BRIEF: Holts Renos Near Completion, Children’s Retailer Files for Creditor Protection

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Holt Renfrew Continues CF Pacific Centre Store Overhaul

Luxury retailer Holt Renfrew continues to renovate its CF Pacific Centre store in Vancouver — millions have been poured into the multi-level space over the past couple of years, including an interior renovation as well as the addition of 40,000 square feet of retail space, bringing the store to almost 188,000 square feet. 

The store’s ground floor recently added new leather goods boutiques for brands such as Bottega Veneta, Loro Piana and Azzedine Alaia, in an area adjacent to the store’s 5,000 square foot Chanel concession. On the same floor, Bulgari and Hermes watch boutiques will be opening soon. 

On the second level in the women’s designer area, boutiques for Céline and Moncler were recently unveiled — Holt Renfrew has a partnership with both brands for shop-in-store rollouts across Canada. Moncler boutiques can be found in many of Holt’s stores and Céline will be amplifying its presence further in 2018. 

The new men’s department at Holt’s in Vancouver will soon see Louis Vuitton open a men’s concession, next to Holt’s Howe Street entrance, and next to the Tom Ford shop-in-store. More is on the way, according to staff in the store. 

New York City-based design firm Janson Goldstein is overseeing the massive project, which is expected to be completed in early 2018. 

*All photos were taken by Retail Insider’s Lee Rivett at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver on December 4, 2017. 

Structube Opens 50,000 square foot superstore

Montreal-based, affordably-priced contemporary/modern home furnishings/accessory retailer Structube is opening its first flagship megastore, today and the idea could be rolled out in other Canadian markets if it proves to be successful. 

The new Montreal store is located at 5620 Boul Métropolitain E, towards the northern end of the Island of Montreal. Loda Design designed the space.  

The new megastore features Structube’s entire product offering on display, and includes a large customer pick-up area, self-serve kiosks and digital signage. “The new store concept will epitomize our recent pivot to low, low prices by creating a new, large and inviting store experience for modern, contemporary furniture at the lowest possible prices,” said Tony Trew, Structube’s Marketing Director, in an earlier interview.

Currently, most Structube locations measure in the 3,000 to 10,000 square foot range — considerably smaller than the new megastore concept. 

Family-owned Structube was founded in 1974. The company originally specialized in tubular retail clothing racks, hence its name ‘Structube’, being derived from an abbreviation of the French term “structures tubulaires”. Its first home furnishings store location opened in Montreal in 1980, expanding into multiple Quebec locations before entering the Ontario market, followed by Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

Structube’s contemporary style furniture ranges from rustic wood and mid-century to sleek lacquer and glass, with both pre-assembled and easy-to-assemble products. The company caters to young professionals, condominium dwellers and even small businesses. 

Marc Cain Opens Ottawa Store

Image: Marc Cain at CF Rideau Centre

Upscale German women’s fashion brand Marc Cain has opened a store at Ottawa’s CF Rideau Centre. The 1,184 square foot boutique is located on the mall’s third level, near Nordstrom

Marc Cain entered Canada in 2015 and it now has stores coast-to-coast. The Canadian operations are seeing considerable success, according to Marc Cain’s Canadian managing director Stephen Belfer in an interview earlier this year, prompting the company to further expand its base of stores in this country.

Marc Cain works with brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap for its Canadian real estate deals. 

Founded in Bodelshausen, Germany in 1973, Marc Cain operates 210 stores in 34 countries, as well as almost 300 shop-in-shops and 387 franchised units. It also sells in over 1,000 specialty stores in 61 countries. 

Veuve Clicquot Opens Retail Pop-Up Shop in Montreal

Veuve Clicquot Pop-up in Montreal (Photo: Republik)

Veuve Clicquot has opened a pop-up shop, their only store in Canada, inside the beautiful Alton Gray retail space at CF Carrefour Laval. The store offers a wide variety of Veuve Clicquot items ranging from $15 – $390. Items include; champagne flutes, champagne buckets, weekend bags, but also winter boots, rain boots and even umbrellas. The store will remain open until December 31st, 2017. 

Cambridge Mall Fills Target Space

Image: Kingpin Bowlounge

Cambridge Mall in Cambridge, Ontario, will have another reason to visit in the fall of 2018. Kingpin Bowlounge will open in the mall’s former Target space, which has been vacant since early 2015 (coinciding with Target’s dramatic Canadian exit). 

The new facility will include a state-of-the-art laser tag arena, multi-level play structure, expansive Playdium Gaming Centre with prize offerings and cutting edge Virtual Reality experiences. There will also be food as well as craft beer and cocktails.  

Waterloo-based entertainment and hospitality company, Bingemans, owns Kingpin Bowlounge, and Cambridge Mall will be the company’s second. 

Adding entertainment to malls is a trend being seen, as mall landlords look to create experiences to address competition both from other physical retail, as well as e-commerce. 

Swimco Launches Innovative Body-Positive Ad Campaign

Calgary-based swimwear retailer Swimco, which now has stores across Canada, has launched a new omni channel marketing campaign using real people as models. Swimco has selected seven inspiring men and women to represent the brand in this season’s advertising, social media, ecommerce and in-store collateral that redefines “what it means be a swimsuit model”. 

“Our core values have not changed since the brand’s inception in 1975. We are committed to making our customers feel confident in swimwear, so they can be free to enjoy some of the best experiences of their lives. That’s what we are really trying to express with this new campaign.” Says Lori Bacon, Owner & President of Swimco. “A beautiful body doesn’t just mean thin, curvy, or sporty. What makes a body beautiful is that it’s yours, because it allows you to live the life you love. What makes a body beautiful isn’t how it looks, but how it lives. We want to inspire our customers to live their best lives while feeling good half naked.”

“These real people were chosen for this campaign because we feel they embody the qualities of our new brand vision.” Says Krista Kerth, Marketing Director for Swimco. “These men and women have inspiring stories to tell — from career and body changes to finding light in dark times — each have an uplifting message to share. The campaign isn’t about an aspirational image per se but the aspirational lives of the people within the image. All seven of our models are relatable to real people because… they are real people.”

Souris Mini Files for Creditor Protection

Montreal-based children’s clothing retailer Souris Mini has obtained creditor protection under the CCAA, according to publication Insolvency Insider. The company owes almost $18 million to various creditors, according to filed documents (some only in French).

The retailer was founded in 1989 and has 29 stores across Canada. Richter was appointed monitor, and law firm Gowlings is counsel for the company.

According to its website, all 29 stores locations are in Quebec, including some stores in some prominent shopping centres. 

*Update: La Presse also just reported on Souris Mini, in a French language article revealing considerably more details about the situation. 



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