Reitmans Permanently Shutting All 131 Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity Storefronts Amid Restructuring

Date:

Share post:

Leading apparel retailer Reitmans is closing all its women’s Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle stores in the country over the summer as well as chopping its workforce by about 1,100 employees in its retail stores and about 300 employees at its head office in Montreal as part of its restructuring plan under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

The stores scheduled for closure include 77 Addition Elle and 54 Thyme Maternity locations. The company said it is optimizing its retail footprint as it is building its future on its legacy in retail fashion with three premium brands: Reitmans, Penningtons, and RW & CO. These brands will continue to evolve in an omnichannel retail environment with a combined focus on e-commerce and a solid retail network of physical stores in Canada, added the company.

“The strategic decision to close two beloved Canadian fashion brands was not made lightly, but it is necessary to enable our business to move forward as a profitable organization. All of the efforts we put forth to turn these brands around were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, unfortunately, we can no longer afford the required resources to bring them back to profitability,” said Stephen Reitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reitmans (Canada) Limited, in a statement.

PHOTO: REITMANS

“The impact on all of our employees is, by far, the most difficult and emotional part of this whole process. We are heartbroken to have to say goodbye to esteemed colleagues and we are truly grateful for their hard work and many contributions to our company over the years. With an enhanced product offering at Penningtons, where women can find aspirational and affordable head-to-toe fashion, we will do everything possible to make our Addition Elle community excited to continue to shop with us. We are committed to the plus-size market in Canada with both a size-inclusive offering at Reitmans, and dedicated expertise and service at Penningtons.

“As we forge ahead with these three flagship Canadian brands, our intention is to write the next chapter of our company’s history for a stronger and brighter future. We take this opportunity to thank our loyal Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle customers for their incredible support, and we look forward to welcoming them in our other stores for years to come.”

The company currently employs approximately 6,800 people and operates 576 stores consisting of 259 Reitmans, 106 Penningtons, 80 RW & CO., 77 Addition Elle, and 54 Thyme Maternity.

In the coming days and weeks, all physical stores of the company will continue to safely reopen based on governmental guidelines, including all 77 Addition Elle and 54 Thyme Maternity stores. For these two brands, the objective will be to liquidate the inventory in anticipation of their permanent closure, which is planned for July 18 for Thyme Maternity and August 15 for Addition Elle, said the retailer, adding that their respective e-commerce websites are expected to shut down on the same date as the closure of the physical stores.

PHOTO: THYME MATERNITY

"I think the consolidation of brands will help the company focus its operations and marketing in the short run and generate much-needed cash as they liquidate. They can become a leaner company by reducing cost and infrastructure,” said Bruce Winder, a retail analyst and President of Bruce Winder Retail.

“Having said that, I still see significant headwinds for the remaining brands based on changing consumer demographics, changing brand preferences and changing ways consumers buy apparel. I like how the firm has highlighted omni-channel as a way forward and look forward to more detailed plans. I feel sad for the employees who will lose their jobs in a brutal retail employment market."

Michael Kehoe, Lead Ambassador in Canada for the New-York based International Council of Shopping Centres, said the restructuring of the Reitmans chain is a significant event on the Canadian retailing scene.

“With 576 stores the impact of the closure of two of its divisions will be felt across the country. Reitmans has such a rich history in Canadian fashion retailing and has been an iconic brand catering to the affordable women’s apparel market for generations. Their sweet spot is the women’s plus-size market that is currently underserved in Canada,” said Kehoe, a veteran of more than 40 years in the industry and broker/owner of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate in Calgary.

“Their focus when they emerge from these troubling times will be clearly in this segment of women’s apparel with a strong e-commerce business along with their repositioned bricks and mortar stores.”

PHOTO: RW&CO

Katherine Chartrand, Director of Corporate Communications at Reitmans, said the company filed for protection under CCAA on May 19 as a necessary measure to ensure the continued success of the business.

“We believe that this decision, as difficult as it may be, remains the only option for moving the organization forward. In this context, we need to optimize our retail footprint, restructure our teams and make important changes to our business,” said Chartrand.

“Closing Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity, two of our beloved brands, is a heartbreaking but necessary decision. They are no longer profitable, and our efforts to turn these brands around were undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic and we can no longer afford the required investments and time to bring them back on the path to profitability.

“We will build our future on Reitmans, Penningtons and RW & CO., successful brands with strong and distinctive positioning that will continue to evolve in an omnichannel retail environment with a combined focus on e-commerce and a solid retail network of physical stores in Canada.”

Chartrand said the company implemented promising strategies in fiscal 2020 that were starting to show positive results in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

“Unfortunately, all the efforts we put forth to turn these brands around were undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of this crisis and the pressure it has put on our cash flows leave us no other choice,” she said.

PHOTO: PENNINGTONS

“For Addition Elle to become profitable, it would have required investments and time that we can no longer afford because of COVID-19. The Thyme Maternity team has done such remarkable work over the years that the brand achieved a market share of over 50 per cent. However, due to the market size and increasing online competition, we have been struggling to make this business profitable. The COVID-19 pandemic was the final straw.

“As for Reitmans, Penningtons, and RW & CO., we will unfortunately have to close some underperforming stores within the rest of our network in the coming weeks and months. This is a part of the restructuring process, but it is too early to confirm the location of these stores. Rest assured our intention is to maintain a solid retail footprint in Canada for these three flagship brands.”

Chartrand said it is difficult to speculate on how consumers will react to the reopening of retail stores in the industry.

“Although, we do expect the COVID-19 pandemic to have an impact on store traffic for the months to come,” she said.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am very disappointed that Addition Elle will be closing. The quality of their clothes is much better than Pennington. "Very bad choice!"

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Consumer Loyalty Trends in Canada: The Crucial Role of Personalization in a Changing Economy [Video Interview]

A critical statistic reveals that 33% of consumers abandon brands that lack personalization, emphasizing the growing importance of tailoring experiences and offers to meet individual customer expectations in today's competitive market.

Ralph Lauren Expands in Canada with 1st Full-Price Luxury Store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre [Photos]

The US-based brand has opened a concept store featuring a mix of luxury and Polo products, and is expected to open more in Canada after launching an e-commerce site next month. 

Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa Dominating Market and Adding Tenants Amid Sales Growth [Interview]

The landlord completed 77 leasing transactions totalling over 431,000 square feet in the past year, with more retailers and a redevelopment in the works.

Elevating Canadian Retail: How JLL’s Expertise Reshapes Property Management [Interviews]

Landlords are increasingly turning to JLL for pioneering property management solutions that prioritize both enhanced customer experiences and sustainability.

Mandy’s to Open Gourmet Salad Restaurant in Toronto’s Yorkville as Chain Expands [Exclusive Interview/Renderings]

The popular Montreal-based foodservice concept is growing its presence in Toronto with multiple locations, including one behind a soon-to-open Saint Laurent flagship store.

Gen Z’s Digital Upbringing Meets a Passion for Tangible Retail and Authentic Brands [Interview]

A new report on Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, provides insight into consumer behaviours as well as a look into the upcoming Generation Alpha.

Interview with Giant Tiger’s New CEO Gino DiGioacchino on the Future of the Iconic Canadian Retailer [Interview]

DiGioacchino speaks to Retail Insider after being appointed as the new President and CEO of Giant Tiger, and discusses the future of the business and importance of maintaining strong connections with local communities.

Purdys Chocolatier Expands Footprint with Pop-Up Stores [Interview]

The strategy involves providing customers with a taste of Purdys' renowned chocolates in areas where the brand hasn't had a presence before.

Colliers Report Emphasizes the Retail Advantage of Bridging the Digital-Physical Divide [Interview]

A recent report by Colliers Real Estate Management Services reveals that retailers who effectively blend their online and physical store operations are 35% more likely to achieve profitability, with the study emphasizes the importance of omnichannel strategies, convenience, property maintenance, and retailer-driven ESG initiatives.

Preview of ICSC@CANADA Conference 2023: Retail, Technology, and Networking Opportunities in Toronto [Interview]

Craig and Kyle Tomlin, Director of Events in Canada for ICSC, discuss the highly anticipated ICSC@CANADA 2023 conference, set to take place from October 2nd to 4th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Hall in downtown Toronto.

Canadian Grocers Take a Page from Carrefour’s Playbook to Tackle ‘Shrinkflation [Op-Ed]

French supermarket chain Carrefour has labeled products impacted by reduced size, and similar measures may be adopted in Canada to enhance transparency in food pricing, says Sylvain Charlebois.

Jeweller Mejuri Debuts Personalized App and Innovative Membership Program; Plans Expansion with 5 New Stores [Co-Founder Interview]

The popular brand's personalized mobile app and membership program aim to enhance customer engagement and personalization, as Mejuri enters major markets with stores.

Fast-Casual Restaurant Concept MightyBird Opening 1st Location in Toronto in a Partnership [Interviews]

The new concept at Union Station will be the first of many in a partnership between Eat Up Canada and Open Concept Hospitality.

KIT + ACE Launches Store Expansion in Canada Under New Ownership [Interview]

The Vancouver-based retailer will open two locations this fall in Toronto and Calgary, with plans for a substantial expansion into 2024 says CEO David Lui.

Casual Steakhouse Chain MR MIKES Expanding Further in Canada [Interview]

With plans for continued expansion into Western Canada and Ontario, the restaurant chain is evolving its concept and targeting smaller markets to establish itself as a hub for local communities.

Canadian Retail Sales: A Slight Recovery Amidst Economic Challenges [J.C. Williams Group Analysis]

The analysis explores the noteworthy trends in the health and wellness sector, the resilience of certain retail categories, and the impending holiday season's strategic considerations for retailers.

Bloor Street Retail Transformation: Luxury Brands, Renovations, and New Openings in Toronto [Podcast]

Craig and Lee take a deep dive into the dynamic changes occurring on Toronto's Bloor Street West, noting the street's resurgence as a thriving hub for luxury shopping in the city.

Ricardo’s Kandy Korner to Open Flagship Candy Store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto [Interview]

Entrepreneur Ricardo Rizaie says he’s planning to take his experiential candy retail concept across Canada after opening a third Canadian storefront in downtown Toronto.

PizzaForno Expands Into Toronto’s Public Transit System, Sets Sights on Airport Locations for Automated 3-Minute Pizzas [Interview]

This innovative move marks PizzaForno's entry into the public transit sector, and demonstrates its commitment to becoming the fastest-growing pizza chain in North America by 2024.

Calgary’s Retail Space Crunch Drives Surge in Rental Rates and Demand [Report]

A variety of complicated factors are at play as Calgary retail space sees demand given market growth, while new supply is limited due to factors such as construction costs.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Consumer Loyalty Trends in Canada: The Crucial Role of Personalization in a Changing Economy [Video Interview]

A critical statistic reveals that 33% of consumers abandon brands that lack personalization, emphasizing the growing importance of tailoring experiences and offers to meet individual customer expectations in today's competitive market.

Ralph Lauren Expands in Canada with 1st Full-Price Luxury Store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre [Photos]

The US-based brand has opened a concept store featuring a mix of luxury and Polo products, and is expected to open more in Canada after launching an e-commerce site next month. 

Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa Dominating Market and Adding Tenants Amid Sales Growth [Interview]

The landlord completed 77 leasing transactions totalling over 431,000 square feet in the past year, with more retailers and a redevelopment in the works.

Elevating Canadian Retail: How JLL’s Expertise Reshapes Property Management [Interviews]

Landlords are increasingly turning to JLL for pioneering property management solutions that prioritize both enhanced customer experiences and sustainability.

Mandy’s to Open Gourmet Salad Restaurant in Toronto’s Yorkville as Chain Expands [Exclusive Interview/Renderings]

The popular Montreal-based foodservice concept is growing its presence in Toronto with multiple locations, including one behind a soon-to-open Saint Laurent flagship store.

Gen Z’s Digital Upbringing Meets a Passion for Tangible Retail and Authentic Brands [Interview]

A new report on Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, provides insight into consumer behaviours as well as a look into the upcoming Generation Alpha.

Interview with Giant Tiger’s New CEO Gino DiGioacchino on the Future of the Iconic Canadian Retailer [Interview]

DiGioacchino speaks to Retail Insider after being appointed as the new President and CEO of Giant Tiger, and discusses the future of the business and importance of maintaining strong connections with local communities.

Purdys Chocolatier Expands Footprint with Pop-Up Stores [Interview]

The strategy involves providing customers with a taste of Purdys' renowned chocolates in areas where the brand hasn't had a presence before.

Colliers Report Emphasizes the Retail Advantage of Bridging the Digital-Physical Divide [Interview]

A recent report by Colliers Real Estate Management Services reveals that retailers who effectively blend their online and physical store operations are 35% more likely to achieve profitability, with the study emphasizes the importance of omnichannel strategies, convenience, property maintenance, and retailer-driven ESG initiatives.

Preview of ICSC@CANADA Conference 2023: Retail, Technology, and Networking Opportunities in Toronto [Interview]

Craig and Kyle Tomlin, Director of Events in Canada for ICSC, discuss the highly anticipated ICSC@CANADA 2023 conference, set to take place from October 2nd to 4th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Hall in downtown Toronto.

Canadian Grocers Take a Page from Carrefour’s Playbook to Tackle ‘Shrinkflation [Op-Ed]

French supermarket chain Carrefour has labeled products impacted by reduced size, and similar measures may be adopted in Canada to enhance transparency in food pricing, says Sylvain Charlebois.

Jeweller Mejuri Debuts Personalized App and Innovative Membership Program; Plans Expansion with 5 New Stores [Co-Founder Interview]

The popular brand's personalized mobile app and membership program aim to enhance customer engagement and personalization, as Mejuri enters major markets with stores.

Fast-Casual Restaurant Concept MightyBird Opening 1st Location in Toronto in a Partnership [Interviews]

The new concept at Union Station will be the first of many in a partnership between Eat Up Canada and Open Concept Hospitality.

KIT + ACE Launches Store Expansion in Canada Under New Ownership [Interview]

The Vancouver-based retailer will open two locations this fall in Toronto and Calgary, with plans for a substantial expansion into 2024 says CEO David Lui.

Casual Steakhouse Chain MR MIKES Expanding Further in Canada [Interview]

With plans for continued expansion into Western Canada and Ontario, the restaurant chain is evolving its concept and targeting smaller markets to establish itself as a hub for local communities.

Canadian Retail Sales: A Slight Recovery Amidst Economic Challenges [J.C. Williams Group Analysis]

The analysis explores the noteworthy trends in the health and wellness sector, the resilience of certain retail categories, and the impending holiday season's strategic considerations for retailers.

Bloor Street Retail Transformation: Luxury Brands, Renovations, and New Openings in Toronto [Podcast]

Craig and Lee take a deep dive into the dynamic changes occurring on Toronto's Bloor Street West, noting the street's resurgence as a thriving hub for luxury shopping in the city.

Ricardo’s Kandy Korner to Open Flagship Candy Store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto [Interview]

Entrepreneur Ricardo Rizaie says he’s planning to take his experiential candy retail concept across Canada after opening a third Canadian storefront in downtown Toronto.

PizzaForno Expands Into Toronto’s Public Transit System, Sets Sights on Airport Locations for Automated 3-Minute Pizzas [Interview]

This innovative move marks PizzaForno's entry into the public transit sector, and demonstrates its commitment to becoming the fastest-growing pizza chain in North America by 2024.

Calgary’s Retail Space Crunch Drives Surge in Rental Rates and Demand [Report]

A variety of complicated factors are at play as Calgary retail space sees demand given market growth, while new supply is limited due to factors such as construction costs.