BRIEF: Ladurée Announces Toronto Opening Date, Aussie Shoe Brand Coming to Canada

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Ladurée Announces Toronto Opening Date

French luxury bakery and sweets maker Ladurée has announced that its first Toronto location will open on Thursday, December 14 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The 1,185 square foot space will include a retail area as well as a 26-seat tea salon — Ladurée’s signature macarons will be available in a variety of flavours, as well as teas, jams, branded honey, Ladurée accessories and other merchandise. The tea salon will feature a variety of tea and other drinks, as well as popular menu items such as French toast and ice cream.

The space, which Ladurée says will be beautiful, was designed by the company’s in-house team — we’ll profile the new location with photos once it opens. Vancouver’s Robson Street tea salon features, for example, Carrara marble-topped cream wooden tables along with lyre back chairs in rose and almond green hues, and small floral benches. Montreal-based Vergo Construction is building the Yorkdale Ladurée — Vergo has been working with some important retailers on their expansions in Canada, and supplied the photo for this article. 

Ladurée entered Canada in March of 2016, when it opened a 1,100 square foot boutique and 23-seat tea salon at 1141 Robson Street in Vancouver. A 500 square foot Ladurée concession (including an 18-seat tea salon) opened in March of this year at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew’s CF Pacific Centre flagship, adjacent to the store’s recently unveiled 8,500 square foot women’s designer footwear salon. 

Founded in Paris in 1862, Ladurée is best known for its double-decker macarons, selling over 15,000 of them daily. Many Ladurée locations also sell ice cream, sorbets, jams, chocolate and candy, as well as branded accessories. Ladurée was purchased by French business group Groupe Holder in 1993, expanding Ladurée from a handful of locations to dozens of boutiques in 25 countries.

Brick-and-Mortar Retail Alive and Well

Last month, Retail Council of Canada hosted its Leaders in Retail Breakfast Brick and Mortar Forum at Google’s downtown Toronto head office, with several key industry leaders discussing the future of physical stores in Canada. The overwhelming messaging was that if the experience is right, customers will shop in brick-and-mortar stores even as e-commerce continues to gain prominence. 

The message was that despite some negative press, there’s no ‘retail apocalypse’ in Canada. 2018 will be another stellar year for store openings in Canada — panelists from Roots (VP of Real Estate, Alex Jones) and Starbucks Canada (Chris Tarrant, VP, Store Development & Design) discussed how traffic remains strong, while Chris Doulos, VP of Real Estate at Cineplex Entertainment discussed how consumers crave experiences. Rodolphe Barrere, Co-Founder & CEO of Montreal-based POTLOC provided excellent insights into how retail needs to address the needs of locals, and how innovation is making it easier than ever for retailers to pick the right places (including using the brilliant POTLOC platform that gages consumer demand). Retailer Philip Zappacosta spoke to the future of curating the customer while offering exceptional service — he spoke from first hand experience, running multi-brand retailers such as philip and Nanni, as well as Canada’s first standalone Belstaff store

Discussion also included how retailers can leverage their digital influence for bricks & mortar purchases — Marc Laurent-Atthalin, Performance Media Manager for Reitmans Canada Ltd. spoke to measuring store traffic. 

Canada’s top malls also continue to see strong traffic, not to mention exceptional productivity. Retail Council of Canada’s 2017 Canadian Shopping Centre Study is about to be released revealing that with the right mix of investment and experiences, physical retail can flourish. 

Aussie Footwear Brand Wittner Shoes Expands Presence Into Canada

Melbourne, Australia-based Wittner Shoes is expanding its presence in Canada this winter. The company has a Canadian e-commerce site which is being run by Richmond, BC-based Global Shoe Connection, which also distributes the brand throughout Canada — including carrying inventory in its warehouse in Richmond to replenish retailers such as Heel Boy, which wholesales Wittner products. 

It’s all part of an international expansion for the Wittner brand, which was founded in 1912, and has 75 stores in Australia. The company’s footwear is known to be of a high quality, and its styling exceptional. 

Interestingly, Wittner Shoes was the first Australian footwear retailer to have a full e-commerce store — that was in the late 90’s, and the company continues to do substantial business online. 

For more information, visit and

Copper Branch Continues Rapid Expansion

Montreal-based ‘plant-based power-food’ quick-service restaurant concept Copper Branch plans to open at least 20 locations next year, and it has partnered with brokerage Think Retail for the initiative. 

A location at CF Carrefour Laval, near Montreal, just opened, in a 600 square foot space. It’s the 14th location for Copper Branch — a remarkable feat, considering that it was founded in 2014. 

Other locations confirmed to be opening in 2018 include

  • Place Laurier (Ottawa — first location with Ivanhoé Cambridge)
  • Sherbrooke Street West (Westmount in Montreal)
  • Place Bell (Laval, Quebec)
  • Downtown Markham, Ontario
  • North Barrie Crossing (Barrie, Ontario)
  • Waterloo, Ontario
  • Yonge Green Lane Common (Newmarket, Ontario)
  • Duke Street (Griffintown, Montreal)
  • Côte-Vertu (Saint-Laurent in Montreal)
  • Centre Saint Charles (Kirkland, Quebec)
  • SmartCentres Oakville (Oakville, Ontario)
  • Peterborough, Ontario
  • Bloor West Village (Toronto) and 
  • Boucherville, Quebec.

Copper Branch aims to be “the undisputed leader in healthy fast-casual foods”. Entrepreneur Rio Infantino founded Copper Branch in 2014 after owning several fast-food franchises over a period of about 25 years. The company said that its menu is designed to ‘Empower, Energize and make people feel their Best.” While its dishes are vegetarian, Copper Branch is targeting a wider audience, particularly those seeking clean, healthy meal options.

According to Think Retail, Copper Branch seeks sites to open more restaurants in markets such as Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Ideal spaces are 1,250 to 2,000 sq. ft. in open-air centres and 450 to 1,500 sq. ft. in enclosed malls.

Adore Cosmetics Continues Canadian Store Expansion

Miami Beach-based Adore Cosmetics continues to expand into Canada with new stores — two recently opened, and more are planned. The company has partnered with Think Retail for its Canadian expansion. 

Adore Cosmetics recently opened in Toronto at the Holt Renfrew Centre, and in Winnipeg at the Outlet Collection Winnipeg. The company is interested in expanding further into Canada, seeking space in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, planning between 10 and 15 stores over the next couple of years. 

According to Think Retail, boutiques are ideally in the 500 square foot to 1,200 square foot range in upscale locations — and for one of its products, being near affluent shoppers will be a necessity. Adore’s 24-karat Golden Touch Magnetic Facial Mask retails at US$995. Not all products are as pricey, fortunately — the company has more than 60 products that are gaining a following among beauty fans, and celebrities. 

Adore Cosmetics launched in 2001 and it is considered to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury innovative skincare products. The company’s team includes research, manufacturing, wholesaling and retail components. The company has over 70 stores globally, and it’s continuing to expand throughout the United States as well as Mexico, U.S. Virgin Island, Caribbean, the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Yorkville Village Hosts Unique Pop-Ups

Toronto’s Yorkville Village is hosting a unique pop-up space called WISHLIST until December 24, housing seven retail concepts. Interestingly, the majority of the brands are focused on e-commerce, so this is an opportunity for them to interact with shoppers and create face-to-face connections. 

Participating retailers include KOTN, Tokyo Smoke,Four Blocks South, Devlyn van Loon, Uni-Koncept, Tara Rivas, and Poppy’s Collection

KOTN and Tokyo Smoke both have retail locations on Toronto’s trendy ‘West Queen West’ — KOTN, known for its ethically source cotton fashions, is planning to expand nationally with stores expected for Montreal and Vancouver. Cannabis-themed Tokyo Smoke has already gone national, including a recent opening in Calgary. Uni-Koncept has a store in Waterloo, Ontario, and this is the company’s intro to Toronto retail — some of these brands could open stores in the city, if they haven’t already. 

Yorkville Village landlord First Capital Realty partnered with pop-up facilitator thisopenspace on the pop-up project. Pop-up retail has exploded onto the scene as a retail strategy, with centres such as Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre hosting permanent pop-up spaces — Yorkdale’s CONCEPT opened to crowds in the spring of 2017. 

Frank and Oak to Open Standalone Women’s Pop-up In Vancouver

Montreal-based omnichannel fashion retailer Frank and Oak is testing the waters in Vancouver with its first women’s store. The 700 square foot boutique will open at 1173 Robson Street (a few doors west of the new MUJI) at noon on December 14. On Saturday, December 16 from 12-3pm, Vancouver’s Lindsay Sjoberg of blog Treasures & Travels will welcome guests, and local DJ Niña Mendoza will be performing. 

Frank and Oak launched its women’s line earlier this year and has already opened two dedicated women’s stores — a Montreal location opened in September, and a Toronto location followed a month later. The company was founded as an online men’s fashion retailer in 2012, and opened its first retail stores in 2014. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. 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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