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Quebec City-based La Maison Simons will likely announce its first Vancouver-area store in the coming weeks. If the deal has been signed (the mall's landlord won't yet confirm), it would be located in the suburbs at a relatively upscale shopping centre.

We were holding off on breaking this news but The Globe & Mail has just reported that Peter Simons may make a Vancouver store announcement in the coming weeks. We'll won't mention which Vancouver-area mall may feature Simons, though those familiar with the region can probably narrow their guesses to one of three or four malls.

Simons is also looking to open one or more Calgary stores - one suburban and one possibly in the downtown core. Winnipeg is a possibility for Simons as well - Polo Park is our best guess but it could also go into a newly-built retail complex. 

Currently, the only Simons store not in Quebec is at West Edmonton Mall. It's the largest in the chain at 118,000 square feet, and we've been told that its sales are stellar.

La Maison Simons continues its expansion across Canada, and it's in talks with mall landlords nation wide. We reported that Simons was in talks to open stores at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Mississauga's Square One, after Sears Canada sold its leases to those mall's landlords. Simons has secured a lease for a 105,000 square foot store at Ottawa's Rideau Centre (to open in 2016), and may open a second Ottawa-area store in Gatineau. Its ninth store opened last month at Montreal's Les Galeries d'Anjou.

Simons' combination of inexpensive, fashionable, private-label clothing and more expensive designer brands seems to be working. We think that as many as 10 new Simons stores will be open in Canada within the next five years.

[La Maison Simons website]