BRIEF: Uniqlo Flagship Expands, Casper Vancouver Expansion, Kingsett Acquires Atrium Complex

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Uniqlo Expands Flagship for Colourful First-in-Canada UT Shop-in-Store: Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has expanded its flagship store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre to include the first shop in Canada dedicated to Uniqlo’s UT graphic t-shirt collection. Uniqlo partners with popular brands to produce limited edition t-shirts, with many styles selling out quickly. 

The new UT corner at CF Toronto Eaton Centre’s Uniqlo flagship is located on the second level of the store. One accesses the new 4,500 square foot UT shop by taking escalators up to the second level, where they are greeted with half a flight of steps into a bright and busy space housing a range of t-shirt styles from Disney and other brands. 

The space itself features mirrored ceilings and walls, as well as digital screens and a moving ticker-tape. The shop has become the most vibrant space in any Uniqlo store in Canada from a store design perspective. Space for the new shop was created by annexing existing space in an adjacent office tower. 

Jeff Berkowitz of brokerage Aurora Realty Consultants handles Uniqlo’s real estate in Canada, and negotiated the lease for the CF Toronto Eaton Centre expansion. 

Uniqlo’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre flagship was the first to open in Canada in September of 2016, spanning 33,400 square feet over two levels and with the most recent expansion, it is now more than 38,000 square feet. A second flagship store opened a month later at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Uniqlo has since expanded into the Vancouver market where it now operates four stores, and the retailer now operates seven stores in the Greater Toronto Area. More store announcements, including outside BC and Ontario for the first time, are expected to be made soon as landlords confirm leases have been executed. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Unveils Updated Canadian Flagship Store Design at CF Toronto Eaton Centre: US fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has opened the third location of its kind in the world to feature the brand’s updated store design, located at Toronto’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre

The 8,950 square foot single-level store is located on level two of the busy shopping centre, near the street-level entrance to Queen Street West and across from an under construction Apple store that will open in several months. CF Toronto Eaton Centre is North America’s busiest shopping centre with nearly 54-million annual visitors, according to Retail Council of Canada’s most recent Canadian Shopping Centre Study

The updated store design features a wood facade with a prominent circular window featuring the new A&F logo (first used in the early 1900’s) in large gold metal letters. The interior of the store features a shop-in-shop housing a ‘fragrance apothecary’ as well as capsule-like dressing rooms with individual controls for lighting and sound. The space reflects the brand’s updated positioning that is brighter than the previous location. 

A cohesive palette of modern, tactile materials such as cork, bronze, galvanised steel, concrete, ‘vegan leather’, wood and marble are featured throughout the store that includes fashions for both men and women. CF Toronto Eaton Centre also features a standalone Abercrombie Kids storefront on the same level. Leading retail construction build specialist Amachris built the Toronto flagship store, providing Abercrombie & Fitch with comprehensive project management and general construction services. Amachris is known for its excellent all-inclusive services which are tailored to meet each client’s specific requirements. Amachris also built the nearby Abercrombie Kids store. Last month we profiled Amachris, which celebrated its 15-year anniversary.  

The first of the new-look Abercrombie & Fitch store opened at Easton Town Centre in Columbus, Ohio in February of 2017 and a second opened in August of 2017 at Tyson’s Corner in suburban Washington DC. CF Toronto Eaton Centre is the first in Canada to feature the updated store design.  

Casper Secures 1st Vancouver Retail Location: New York City-based sleep brand Casper is now building its first showroom in Vancouver in the city’s Kitsilano area. It will be the third to open in Canada after two storefronts opened in Toronto last year. 

Casper will be located at 2294 W. 4th Avenue in a 2,877 square foot building that was listed by Barb Burrows of Macdonald Commercial Real Estate Services Ltd. Ms. Burrows represented the landlord, and Mario Negris and Martin Moriarty of CBRE acted on behalf of Casper in the deal. 

Casper opened its first Canadian location in the spring of 2018 at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens. That was followed by its Canadian flagship at 342 Queen Street West in Toronto, which also houses the brand’s Canadian headquarters. Casper recently announced that a Canadian manufacturing facility is now producing mattresses for the local market. 

Casper’s showrooms feature several ‘nap houses’ displaying the brand’s range of products that include mattresses-in-a box as well as pillows, bed sheets, bed frames, bedside tables and pet items. 

In Canada, there are plans to roll-out more locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, as well as more in the Ontario market. 

Casper was founded in New York City in 2014 as a direct-to-consumer online retailer and has celebrity backers including Leonardo DiCaprioTobey MaguireAdam Levine and Ashton Kutcher. The company boasts sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. 

Square One 1st Major Shopping Centre in North America to Host ‘Ramadan Market’: The Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga became the first major shopping centre in North America to host a marketplace for Ramadan last month. 

The Ramadan Market at Square One, which was held April 26-28, was hosted by entrepreneur and business coach Salam Sudduf. It was a ticketed-entry event and it completely sold out. The market was located on the mall’s second level near a recently opened Uniqlo store. 

A total of 39 Islamic brands showcased products, services and treats for the community in preparation for the month of Ramadan. One vendor even flew in from California, according to Catherine Llagas, Specialty Leasing Manager at Square One. The Ramadan Market experience also included workshops, a spiritual room, and special care for mothers and children. Square One Guest Experience was also a vendor at the market with a 5% gift card promotion for market attendees. 

The Ramadan Market will be returning to Square One next year, according to its website

The community had many positive reviews about this year’s Ramadan Market, especially that it was held in a regional shopping centre, with Square One showcasing inclusivity and diversity, said Ms. Llagas.  

Free Webinar on Key Wage and Hour Risks: A webinar to be hosted on June 12 from 11am-12noon, called On the Clock, Around the World, is being organized by L&E Global and will look at key wage and hour risks, including class actions, confronting the international retail sector today. Panellists include lawyers from Canada, the US, France, and the UK.

The webinar is being organized by L&E Global, an international alliance of management-side labour and employment firms. Ontario firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti is the single Canadian member of the elite organization. 

You can register via this link for the free one-hour webinar on June 12, 11:00am-12-noon at:

For more information about Filion and L&E Global, visit: and

Hudson’s Bay Expands Men’s Luxury Brands at Queen Street Flagship: The Hudson’s Bay flagship store on Queen Street at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto has added Italian brand Missoni menswear to its lineup of luxury men’s designers. The upscale department is located at the centre of the 100,000 square foot men’s floor on the fifth leveal of the massive Hudson’s Bay store. 

Missoni joins other brands including Balmain, JW Anderson, Marni, Moschino and even a shop-in-store for UK fashion brand Paul Smith. Hudson’s Bay Queen Street has offered men’s luxury brands for several years now with a selection rivalling its Saks Fifth Avenue store that is connected within the same building. 

Currently the Toronto flagship is the only Hudson’s Bay store in Canada to include an expansive offering of pricey men’s brands, with some prices being well into the thousands. The downtown Vancouver Hudson’s Bay flagship also features a considerably smaller offering. Both the Queen Street and downtown Vancouver Hudson’s Bay stores feature luxury women’s department ‘The Room’, which houses some of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands in elevated environments — the Toronto Queen Street ‘The Room’ is located on the third floor, with the Vancouver department located on the second floor of that store.

KingSett Capital Acquires Massive Atrium Toronto Complex from H&R REIT: Last week H&R REIT announced that it had sold the Atrium complex in downtown Toronto for $640-million. The 1.1-million square foot office and retail complex includes more than 150,000 square feet of retail space over three levels. 

Atrium occupies an entire city block on the north side of Dundas Street bounded by Yonge Street to the east and Bay Street to the west and Edward Street to the north. Its retail podium spans more than 150,000 square feet over three levels and houses a diverse range of retail tenants. Muji recently unveiled its largest flagship store outside of Asia at Atrium with a frontage onto busy Dundas Street West. There’s a Jordan brand store at 306 Yonge Street with Yonge Street and concourse access in Atrium, and other centre tenants include the OLG Prize Centre and Canada Post, as well as food and beverage options such as Red Lobster, Pickle Barrel, Spring Rolls and ‘Concourse Eats,’ which is the centre’s food court that is located on the Concourse Level. Above the retail podium is a substantial office component featuring three towers with more than 900,000 square feet of workspace.

The purchase price equates to a capitalization rate of 4.56%, and closing is expected to occur on June 6.

Atrium comprises of 595 Bay Street, 20 & 40 Dundas Street West, and 306 Yonge Street (housing the Jordan store) and is located at Canada’s busiest pedestrian intersection adjacent to Yonge-Dundas Square. CF Toronto Eaton Centre, which is the busiest shopping centre in North America with nearly 54-million annual visitors, is directly to the south. 

H&R purchased Atrium for $344.8 million in 2011 and since the acquisition, has increased annual net operating income by $6.5 million. 

KingSett Capital has been buying and selling properties throughout Toronto’s downtown core with some substantial plans for the redevelopment of some properties. It remains to be seen what’s planned for Atrium Toronto post-acquisition, and previous plans had included a vertical expansion to the centre’s office component as well as updates to Atrium’s retail component. 

Atrium recently retained retail pop-up activator, pop-up go, to facilitate pop-up retail in several spaces in Atrium’s commercial podium, and we profiled the initiative recently in an article. As well, sister company Zenergy Communications helped coordinate the Muji flagship re-opening that included a PR/influencer program. 

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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