By Craig Patterson
“Authentic Japanese variety store” concept Oomomo is launching an aggressive national store expansion that will see several units open in the next couple of months, and many more in the next couple of years.
The concept was founded in Vancouver last year with the intention of bringing a Japanese variety-retailer concept to Canada, including markets such as Edmonton where such a store hadn’t existed.
Oomomo’s first store opened at West Edmonton Mall in the summer of 2017 and the 6,675 square foot unit has been a successful location for the company — it is located in the corridor near the mall’s entrance 48 which is the busiest, given that it is also the primary transit access point for the mall.
The retailer’s second store opened this week in Toronto at 896 Don Mills Road, a few blocks south of the CF Shops at Don Mills. The store spans about 13,000 square feet on one level.
Oomomo’s expansion continues this month with two stores to open in Western Canada, both on December 15. A second Edmonton store will open that day at Londonderry Mall in the city’s northeast, in a 10,000 square foot space beside the ground-level mall entrance to anchor La Maison Simons. As well, Oomomo will open a large store at Lougheed Town Centre in suburban Vancouver the same day.
As well, the company technically has a store in downtown Vancouver under the current name ‘Yoko Yaya’ at the ‘Tinseltown’ International Village Mall. The 8,000 square foot location will eventually be rebranded as Oomomo.
More stores are on the way as Oomomo looks to become a national retail brand. Andy Cheng, President of Oomomo, said that the company is looking to operate between 20 and 30 stores in Canada over the next couple of years, which will be followed by a review of its operations to determine if more stores are warranted. Store locations will ideally be in excess of 10,000 square feet for new locations.
“Our products will be your partner in life”, said Mr. Cheng. “Whether you are living on your own for the first time, or you’re balancing a busy household, we will grow with you throughout your different stages of life. At the end of the day, we are introducing the art of simplicity and keeping up with our consumer’s demands for quality, value proposition, uniqueness and authentic imported goods as an essential part of their daily lives.”
The company has been negotiating leases nationally in various new markets. In the spring of 2019, its largest store to date, spanning about 25,000 square feet, will open at First Markham Place in Markham, just north of Toronto. The first Cities such as Calgary and Winnipeg are also on the radar with discussions ongoing.
Products in Oomomo stores include Japanese ceramics, beauty products, Japanese snacks, stationery, cleaning supplies, kitchenware, organizer, gift wrapping supplies — a selection of product from Japanese brand Daiso is also on hand.
We’ll follow up with Oomomo as it continues its store expansion across Canada.
Craig Patterson, now based in Toronto, is the founder and Editor-in-Chief Retail Insider. He’s also a retail and real estate consultant, retail tour guide and public speaker.