonnie Bees⭐️ We are so honoured to have these beautiful creations my @melissacaronjeweller in our gallery. We are the only gallery, outside of Melissa Caron, where these can be seen, touched and purchased in support of @wishdropin . Pop by and see these little majesties 🐝 they are bee-ootiful! A little more about these written by Melissa Caron: Created in honour of and inspired by Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s Chief Medical Officer, who has gracefully and cautiously led us through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d like to introduce The Bonnie Bees! 💫🐝✨Bonnie Bee and Little Honey. Last month I reached out to Dr. Henry as a longtime client and expressed the desire to create a piece of tribute jewelry with proceeds going to a local charity. Together we chose @wishdropin Centre Society to provide relief to vulnerable women in this challenging time, especially those living and working in the Downtown Eastside. Every bee purchased will help provide food, essential supplies such as clothing and toiletries, access to sanitation such as showers and toilets, educational programs, and essential support. 🐝💫The bee symbolizes life, community, and personal power. My hope is people will wear these bees in solidarity with one another as a representation of kindness and compassion for their neighbor and community. ❤️ As Dr. Bonnie says…Bee calm, bee kind, bee safe! ~The Bonnie Bee~Bonnie Bee’s wings are truly enchanting. An internal climbing vine filigree pattern laces throughout the wings. This beauty is anatomically correct with a carved underbelly and six little legs, like she’s perched on a petal. This beauty comes with your choice of pink sapphire eyes, diamonds, emeralds, or blue sapphire eyes. ~Little Honey~This darling honeybee may be tiny in size but she’s a fierce and mighty pollinator! Her wings are delicately detailed, and she’s carved front and back with six little legs. The angle of her wings make her look like she’s about to wrap a flower in her loving embrace 🍃🐝 #bonniebeefundraiser #wishdropincentresociety #drbonniehenryfanclub #becalmbekindbesafe #jewellersforchange #queenbee #madeinvancouver #handmadejewellery

A post shared by 𝒁𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒍 𝑱𝒆𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝑺𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒊𝒐 (@zadeljewellerystudio) on

“The bee symbolizes life, community, and personal power. My hope is people will wear this bee in solidarity with one another as a representation of  kindness and compassion for their neighbour and community,” said Melissa Caron.

To learn more visit here.

This holiday season Hudson’s Bay is collaborating with 2020 Emmy Award winners and Schitt’s Creek stars, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy, to bring Canadians ‘A Call to Joy’ — a 2020 Holiday Campaign.

Hudson’s Bay’s first-ever Holiday Hub showcases inspirational content that makes shopping easier than ever with an immersive mobile and desktop experience. Whether it’s through thoughtfully exchanged gifts, a stylishly decorated virtual meal with family and friends, or finding merriment in wellness and self-care, Hudson’s Bay’s Holiday Hub and A Call to Joy Holiday Gift Guide were designed with busy customers in mind to make shopping for everyone on your list more colourful.

“Growing up with my big family in Toronto, I was excited every year to see the beautiful holiday window display at Hudson’s Bay. I was also thrilled knowing my Mom and Dad would be buying our Christmas presents there! So I’m very happy to join this festive campaign celebrating Canadians and our colourful holiday season,” says Catherine O’Hara.

The extensive holiday gift guide features categories ranging from ‘Merry Modernista’, ‘Yuletide Uniter’, and ‘Holiday Traditionalist’.

To view all of Hudson’s Bay’s holiday services, visit here.

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