BRIEF: Nespresso Yorkville To Close, Woodbine Centre Fined Over Pay Inconsistencies

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Nespresso Yorkville for Sublease: It appears that the popular Nespresso cafe/retail space at 159 Cumberland Street could close, as the space is being listed for sublease. According to a listing by Oakmont Real Estate Services, the expansive building is for sublease and is available as of September 1, 2019, with a sublease term of approximately nine years. 

The 14,000 sq. ft Nespresso Toronto Boutique Bar features a boutique and café. Located at 159 Cumberland Street in Yorkville, the flagship location was designed by Italian architect Aldo Parisotto of Parisotto e Formenton. (Photo: JJ Thompson) (CNW Group/Nespresso Canada)

The two-level space spans 12,375 square feet with a ground floor retail space measuring 7,725 square feet, and a second level of 4,650 square feet. Ceilings are 30-feet high in some areas and includes original exposed brick and a two-storey glass facade. 

The impressive storefront, which includes a full-service restaurant as well as a retail space at the back for Nespresso pods/machines, opened in the fall of 2013 in a former movie theatre space. The front of the building houses a Burberry flagship, and the 144 Bloor St. W. complex was home to Bloor Street’s Holt Renfrew flagship until its current 50 Bloor St. W. store opened in 1978. 

Nespresso’s first Canadian location, which included a restaurant and retail space as well, opened on Rue Crescent in Montreal in 2009. The cafe portion closed last year and the retail space is under renovation, according to Maxime Frechette. Nespresso continues to operate a network of permanent and pop-up spaces across Canada, with Victoria’s Mayfair Centre next to open for the brand, according to a source at the company. 

Toronto’s 1st Legal Cannabis Dispensary Sees Long Lineups on April 1: Yesterday was the first day for cannabis legalization in Ontario, and just one retail location opened in Toronto. Called ‘Hunny Pot’, the retail storefront at 202 Queen Street West had lineups down the block for the entire day, with some even camping out the day before to be the first customers. 


Ten other cannabis locations opened in Ontario on the same day, which is rather unremarkable considering that 25 had been approved in an initial lottery held by the province. Calgary alone, in comparison, has 25 cannabis stores now open. 

We’re particularly curious how cannabis retailers will affect pedestrian traffic in cities. Will crowds of customers drive sales to other retailers in the area? Or will long lineups block entrances to other businesses and otherwise create an undesirable pedestrian experience? One Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal, some retailers complained lineups were affecting business. We’ll continue to watch the trend. Increased pedestrian traffic at the new Tokyo Smoke flagship, set to open soon in the former HMV storefront at 333 Yonge Street might not even be that noticeable. That’s because the store is steps away from Canada’s busiest pedestrian intersection at Yonge and Dundas Streets, near North America’s busiest shopping centre, the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. 

Shikatani Lacroix Design Launches New Podcast: Think Retail

Shikatani Lacroix Design, a Toronto based branding and design agency, recently announced the launch of their new podcast: Think Retail. Featuring top designers, strategists, thought leaders and business people, Think Retail will focus on giving listeners advice and insight on how best to future-proof their brands.


To go along with the announcement, SLD has released the first two episodes of Think Retail, which are now available for streaming and download. In “The Impact of Social Media on Foodservice,” listeners learn how foodservice brands can use social media to promote themselves while ensuring they remain authentic. Episode two, “Retail: Plugged or Unplugged,” looks at how retailers can find the right balance between digital and physical experiences within their stores.

Episodes of Think Retail will be released monthly, and can be found on the SLD website, as well as on iTunesSpotifySoundCloudGoogle Play and Pippa.

See the World’s Largest Roll of Duct Tape, Courtesy of a Canadian Company: Vancouver-based construction company, NGC Constructors will make its CinemaCon debut at the Forum Ballroom in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 2nd – 4th, 2019.  To help mark the occasion, NGC will be featuring every handyperson’s favourite quick fix (a favourite of Red Green) — duct tape. But not just any duct tape, at booth #1029F you can see the World’s Largest Duct Tape Roll.


In a statement from NGC’s COO, Maarten Koorn, explains that the larger-than-life duct tape is representative of their intentions to do big business in the United States. The roll is 3 feet in diameter and totally 3D; Jim Cooke, VP of Business Development at NGC says the roll of duct tape stands out the way their services do in the cinema industry.  

NGC has been developing construction solutions for their clients, including Canada’s largest movie theatre chain, for the last 15 years.  Their presence at the conference will help affirm the company’s expansion plans into the American market.  The company has additional offices in Saskatoon, Toronto, and Dallas – they are also accredited by the Better business Bureau.

Could Canadian Retailers’ April Fools Jokes Lead to Actual Product Expansions?: For April fools this year, several retailers made claims that they were expanding their product offerings in novel ways. 

Vancouver-based custom suit brand Indochino announced that “the only way sleepwear could be more comfortable is if it were made to measure”. Creating pyjamas out of the soft linings used in the company’s suits was said to be a new product offering from Indochino, though it was meant to be humorous rather than an actual new category. 

Indochino was in good company this April Fool’s Day, joining this year’s roster of brand pranksters: WestJet, Kit and Ace, Davids Tea and SkipTheDishes to name a few.  Kit and Ace revealed a line of canine clothing with special features like: anti-stink fabric, hidden pockets for treats, a secure pocket for waste storage. David’s Tea claimed to be launching matcha-infused doggie treats. And in a literal interpretation of the brand, SkipTheDishes developed a dish appraisal app called Dish 4 Ca$h wherein users can receive cold hard cash for their unused dishes.

Though intended as a fun stunt, it would be interesting to see Indochino take a move into sleepwear as a serious endeavour. One of the proposed styles was a Hugh Hefner-inspired red jacquard micro paisley set, sure to have interested clients feeling like the king of the mansion. In the brand’s release, they mention that some (possibly fictional) customer suggestions have included custom rubber boots and made to measure top hats.

Pet lovers, as well, might embrace Kit and Ace’s pet clothing, not to mention David’s Tea’s dog treats (is it safe for dogs eat matcha?).

Toronto’s Woodbine Mall Operators Fined $50,000 for Failure to Pay Workers as Required: A recent court bulletin from the government of Ontario revealed the conviction of Woodbine Mall Holdings Inc., which operates the popular Woodbine Mall and Fantasy Fair (a children’s amusement centre) near the Woodbine Racetrack and Toronto Pearson International Airport. 

Woodbine Mall Holdings Inc. pleaded guilty and was fined $50,000 in the Old City Hall court in Toronto, by Justice of the Peace Odida Quamina. The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act

According to the bulletin, Woodbine failed to pay wages on the established recurring pay day, with the location of the workplace being 500 Rexdale Boulevard in Mississauga. As background, on November 15, 2017, an employment standards officer conducted an inspection of Woodbine after complaints by employees alleging that Woodbine was not paying employees their wages on the established recurring pay day. About 140 workers are employed there.

Woodbine specifically failed to meet its established recurring pay period and pay day for the period of October 1, 2018 to October 14, 2018. That included failing to meet its payroll date of October 24, 2018. Employees were paid on October 30, 2018, November 1, 2018 and November 2, 2018 instead of on October 24, 2018. As a result, the company was convicted on February 28, 2019 for not complying with section 11(1) of the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

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.

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