BRIEF: Deciem Lands in Vancouver, COS Opens in Laval, Holts Expands Yorkdale Boutiques

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Deciem Launches Vancouver Expansion: Self-proclaimed “Abnormal Beauty Company” Deciem is opening stores worldwide, in an effort to enhance brand awareness. Part of the strategy is to open multiple locations in each city it enters in order to be seen by a wider variety of potential consumers.

The strategy appears to be working — Deciem is gaining a cult following in cities like Toronto, where it launched its first store in the summer of 2016. Deciem now has seven stores in the Greater Toronto Area, including urban street front, in a mall (Square One), in the Financial District, and even a massive space in Toronto’s Distillery District, which is worth checking out if you’re in the area. 

Construction signage recently went up for Deciem to open at 408 Howe Street at West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver, in a small retail space that has housed retailers in the past including Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, and beauty brand Euoko. Another location is also confirmed to be opening soon at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, and sources say more Deciem stores are on the way for the Vancouver area. 

Stan Vyriotes and David Wedermire of DWSV Remax Ultimate Realty Inc. represented Deciem in five of its Toronto lease deals, as well as for a handful of international deals. 

COS Opens 6th Canadian Store at CF Carrefour Laval: H&M’s upscale sister brand COS (stands for ‘Collection of Style’, which just marked two years of business in Canada, has opened its 6th Canadian store at suburban Montreal’s CF Carrefour Laval. The attractive minimalist space features the brand’s collections for men, women and children. 

The store is one of Canada’s largest for COS, spanning almost 7,200 square feet over one level. 

COS launched its first Canadian store in September 2015 in Toronto at 85 Bloor Street West (former Tiffany & Co. space), followed by a second store in October of 2015 at 1310 Sainte Catherine Street West in Montreal (formerly occupied by Le Chateau). A store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre opened in October of 2016 and in March of this year, COS debuted its first Vancouver store at 18 Water Street in Gastown. Most recently, the brand opened at Square One in Mississauga over the summer. 

NEIGHBOUR Expands into Toronto: Upscale Vancouver-based retailer NEIGHBOUR has opened a Toronto location in the city’s affluent Yorkville neighbourhood. The independently owned and operated boutique includes menswear, accessories and books from around the world. 

It’s a bit off the beaten path at 126A Davenport Road at the corner of Belmont Street, away from Yorkville’s typical luxury streets such as Yorkville Avenue and Bloor Street West.

The minimalist retail space includes some pricy luxury brands for men including Marni, Comme des Garcons, Stone Island and others. The store is two levels and includes a cozy basement featuring edgy luxury clothing.

The retailer launched in Vancouver several years ago with a men’s store at 12 Water Street in Gastown, followed by a standalone women’s shop at 45 Powell Street. 

Mastermind Toys Opens in Millionaires Row: Popular Canadian toy retailer Mastermind Toys has just opened in Toronto’s Rosedale area, at 1133 Yonge Street. The 3,414 square foot store is situated at the southeast corner of Yonge St. and Shaftesbury Ave., just north of the Summerhill LCBO, and is the company’s 60th location to date. 

Some of the wealthiest families in Canada live nearby in neighbourhoods including Rosedale, Forest Hill, South Hill Summer Hill. It’s a smart move by the company that has been opening several stores per year for the past several years, with tremendous success. 

Mastermind Toys was founded in Toronto 1984 by brothers Andy and Jon Levy, who wanted to offer shoppers a classic toy store experience. Its first location measured only 300 square feet, selling children’s software and home computers. It carries thousands of educational toys, books, games, arts and crafts, puzzles and science kits. The Levy brothers partnered with Birch Hill Equity Partners in 2010, facilitating the company’s national expansion.

Zadig & Voltaire Opens 1st Canadian Boutique at Yorkdale: It’s official, Paris-based fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire has opened its first standalone Canadian boutique at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The 2,000 square foot space is located in the mall’s Nordstrom-anchored expansion wing. 

A second store will open this fall in Montreal’s Westmount area, and Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represented Zadig in that deal, as well as for any future deals. Montreal-based Axxys Construction is building both stores. 

Moose Knuckles Opens 1st-Ever Store: Montreal-based outerwear and fashion brand Moose Knuckles has opened its first store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The unique retail space was designed by award-winning Toronto-based Burdifilek, and we’re awaiting more photos of the space to profile in a separate article, likely next week. 

DWSV Remax Ultimate Realty Inc.‘s David Wedemire and Stan Vyriotes represented Moose Knuckles in the lease deal with Yorkdale’s landlord Oxford Properties Group, and prominent retail consultant Andrea Elliott of r2 retail resources acted as advisor for the store’s retail portfolio. 


Retail Insider to Launch ‘Pop-Up’ Briefs: Temporary retail spaces are hotter than ever, as retailers and landlords aim to activate spaces and to create experiences. Some of the pop-up spaces opening in Canada are newsworthy, and we’ll be doing periodic ‘Briefs’ discussing some of these, beginning next week, in partnership with pop-up go — an online platform that helps pair retailers with available temporary retail spaces, which also features a curated pop-up match service that provides access to the ever-growing pipeline of pop-up seekers looking for space. 

Holt Renfrew Yorkdale Continues Adding Boutiques: Holt Renfrew’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre store in Toronto is seeing some renovations in certain departments that, when finished, will make the store even more interesting. Last week, we discussed the new Miu Miu accessories boutique which launched with a walk-through handbag — and across from it, Italian luxury brand Loro Piana has opened an accessories boutique beside the store’s escalators. Loro Piana is pushing into Canada in a big way, which makes sense — it’s one of the country’s top-selling luxury brands, known particularly for its cashmere designs. As well, Chanel is expanding its Yorkdale boutique, having taken over small retail spaces formerly occupied by Roger Vivier and Michael Kors accessories — Chanel Yorkdale’s expansion is expected to be unveiled in about a month (the massive Yorkville flagship opens next week, stay tuned). And men in Toronto should know that Fendi will open a standalone men’s concession at Holt’s at Yorkdale this fall — the first of its kind in Canada, with details to follow. 

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:

For more of today’s retail news, visit: Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: November 9, 2017

Article Author

Craig Patterson
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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