Canada is about to get a whole lot sweeter. Swiss chocolatier Lindt plans to open 12 Canadian stores between now and 2016, spanning from British Columbia to the Maritimes. Lindt has retained a brokerage to locate retail space in a variety of different potential locations. The company is also growing substantially, having recently acquired competitor Russell Stover.
Two Lindt stores are already confirmed to open in Canada this fall. One will be at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park, while the other will be at the Montreal Premium Outlets. Lindt expects to open five Canadian locations in 2015, and another five in 2016, and is seeking retail space in Ontario, Alberta, BC, Quebec and New Brunswick. The company currently has 20 Canadian locations, including two Toronto boutiques and 18 outlets in Ontario, Alberta, BC and Quebec.
According to Lindt’s Canadian brokerage, Think Retail, Lindt will consider openings in outlet centres, high streets, super regional malls, large open-air centres, airports and tourist destinations. Lindt seeks stores in the 1,250 to 1,800 square foot range. Preferred co-tenants include Whole Foods, William Sonoma, Sephora, Michael Kors, Lululemon, J Crew, Polo, Anthropologie, Cineplex Odeon, and a mix of casual full-service restaurants.
Last week, Lindt agreed to acquire Russell Stover Candies Inc. “It is a billion (dollar) deal. How much more than one billion I cannot say,” stated Lindt Chairman and Chief Executive Ernst Tanner, in an interview last Monday. Russell Stover generates annual sales of about US $600 million. The deal gives Lindt around 10% of the U.S. chocolate market, ahead of Nestle.
Lindt & Sprungli is recognized as the market leader in premium quality chocolate, offering a large selection of products in over 100 countries around the world. During more than 160 years of Lindt & Sprungli’s existence, it has become known as one of the most innovative and creative companies making premium chocolate, with six production sites in Europe, two in the US, and distribution and sales on four continents. Globally, the company employs approximately 9,000 people. In 2013, Lindt & Sprungli reported net sales in excess of US $2.88 billion.
Source: Think Retail