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BRIEF: Motherhood Maternity Closing Canadian Stores, Spanish Fragrance Retailer to Enter Canada

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PHOTO: VIBO CENTRE

Equivalenza to Enter Canada with 1st Store at overhauled Montreal Eaton Centre: Spanish fragrance and cosmetic brand Equivalenza is entering the Canadian market with its first store set to open at the overhauled Montreal Eaton Centre in downtown Montreal. More Canadian locations are expected to follow. 

Equivalenza is known for its reasonably priced fragrances for women, men, children, and the home. A range of innovative scents are profiled on the retailer’s website with names such as PURE White Tea & Musk, Woody Amber, Fruity Floral, and many others. The company said in a statement, “The mission of Equivalenza is to provide Canadian consumers with high-quality fragrance, cosmetic and aroma products by creating emotions and unique experiences. We also promote the refill system for our fragrances to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce the product price.”

According to its website, Equivalenza has stores in Spain as well as in other parts of Europe, Latin America, and Africa (Mozambique and Angola). The Montreal store appears to be the first for the brand in North America, which could also include a US store expansion. In Spain, Equivalenza is the number one perfumery in terms of commercial area. The company has more than 725 stores in 27 countries.

The Montreal Eaton Centre is seeing an overhaul that will make it a focal point for downtown Montreal. On Friday, Decathlon opened its downtown Montreal store at Montreal Eaton Centre, joining Sephora which re-opened in a new space earlier in the fall. A highly-anticipated Time Out Market food hall will open on November 14th spanning about 40,000 square feet, and Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo will open in less than a year in a large two-level space at the corner of Ste-Catherine Street West and Boulevard Robert Bourassa. 

Maxime Frechette, who notified us of Equivalenza’s opening, visited Montreal Eaton Centre this week and provided an update on new stores. New retailers will include Samsung, Ernest, Change Lingerie, and others.  

PHOTO: WILLIAMSON SOURCE

Motherhood Maternity to Close Many of its Canadian Stores: Struggling US-based retailer Destination Maternity has announced that it will be closing some Canadian stores as the company restructures after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In total, 13 Canadian locations are currently on the list of stores that will shutter, including 11 Motherhood Maternity stores and two Destination Maternity locations. On the chopping block are the the following locations: 

  • Halifax – Motherhood Maternity (Halifax Shopping Centre)

  • Kitchener – Motherhood Maternity (Fairway Plaza)

  • Moncton – Motherhood Maternity (Moncton Plaza)

  • New Westminster – Motherhood Maternity Outlet (Queensborough Landing)

  • Ottawa – Motherhood Maternity (St. Laurent Centre)

  • Pickering – Motherhood Maternity (Pickering Town Centre)

  • Regina – Motherhood Maternity (Southland Mall)

  • Saskatoon – Motherhood Maternity (Midtown Plaza)

  • Sudbury – Motherhood Maternity (New Millennium Centre)

  • S.W. Calgary – Destination Maternity (Kingsland Village)

  • Winnipeg – Destination Maternity (Polo Park North)

  • Winnipeg – Motherhood Maternity (Kenaston)

  • Edmonton – Motherhood Maternity (either West Edmonton Mall or South Edmonton Common)

According to its website, Destination Maternity operates 31 stores in Canada, including a handful of shop-in-stores at buybuyBaby locations. As of October 28, the company’s Canadian website shows that there are 12 stores in Ontario, seven in Alberta, six in British Columbia, two in Manitoba, two in Saskatchewan, and one each in the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. A Motherhood Maternity store at Avalon Mall in St. John’s Newfoundland is now closed, according to Motherhood Maternity’s Canadian website.  

There’s no word yet if more Canadian locations will be closing — as part of the restructuring, Destination Maternity announced last week that it was closing 183 stores in Canada and the US. As of last week, the company had 62 Destination Maternity stores, 40 A Pea in the Pod Stores, and 344 Motherhood Maternity stores, which includes outlet stores. The retailer also operates 491 shop-in-stores.  

The company was founded in 1982 as a mail-order catalogue business called Mothers Work, and after going public in 1992 it acquired the Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod brands, leading to rapid expansion. 

The closures come at a time when landlords are grappling with store closures in Canada. Several chains have shuttered this year including Gymboree, Payless Shoes, Town Shoes, David’s Footwear, Home Outfitters, and Green Earth, among others. Forever 21 announced last month that it will shutter all 44 Canadian units before the end of the year. 

PHOTO:MAXIME FRECHETTE

Danish jeweller Pilgrim moves to Place Montreal Trust after seeing success at Quartier DIX30: By Maxime Frechette: Danish jeweller Pilgrim is testing the waters in Canada with pop-up shops including a new downtown Montreal storefront that will remain open until March 2020. The beautiful space features a Nordic concept interior, paying homage to the retailer’s country of origin. Included are touches of wood and greenery, all in a traditional Scandinavian minimalistic style.

Pilgrim is expected to open popup stores in Ottawa and Toronto within the next two years, although dates are yet to be determined. The brand is said to be expanding its understanding of the Canadian market in the hopes of possible future permanent stores.

Pilgrim has been established in Europe since 1983 and now operates in 72 countries.

PHOTO: SACORI

Arlene Dickinson Launches Eyewear Line: Canadian business guru Arlene Dickinson has launched a line of frames by the brand name Sacori, in a partnership with FYIDoctors

The frames are designed and assembled in Canada, as are the lenses which are made with an ultra-protective, anti-scratch, anti-glare, and HD+ lens coating that repels water and is easy to clean.

Some frames feature bold, multi-dimensional colours due to the Italian Mazzucchelli acetate that they are made from. German wax is used in the finishing process to create a smooth material, at a cost that ensures top-quality glasses and one that competitors may not be willing to incur.

Frames are assembled with premium coated screws, making them less likely to loosen, and the European-made spring hinges ensure easy mobility of arms which in turn provides superior comfort. The steel used on all Sacori frames is 100% hypoallergenic surgical stainless steel, making the brand ideal for consumers with sensitive skin.

Only 32,400 pairs of the current Sacori by Arlene Dickinson line have been produced, making these frames a highly sought after product.

To round out the launch of Sacori, a donation will be made from each frame sold to the Enhancing Life foundation. 

The Shutter Professionals Launches Canadian Expansion: The Shutter Professionals is the first 100% owned and operated, full-service window covering franchise offering blinds, shades, and shutters to Canadian consumers and companies. With all of its products custom-made locally in the Toronto area, The Shutter Professionals is pleased to support Canadian manufacturers. 

John Goodish, Director of Franchise Development for The Shutter Professionals, says, “Some window covering franchises do operate in Canada, but they are all owned by US companies. Our franchise opportunities will further help to support Canadian business and boost the economy.”

In addition to supporting Canadian business, The Shutter Professionals also employs in-house installers, providing more jobs for Canadians. Goodish says, “If you want to open a franchise with an all Canadian Business, the opportunities available for franchisees in this industry are plentiful; the window covering industry is a 15-billion-dollar industry and growing.”

Founded in 2014, The Shutter Professionals continue to operate in a niche market, with design consultations available in a showroom, through the convenience of your own home or business, or digitally through online correspondence. 

Franchises are available with multiple revenue sources, low overhead, no inventory, unique lease spaces, reputable brands, custom software and community initiatives that help give back to the community within the franchisee’s territory. They also offer training and support, so no business or design background is needed. “Our lease requirements are very unique since we have no inventory on hand we don’t need large spaces typically size is 500-900 square feet to keep overhead cost low we have a real estate team.”

PHOTO: COSTCO

Costco Business Centre due to arrive in Montreal next spring: Costco will open its second Canadian Costco Business Centre retail location next spring in the Montreal suburb of Saint Hubert — the concept caters to businesses such as restaurants, for example, and follows a suburban Toronto location that opened in the spring of 2017.  

The Costco Business Centre plans to open its Saint-Hubert store in “April or May” depending on the speed of construction. That’s according to Ron Damiani, Costco’s Vice President of Marketing, who provided a French language interview to La Presse. The exterior walls of the current building will be left as is, but inside the spaces for optometry, pharmacy, bakery, and tire center will have to be demolished.”We will add a 12,000 square-foot walk-in refrigerator with coats at the door,” says Damiani, as an example of the changes they plan to make. 

In Longueuil, Nathalie Boisclair, municipal councillor and President of the borough of Saint-Hubert, says that the Costco project has not yet been accepted by the borough council, but that only “a minor derogation” will be requested at the next meeting. 

Costco Business Centre will welcome all membership cardholders to shop at the new warehouse, however the target market will be businesses and restaurants. Mr. Damiani said that 80% of the items are not in the usual warehouses of the chain, and are quite specific to larger needs.

Purchases will be possible online with deliveries available to companies established within a 50km radius of the centre, something Mr. Damiani says could be expanded. Delivery will be provided by Costco employees with their own fleet of trucks.

Canada’s first Business Centre was inaugurated in the spring of 2017 in Scarborough, just outside of Toronto. Two other openings were then planned for the following autumn though to date, there is still only one business centre. Costco plans to open Business Centres “in all major Canadian cities within 3-5 years” according to the report in La Presse.

H&M, CF TORONTO EATON CENTRE. PHOTO: H&M

H&M continues Canadian store expansion as it looks to sustainability: Fast-fashion retailer H&M is growing within Canada, both online and through new stores and digital market places. “We know fashion retail is a large market with growth potential and that the industry is rapidly transforming,” says Country Manager, Frederic Tavoukdijian. “We continue to see growth in Canada. Last month we opened our 5th location in Edmonton at Londonderry Mall, and last week we opened our 39th store in Ontario at Lynden Park Mall in Brantford. We’ll close out 2020 with 89 stores in nine provinces.”

H&M’s recent collaboration with celebrated American football wide receiver Jarvis Landry showcased a collection of trendy menswear items, including cashmere roll neck sweaters, smartly tailored trousers, checkered peacoats, and shearling collared jackets in a warm range of navy blue, camel, grey, and off-white colourways.

As H&M continues to grow, sustainability appears at the forefront. “Our collaborations with designers, influencers and style icons communicate our business concept: fashion and quality at the best price – in a sustainable way, and clearly show that design is not a matter of price,” says Tavoukdigian. “As part of our evolution as a brand we are committed to only using recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. This share was 35% 2017, up from 26% for 2016. Currently, we’re working with 95% more sustainable cotton and by 2020 our aim is for 100% of our cotton to come solely from sustainable sources.”

H&M has focused its vision towards circular and renewable fashion, attempting to decrease its dependency on virgin recourses and maximize its use of recycled materials. “To achieve this, we have developed an ambitious strategy with a broad range of external and internal experts.”

In 2013 H&M became the first company in the world to launch a global garment collecting initiative, allowing customers to drop off used clothing in any store for its reuse. In 2014, H&M introduced the first pieces made with 20% recycled cotton from garments collected in stores.

New markets for H&M Canada in 2020 will include St. Johns, Newfoundland and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 

PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

Montana’s Smokin’ Hot Ribs Now Available at Your Local Grocery Store: This October, Montana’s BBQ & Bar restaurant chain is firing up the retail scene across Canada with the launch of its first-ever retail offering – fully-cooked and ready-to-eat succulent smoked ribs.

Available in the refrigerator section of supermarkets from coast to coast, the Texas-style, fall-off–the-bone BBQ pork back ribs take 25 minutes to heat in the oven or even less on the grill. 

The ribs are marinated and cooked to perfection in Montana’s unique and authentic Texas-style BBQ sauce with a smoky taste and hint of spices. “And what better time than Grey Cup season to introduce Montana’s ribs to your home parties and score big with friends and family,” said Chelsea Kellock, Director of Marketing.

“We’re excited to introduce our popular ribs in grocery stores so Canadian BBQ lovers can enjoy the great, signature taste of Montana’s ribs from the convenience of home,” said Ms. Kellock. She explained that the ribs are pre-cooked for a couple of hours “sous-vide,” a cooking technique that uses precise temperature control to deliver consistent, restaurant-quality results.

Montana’s opened in 1995 and now has more than 100 restaurants across Canada. A casual BBQ & Bar eatery, Montana’s is famous for fall-off-the-bone ribs, 100% Canadian steaks and burgers, and a variety of other favourites. 

Montana’s ribs come in 650g packs and retail between $12.99 and $14.99.*

*Retail Insider now accepts partner content in its Briefs as well as standalone editorial content. For more information, email: craig@retail-insider.com

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