*****UPDATE: We have received requests from several parties for the identity of our source and for further information on Uniqlo’s potential Canadian lease dealings. These dealings are confidential and we don’t reveal source names without their consent. Our source is a commercial real estate broker and national commercial real estate expert/consultant who has been in communication with Uniqlo.
Our source confirms that as of now, Uniqlo has not signed any Canadian retail leases but is doing a country-wide commercial real estate evaluation (which we’ve been informed is not difficult, given Canada’s small population and lack of valuable street/mall retail space). Our source says that they may have provided the below information ‘too soon’ but notes that large-format international retailers regularly assess country-wide retail opportunities prior to market entry.
A prominent commercial real estate broker-insider confirms that Japanese cheap & chic retailer Uniqlo is searching Canada-wide for store space. We recently reported that Uniqlo is in talks with a NYC-based brokerage for space in the sub-basement of Vancouver’s Hudson’s Bay building. Uniqlo has a ‘wish-list’ of Canadian cities and space, and we were provided information on ‘where and what’ they want.
Here’s the breakdown provided by our broker-insider:
Toronto: Uniqlo wants to be in or very close to The Toronto Eaton Centre. Our broker/insider could not confirm if Toronto’s Hudson’s Bay store could be a location for Uniqlo, or if free-standing Toronto Eaton Centre space would be sought. Uniqlo is looking for 20-30,000 square feet in Downtown Toronto. Uniqlo would like stores at Toroto’s Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens malls, as well as at other suburban locations with high traffic and younger populations.
Montreal: Uniqlo would like to break into the Quebec market with a Ste. Catherine Street flagship, if possible. Several potential locations are being examined, as well as several potential suburban Montreal locations.
Ottawa: Uniqlo would like space in Ottawa’s Rideau Centre, possibly in its new Eastward expansion or in space directly below Rideau’s new Nordstrom store.
Calgary: Uniqlo wants Calgary space and may set up shop at Chinook Centre (note: negotiations with Cadillac Fairview are NOT taking place at press time). Word has it a Downtown location is also potentially in the works.
Edmonton: Uniqlo is already in talks with West Edmonton Mall to bring a substantial store to that mall. Southgate Shopping Centre is also courting Uniqlo via its landlord Ivanhoe Cambridge.
Winnipeg: Winnipeg’s Polo Park Shopping Centre is considered prime space for a Uniqo store, according to the broker.
Vancouver: Uniqlo is interested in space in Vancouver’s Richmond Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown, as well as a downtown location.
We’ll update our site with new potential and confirmed Canadian Uniqlo locations. Stay tuned!