Brief: Mackage Acquired by US Interests, David’s Tea Loses 2 Leaders, Standard Apparel Files for Bankruptcy

Retail industry news delivered directly to you. Subscribe to Retail-Insider.


American Firm Acquires Canada’s Mackage: La Press reports that Montreal-based fashion brand Mackage, which also owns the Soia & Kyo brand, has been sold to American and Korean interests. La Presse says that Mackage wasn’t willing to grant an interview about the acquisition, so details are limited. 

La Presse reports that Mackage’s parent company APP Group is now owned primarily by New York City-based Lee Equity PartnersInterLuxe Holdings group. US-bank The Sage Group reportedly helped coordinate the deal. 

Mackage’s founders continue to run the business with a headquarters remaining in Montreal and APP’s majority shareholders include a numbered company owned by InterLuxe, SK Holdings (Korea) and PP Americas Plans (a fund owned by the Montreal Transit Corporation pension plans). The two largest minority shareholders are Elfaco Holdings (Elfassy family) and Elisa Dahan (co-founder of Mackage).

Last week, Mackage opened its fourth retail store in Canada, and seventh globally, at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver. Other stores are in Montreal (CF Carrefour Laval), Toronto (CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Shopping Centre), In Soho in New York City, Boston (Copley Place) and an outlet at Woodbury Commons in Central Valley, NY. Mackage and Soia & Kyo also wholesale at retailers globally. Axxys Construction built the Vancouver, Montreal and two Toronto stores, and was also involved with the two US stores in a capacity. 

Sephora Opens 2nd Canadian TIP Store at West Edmonton Mall: LVMH-owned beauty retailer Sephora has opened its second Canadian ‘TIP’ concept store at West Edmonton Mall. TIP stands for “Teach, Inspire, Play” — Sephora describes the concept as being “where digital technology and services fuse, culminating in a truly revolutionary shopping experience for modern day beauty enthusiasts of all ages to beauty together”. 

The West Edmonton mall Sephora also expanded from 5,860 square feet to 9,960 square feet, making it one of the largest Sephora stores in Canada. 

Sephora’s first Canadian TIP location debuted at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in August of 2016 and at the time, it was only the third Sephora in North America to include the installation. 

Retail Council of Canada’s Shopping Centre Study will be released next month. For companies seeking exposure to retailers and landlords, this is a tremendous advertising opportunity — last year’s study saw over a million impressions, and was widely distributed while also extensively referenced in the press. For more information, email Mary Markou at:

As well, Retail Council of Canada is hosting an interesting event on November 21 at Google’s downtown Toronto headquarters, discussing the future of brick-and-mortar retail in Canada, including the new 2017 study. Click here for more information.


David’s Tea: Two of Five Top Leaders Depart: According to a report in La Presse, two top executives at Montreal-based David’s Tea have recently left. Christine Bullen, Vice President of Operations and President of David’s Tea USA, and Edmund Noonan, Chief Property Officer, “have ceased to be employed by the company” according to La Presse. 

On June 7 of this year, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Luis Borgen quit his job with the company. 

Walmart Canada Launches Original Branded Content Digital Series: Walmart Canada is launching a scripted dramedy series this fall called Upstairs Amy, in partnership with Interac and APEX PR. The branded content series, available on Youtube, is described as “a modern comedy about millennial parents and the gap between who they are and who they want to be. Amy Zhang’s life is upended when the condo she shares with her husband Dean and their toddler is flooded, so they move several floors up in the same building – and meet their glamorous-but-mysterious new neighbour, Kaavya, who has all the confidence and ‘spark’ Amy wants for herself. Amy enlists her best friend Veronica to help her sleuth out Kaavya’s story, and chronicles it all in YouTube videos about their adventures – interspersed with her comedic takes on love, career, and parenting. In this irreverent, quirky series, Amy uncovers the mystery of Kaavya – and finds out if she can become the true ‘Upstairs Amy’.”

Heather Loosemore, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, Walmart Canada said, “The story of Upstairs Amy – and the many influencers we have engaged with for this program – reflects these core values in an authentic and entertaining way.”

The series is being produced by Shaftesbury (the Canadian studio was responsible for the vampire web series Carmilla) in association with Canadian debit card company Interac, and Ruckus Digital is leading development on media and social content for the series. Hamilton Beach is the official small kitchen appliance partner for the series and its products will be featured throughout, with links to Walmart Canada’s website. Real-life digital influencers were curated by APEX PR.  


INDOCHINO Announces Seattle Showroom — its largest to date: The world’s largest made to measure apparel company will unveil its downtown Seattle flagship on November 10 at 1801 5th Avenue, spanning 4,371 square feet. It will be INDOCHINO’s largest showroom to date, located just north of Nordstrom and near Amazon‘s global headquarters.

“We have a strong affinity with our neighbors south of the border, with thousands of online customers and hundreds more who travel north to take advantage of our Canadian retail locations,” said Drew Green, CEO, INDOCHINO. “We’re looking forward to introducing our experiential approach, innovative product and accessible price point to the next generation of Seattleites.”

Seattle is the eighth INDOCHINO location to open in major North American cities this year as the company continues to expand its innovative experiential retail concept, with the company aiming to open 150 showrooms globally in the next five years.


First Canadian Wool Week: On November 3-12, The Campaign for Wool (CFW) has collaborated with the Harris Tweed Authority to create the first-ever Wool House in Canada, during Wool Week in November, held in 12 countries worldwide. The CFW is a charitable initiative that started in the UK by HRH The Prince of Wales

‘The Wool House’ is expected to see over 300,000 visitors at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (November 3-12) and will be curated by the Harris Tweed Authority and will be outfitted in wool products/garments designed and/or produced in Canada. Visitors will also be educated on the benefits of wool, including the positive impact on the environment to supporting local economies, as well as shown the journey of a garment from farm to closet.

DUER launches Kickstarter campaign for Performance Shirts, far exceeds goal: Vancouver-based fashion brand DUER launched a line of Performance Shirts in Kickstarter several days ago, with a goal of raising $50,000. The company reached that goal in less than 12 hours, becoming the 10th most popular projection Kickstarter as well as becoming number one in the fashion category. The campaign currently has over 1,100 backers with funds pledged being in excess of $130,000. 


The new line offers DUER’s take on the performance-infused streetwear for its bottoms, and brings it to three shirt silhouettes in multiple colours for men and women. Shirts have many of the same features as the company’s pants, including a patented gusset, performance stretch, and moisture wicking. 

“We built this company to solve problems,” explains Gary Lenett, DUER’s Founder. “Technical clothing couldn’t be dressed up. Fashionable clothing lacked the performance features and comfort of technical clothing. DUER combines both, and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to adapt the same formula to solving problems with shirts as we previously did for jeans and other pants.”

The company has used Kickstarter in the past to launch lines, and over the summer it opened a unique flagship store on West Hastings Street in Vancouver

Standard Apparel Files for Bankruptcy: According to publication Insolvency Insider, Toronto-based wholesale showroom and apparel distributor Standard Apparel has filed for bankruptcy. The company, which was founded in 2007, is the exclusive Canadian distributors of brands Fred Perry, Filson, Hudson Bay Company Signature Collection, Aigle, Oliver Spencer, and several others. The company also operated standalone Fred Perry and Oliver Spencer fashion retail stores on Queen Street West in Toronto. According to its website, Standard Apparel operates a 20,000 square foot warehouse at 87 Wingold Avenue. 

Standard Apparel and related companies filed an assignment under S. 49 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on October 18, and there will be a meeting of creditors on November 7 at 2:00pm at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, 370 King Street West. 

KSV Kofman Inc. is the trustee in bankruptcy, according to filings. Standard Apparel lists $5.3 million in liabilities, including owing about $1.7 million to the Bank of Montreal, and a factum states that the Trustee does not expect the Companies’ assets to be sufficient to fully repay that amount. [Subscribe to Insolvency Insider

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.

More From The Author

Ladurée Opens Retail Space at Toronto’s Yorkville Village

The French confectionary brand has landed in the most prestigious retail neighbourhood in Toronto.

Bentley Leathers Launches Travel Retail Store Concept ‘Tracker’ with Plans for...

The new retail travel concept will be Bentley’s primary growth channel after restructuring prior to the pandemic.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

Follow us


all-time Popular