Yorkdale’s CONCEPT Launches Unique 2nd Rotation

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Yorkdale Shopping Centre‘s unique in-mall multi-vendor rotating temporary retailer initiative, called CONCEPT, has re-launched as a fashion destination. When it debuted in April of this year, CONCEPT’s six initial tenants were all food-related. The second rotation features a mix of local fashion as well as a unique milkshake concept, and even tattoos.  

Landlord Oxford Properties partnered with Toronto-based design firm figure3 on the new 3,600 square foot space, which was created with the intention of offering retailers a temporary place to showcase their wares. Retailers in CONCEPT change at regular intervals, providing brands exposure to consumers in Canada’s most productive mall

Several of CONCEPT’s new tenants can be found on/near Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West, and their Yorkdale pop-ups will gain an expanded brand awareness to shoppers that might not otherwise frequent their street-front flagships. At the same time, Yorkdale is expanding its retail reach with brands that otherwise might not locate in ‘mainstream’ malls. 

(click for interactive yorkdale mall map) (click for interactive yorkdale mall map) 

(click for interactive yorkdale mall map) 

(window facing into concept) (window facing into concept) 

(window facing into concept) 

The new space is fun and worth a visit — a new paint job has the area taking on a whole new character, with new retail tenants that include Toronto-based Peace Collective, Bather, MARY YOUNG, HAYLEY ELSAESSER, HEIRKid, inkbox temporary tattoos, along with Peace Collective’s Peace Treats milkshakes and Lola’s Cloud organic gourmet cotton candy. Here’s a more in-depth description of each: 

Peace Collective + Peace Treats: The Peace Collective brand is recognizable for its “Toronto vs. Everybody” clothing. The Yorkdale pop-up includes its new Blue Jays line, and every garment sold provides two healthy meals to a Canadian child in need through its Peace Foundation. Alongside its fashions is Peace Collective’s signature gourmet treat/milkshake bar called ‘Peace Treats’, which we expect will see lineups when it opens to the general public. Peace Collective’s freestanding store is on hip Ossington Street, north of Queen Street West. 

Bather: The Toronto-based streetwear-inspired beachwear for men has released a range of exclusive pieces at CONCEPT. Bather works with various charities including 1% for the Planet (which aims to clean and protect the world’s oceans) and the Jays Care Foundation.

inkbox: The Toronto-based brand behind the world’s first ‘2-week tattoo’ provides the look & feel of traditional tattoos without the commitment, while using 100% organic ink. Approximately 100 of their top designs and signature freehand ink are available, and the tattoos can be applied by an inkbox expert or at home with their standard inkbox kit. A percentage of every sale goes to the Darién Initiative in Darién Gap, Panama which is home to the fruit source of the ink and ensures sustainability in harvesting the fruit while giving back to the Darién community. 

HAYLEY ELSAESSER: The Toronto-based designer is recognized around the world for her colourful, pop-art inspired prints. Since launching in Australia in 2013, Ms. Elsaesser’s fashions have appeared on runways at Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto and New York fashion weeks, and have been worn by celebrities including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Kat Von D. Her Yorkdale capsule features pieces from her spring/summer 2017 collection, inspired by the ‘90s version of Romeo & Juliet, as well as new unisex streetwear and accessories in her trademark vibrant prints. The company also has a freestanding store at 695 Queen Street West. 

HEIRKid: The children’s brand was founded by Get Fresh Company Toronto (G.F.C) owners William Nguyen and Jebril Jalloh, who created a brand that would help fashionable parents dress their children in a similar fashion. Each garment has a fresh take on fit, feel and details with pieces designed, milled and manufactured locally. There are also some beautifully designed and high quality Canadian-made items from Get Fresh Company’s adult-sized line. 

Lola’s Cloud: The organic cotton candy company uses organic cane sugar and natural extracts that are free of synthetic dyes and sucrose. They’re creating an exclusive Yorkdale flavour, featuring lemon and lavender with hints of edible gold. A Canada 150 maple flavour is also available to celebrate the sesquicentennial. Other unique cotton candy flavours include mimosa, hot peppers and dill pickle.

MARY YOUNG: The lifestyle lingerie and loungewear brand is ethically produced in Montreal, Quebec with garments designed to embrace the natural woman’s shape. The company is donating $3 dollars from every item sold at CONCEPT to Raw Beauty Talks, a non-profit society promoting the mental and physical health of girls and young women by increasing their self-confidence and cultivating positive body image.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre recently ranked as Canada’s most productive shopping centre in Retail Council of Canada’s first annual Canadian Shopping Centre Study. Yorkdale saw average annual sales of just over $1,650 per square foot for reporting retailers, excluding anchors. Luxury retailers play a key role in the mall’s productivity, with a significant percentage of the mall’s sales being at those stores. 

Yorkdale continues to expand and add new retailers. In October of 2016, the mall unveiled its 300,000 square foot Nordstrom anchored expansion wing, which includes over 20 new retailers in a dramatic space boasting natural light and soaring ceiling heights. This year, Yorkdale will open a new westward expansion wing that will be anchored by RH (Restoration Hardware) and Sporting Life, and there will be a number of other exciting first-to-market retailers/concepts that will be announced for Yorkdale in the coming weeks. 

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: May 18, 2017

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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