Toronto-based Deciem, the self-proclaimed ‘Abnormal Beauty Company’, has opened its first shopping mall-based store at Square One in Mississauga. The company’s four other Canadian boutiques, all in Toronto, are urban street-front locations.
Deciem’s first store opened in July of 2016 at 881 Queen Street West, in the heart of the city’s hip ‘West Queen West’ area. Street-front locations followed when Deciem opened stores in Cabbagetown (242 Carlton Street), Kensington Market (285-A Augusta Avenue) and in Yorkville, at 1240 Bay Street, fronting onto Bellair Street.
Since last summer Deciem has also opened five international stores, including two stores in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), as well as locations in Seoul, South Korea, Mexico City, and in London, UK, at the Old Spitafields Market.
Last week, Deciem opened at Mississauga’s Square One, in a high-traffic area between the mall’s Hudson’s Bay and Walmart stores as per the floor plan below. Climate-controlled shopping centres are proven traffic generators, and Square One is no exception. The busy mall sees about 24 million annual visitors, according to Retail Council of Canada’s most recent shopping centre study. Those numbers translate into strong sales for Square One, which boasts productivity in excess of $1,000 per square foot annually.
Stan Vyriotes and David Wedermire of DWSV Remax Ultimate Realty Inc. are representing Deciem in its Canadian expansion negotiations, as well as selected international markets.
A number of other brands that typically locate on urban street fronts are choosing space within shopping centres. Vancouver-based custom suit retailer Indochino, which began its brick-and-mortar expansion with street-front stores, opened its first mall store (also at Square One) in the summer of 2016. In December of 2016, eyewear retailer Warby Parker deviated from its typically street-front real estate strategy when it opened at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, while Vancouver-based Arc’teryx also opened its first mall store at Yorkdale last fall. Sources confirm that Australian skin care brand Aesop is in negotiations for its first Canadian shopping centre store — its current Canadian locations are all on high streets. Luxury brands, as well, are increasingly expanding into Canadian malls, particularly in the Greater Toronto area.
Deciem was founded by entrepreneur Brandon Truaxe in 2013, and its products are carried at more than 20,000 stores in 18 countries. The United Kingdom is currently Deciem’s largest market (in the summer of 2016, only about 3% of its sales were in Canada), though that will increase as it opens more stores. Deciem features nine beauty brands under its corporate umbrella, ranging in price-point and focus. In an interview last summer, Mr. Truaxe explained that he’s looking to expand the brand “opportunistically”, and that part of the company’s strategy is to gain brand awareness from establishing several store locations in each city, before moving into new markets. He explained that storefronts also act as ‘advertising’ for the brand, as well as providing a comfortable environment for consumers to become educated on its products.