Brief: Zadig & Voltaire to Open Canadian Stores, Louis Vuitton to Open 1st Men’s Store, m0851 Files for Creditor Protection

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Zadig & Voltaire to Open 1st Standalone Canadian Stores this Fall: Paris-based fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire will open its first two standalone Canadian stores this fall — one in Toronto, and another in Montreal. 

The Toronto Zadig & Voltaire location will be at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in a 2,000 square foot space in the mall’s Nordstrom-anchored expansion wing, next to French women’s retailer Maje. The Montreal location will open this fall in Montreal’s Westmount, at an address to be revealed at a later date. 

Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represents Zadig & Voltaire in Canada, and negotiated the Montreal deal. 

Montreal-based Axxys Construction is building both stores. 

The standalone store openings coincide with Zadig & Voltaire’s exiting Holt Renfrew as a vendor earlier this year. 

Fendi Casa and Bentley Home Coming to Vancouver: Home furnishings retailer Major Global Interior will be opening a new location in Vancouver this fall, and it could be met with some controversy. Last week, signage went up in the windows of 300 W. Pender Street, indicating that Fendi Casa and Bentley Home will have a presence in the retail space located a stones throw from Victory Square in the city’s struggling Downtown Eastside, as well as adjacent to homeless youth shelter Covenant House

Fendi Casa and Bentley Home both feature beautiful, high quality furniture collections with prices that can go well into the thousands — Fendi is an Italian luxury brand that is also in the process of expanding its fashion stores into Canada, and Bentley is known for its pricey vehicles that sell very well in the Vancouver market. 

In the summer of 2014, Major Global Interior found itself pushing back after it opened Canada’s first Versace Home store nearby at 310 W. Cordova, replacing an independent retailer that had operated in the space for years. Vancouver is certainly gentrifying as the world’s wealthy continue to gravitate towards the city, though some locals are expressing their opinions that ‘gentrification’ is pushing out the poor in the area. 

Edmonton Whole Foods Space Goes to H-Mart: Whole Foods was originally supposed to move into a 42,000 square foot retail space the former Canadian Tire building at 3803 Calgary Trail in Edmonton last year, but the store never opened for a variety of reasons. Now, Chris Buyze, via Twitter, says that US-based Korean-themed grocery chain H-Mart will open its first Alberta store in that location.

H-Mart has been opening stores across Canada, after opening its first Canadian store in suburban Vancouver in 2003. Another interesting target has been the downtown Toronto market. H-Mart opened a small store at 695 Yonge Street, a block south of Bloor Street, several months ago, and it will also eventually open a store in the former American Apparel space at 338 Yonge Street. Downtown Toronto’s population is exploding, and grocery retailers are moving in to serve new residents.  

Louis Vuitton to Open 1st dedicated Canadian Men’s Boutique in VancouverLVMH-owned luxury brand Louis Vuitton will be opening a dedicated men’s concession at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver in December, according to construction signage in the store adjacent to its Howe Street entrance. The CF Pacific Centre Holt Renfrew flagship recently expanded by about 40,000 square feet, bringing it to almost 188,000 square feet. 

Louis Vuitton men’s will join nearby boutiques for Tom Ford and Berluti, with staff in the store saying that more are on the way. 

Holt Renfrew’s Vancouver store’s renovations are ongoing. Sources formerly with the company confirm that the original intention of the expansion and renovation was to bring the store’s sales up to $500 million annually from about $300 million at the time, though sales forecasts have since been revised. If Vancouver’s Holt’s had achieved a half a billion in sales, Vancouver would have been the only city in North America besides New York City to boast such a high-selling luxury fashion department store. 

Nordstrom Vancouver Adding Men’s Luxury Boutiques: Nordstrom is known to do shop-in-stores for some of its leading women’s luxury brands, with Vancouver and Toronto flagships featuring boutiques for the likes of Celine, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent and others. Nordstrom’s men’s departments, on the other hand, typically lack these — not just in Canada, but company-wide. 

Nordstrom’s CF Pacific Centre flagship in Vancouver is seeing such strong sales for its luxury brands, including menswear, that the company is taking the unprecedented step of creating dedicated luxury menswear boutiques — a Valentino men’s shop was recently unveiled for the popular collection, and a couple more are expected to follow. Staff say they expect a Balenciaga shop-in-store to be next, with a third brand undetermined, and possibly Calvin Klein, who’s elevated menswear collection is carried in the Vancouver store. 

Vancouver is a shining star for Nordstrom, with sources at the company saying that the CF Pacific Centre flagship, which opened in September of 2015, is the company’s top performer — beating out highly productive flagship units in Seattle and Chicago. 

What Canadian Landlords can learn from Chinese Malls: A retail expert discusses how China’s malls are generally more aggressive to change, in an article today in Retail Insider. As well, Montreal-based Lightspeed POS has secured a massive investment that has it on track to be one of only a handful of Canadian tech startups valued in excess of a billion dollars. 

m0851 Files for Creditor Protection: According to newsletter Insolvency Insider, upscale Montreal-based leather and fashion brand m0851 (once named Rugby North America) filed a Notice of Intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on September 27. 

The company celebrated its 30th anniversary in the spring, with revenue reportedly surpassing US $25 million annually. Until recently, the company operated 22 stores globally, and was in the process of expanding into major Canadian shopping centres. According to La Presse, five franchised and corporate m0851 stores have recently closed (in Madrid, Los Angeles, Boston, Ottawa and De Maisonneuve Boulevard in Montreal) and a location in Westmount will close in a few weeks. A total of 16 stores will remain open after the restructuring, including a new location at Montreal’s Rockland Centre that opened a couple of weeks ago.  

Debts amounting to about $7.3 million became a burden on m0851, and the company has a plan — prices on its products will be reduced, with handbags priced at 25% less than before while still offering the same quality, and being made in Montreal, says the report in La Presse. [Subscribe to Insolvency Insider]

Retail Insider will now be regularly including these briefs as part of our expanding reporting mandate. For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Craig Patterson at:

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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