UK Fashion Brand OASIS Said to be Entering Canadian Market

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Is famous international women’s fashion store Oasis, based in the United Kingdom, poised to enter the North American market with its first location at the Halifax Shopping Centre?

One Halifax retail industry expert says the brand will be opening a store on the upper floor of the mall in just under 1,500 square feet, next to La Vie En Rose, in the Spring of 2018.

In a recent blog, Halifax ReTales also said the clothing store would be opening at the shopping centre.

Mark Allen, associate broker, vice-president of leasing with Avison Young (Maritimes) Inc., says from a retail new-to-market concept for Atlantic Canada the introduction of the Oasis brand would be a “major coup” for the Halifax Shopping Centre.

“It’s pretty surprising. It’s the first one in North America. It’s an international tenant with 400 retail stores . . . They’re in every continent. It’s absolutely amazing that Halifax Shopping Centre would be the first one in North America,” says Allen.

In the past, the retail industry in Canada would expect markets such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary to attract first-to-Canada international retailers.

But things are really on the upswing in Halifax, says Allen, with strong demographics supporting the retail industry.

“The new population has some pent-up demand and some expectations about retail,” says Allen. “It’s going to be great to see Oasis.”

Stephanie Schnare, Marketing Director of the Halifax Shopping Centre for 20 VIC Management Inc., which manages the mall on behalf of owner the Ontario Pension Board, would not comment specifically on the speculation.

“We’ll continue to share updates with regards to new tenants coming into the centre,” she says. “We do look forward to welcoming some new retailers in 2017 and then some additional ones as well in 2018 and we’ll be sure to share that information on our website and our social channels.”

The Halifax Shopping Centre, which opened in 1962,  is about 645,000 square feet.

In the past year, the shopping centre welcomed the first-to-market Zara store in August on two levels, which was developed as part of the mall’s $70-million renovation and redevelopment project which started in late 2014.

The Zara store is just over 25,000 square feet and it is located in an area of the mall which encloses a 14,000-square-foot skylight.

Next-door to Zara, a two-level H&M store opened in July.

“Those two fashion users are now occupying just over 50,000 square feet in that area of the shopping centre,” says Schnare.

She also says Levi’s will be arriving in late 2017.

“It will be one of the first stores that they have in Eastern Canada as well,” adds Schnare.

“We continue to see increases in our monthly sales for both our national and our local tenants. We do look to welcome new and exciting retail to Atlantic Canada. I think we’ve been in a very fortunate position to be able to introduce a lot of new-to-market retailers such as Apple and Michael Kors to the Halifax Shopping Centre and because of that we draw from quite a broad trade area and we really look at serving not only Halifax but also Nova Scotia and beyond that as well.”

In 2016, the shopping centre opened its new food court area which is called Terrace – a destination for dining, entertainment and community events.

“It’s very bright and open. The design is very welcoming to everyone. It certainly elevates your idea of what previous food court experiences might be,” says Schnare.

In early October, the Halifax Shopping Centre was the gold winner for renovations/expansions in the Design & Development category at the ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Awards during the group’s Canadian convention. The Halifax Shopping Centre won the award for its two-year, $70-million project which included the addition of 45,000 square feet of new retail space and the creation of Terrace.

*Photos in this article are via: Retail Design Blog

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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