BRIEF: Saint Laurent Opens at West Edmonton Mall, Starbucks Opening 1st Sustainably-Constructed Storefront

Saint Laurent Opens at West Edmonton Mall

Rendering of Starbucks Canada's first sustainably-constructed drive-thru cafe. Rendering: Starbucks
Rendering of Starbucks Canada’s first sustainably-constructed drive-thru cafe. Rendering: Starbucks

French luxury fashion brand Saint Laurent (formerly Yves Saint Laurent) has opened its third standalone Canadian store at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. The 2,900-square-foot store is the latest luxury brand to open in North America’s largest shopping centre.

The boutique features a range of ready-to-wear fashions for women and men as well as bags, accessories, jewellery and footwear. One source noted that many of the staff in the store formerly worked at Holt Renfrew and thus have client lists to target shoppers in the region. An expanded assortment of fashions are expected to be included for the spring season amid uncertainties pertaining to the pandemic.

Best Edmonton Mall recently toured the mall and provided a photo tour for Retail Insider that we will run next week. One photo showed a small crowd of shoppers waiting to get into the Saint Laurent boutique, which is a good sign. Gucci will open a 5,000-square-foot store next to Saint Laurent next spring, with a Louis Vuitton store that opened last year being located next to the new Gucci.

Retail construction build specialist Amachris Corporation built the new Edmonton Saint Laurent store. They were responsible for all general contracting work and installation of interior finishings. Precision construction was required right down to the millimetre to install the exquisite floor to ceiling marble and metal in the beautiful new store. Amachris also completed the renovation of the Saint Laurent shop-in-store at Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Toronto and has worked with several other luxury brands.

West Edmonton Mall is expected to secure more luxury brand stores in 2021 following the closure of Holt Renfrew in downtown Edmonton in January of this year.

Read more about Saint Laurent coming to West Edmonton Mall, including a full analysis here.

First Sustainably-Constructed Starbucks Café to Open in Canada

Kijiji logo
Kijiji logo

Starbucks Canada has announced the first-of-its-kind, sustainably-constructed Starbucks drive thru café in Canada, assembled in just six days, with near-zero construction waste and designed to reduce energy needs for heating and cooling compared to standard construction builds.

Designed, manufactured, and constructed by Vancouver-based green building company Nexii Building Solutions, the Starbucks drive-thru café – set to open in early 2021 in Abbotsford, B.C. – represents a significant step forward in the company’s aspirations to operate more eco-friendly stores, a key component of the company’s global sustainability strategy which aspires to store more carbon than the company emits; reduce waste sent to landfills; and provide more freshwater than the company uses.  Starbucks has set ambitious sustainability targets to cut its carbon, water, and waste footprints in half by 2030.

“Buildings and construction can have a substantial impact on Canada’s environmental goals,” says Catherine Anderson, vice president of Store Development at Starbucks Canada. “Working with like-minded innovators like Nexii, we are excited to lead the industry in modelling the benefits of green construction and share what we learn with others to help action meaningful, global change.”

Starbucks has been a global leader in designing its cafés to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards since 2005, ensuring energy and water efficiencies and using sustainable building materials.

“All aspects of the Nexii system – from the products we create to the way we assemble our buildings – are designed with sustainability at the core, so that we can create affordable, green buildings,” says Stephen Sidwell, CEO of Nexii, who adds that as Nexii panels create a thermally efficient, airtight envelope, the Starbucks building will require less energy to heat and cool compared to standard construction builds, greatly improving energy efficiency over its building lifecycle, lowering operating costs.

Please click here for a timeline of Starbucks sustainability initiatives.

Kijiji Canada Poaches Loblaw Exec for General Manager Role

Herman Paek headshot
Herman Paek headshot

Kijiji Canada has announced the addition of Herman Paek, a seasoned e-commerce veteran. Joining Canada’s number one classifieds platform and online marketplace as its General Manager, Herman brings with him a long track record of leadership and success in Canada’s digital economy.

Most recently he was Senior Vice President at Loblaw, leading e-commerce and digital for the organization. As a founding member of the Loblaw Digital team, he played a leading role in transforming it into one of Canada’s most prominent e-commerce brands.

“Kijiji is an iconic brand that continues to have a tremendous impact with Canada’s consumers, small businesses and automotive industry. I’m excited to join such a talented team and look forward to working with them and our partners as we deepen our connection with our buyers and sellers, reinforce our commitment to the Auto industry through Kijiji Autos, and explore new ways of serving our audiences,” said Paek.

Paek’s arrival comes as Kijiji continues to build momentum in the Canadian market. By listening and responding to the needs of its customers, the company has played a leading role in fuelling a $27.3 billion second-hand economy that has grown in size annually since 2015. With the launch of Kijiji Autos in 2019 to expand on Kijiji’s country-leading online automotive marketplace, the company has solidified its position as a trusted marketplace for buyers and dealers, tracking 4.1 million monthly unique visitors in September 2020.

With Paek as part of the team, Kijiji will continue to solidify its position as a trusted marketplace for all Canadians, and as the country’s number one classifieds platform that reaches more than 15 million visitors each month.

Children interacting with one another in McCarthy Uniforms' face masks. Photo: McCarthy Uniforms
Children interacting with one another in McCarthy Uniforms’ face masks. Photo: McCarthy Uniforms

McCarthy’s Reinvents School Fundraising for the Age of COVID and Rounds Out PPE Line With Masks for Toddlers

McCarthy Uniforms' 'donut mask' designed specifically for children. Photo: McCarthy Uniforms
McCarthy Uniforms’ ‘donut mask’ designed specifically for children. Photo: McCarthy Uniforms

Building on its commitment to support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic, McCarthy Uniforms, through its non-uniform line, Navy & White, is now offering McCarthy Rewards, a cashback fundraising program that gives 5% of the price of all purchases right back to schools or community groups (sports teams, camps, workplaces, etc.). With restrictions on in-person activities, many schools and other organizations are struggling to find ways to raise funds this year—McCarthy Rewards is the solution.

The program allows schools to raise money while offering easy access to spirit wear — comfy apparel and accessories such as T-shirts, hoodies, gloves, fanny packs, and masks, customized with their school logo or other personalized artwork.

Any organization can build a custom program through McCarthy Rewards, whether they have a uniform program with the company or not, and reap the benefits of 5% cashback.

“We’re hearing that student and parent councils are struggling this year to find convenient ways to raise funds for schools, which would normally happen through pizza lunches, bake sales, and subscription programs,” says Vanessa Iarocci, president of McCarthy Uniforms. “There is a huge sense of financial burden from COVID-19, so we worked quickly to find a solution to help our communities raise money from purchases they already make.”

The fundraising program extends to McCarthy’s line of COVID-safe necessities, including its new mini masks, designed to fit children aged three to six. These comfortable non-medical masks feature fun designs by kids, for kids, and have adjustable toggles so they grow as your kids do. The new mini masks join McCarthy’s popular line of cost-effective kids’ and teens’ masks, and all are made of breathable 100% Egyptian cotton.

“With kids and teens wearing masks all day in school, it’s incredibly important that their masks fit comfortably,” says Iarocci.

SPINCO's 'Podium' at-home stationary bike. Photo: SPINCO
SPINCO’s ‘Podium’ at-home stationary bike. Photo: SPINCO

SPINCO and Echelon to Unveil SPINCO’S First Connected Bike to Home Market

SPINCO's 'Podium' at-home stationary bike. Photo: SPINCO
SPINCO’s ‘Podium’ at-home stationary bike. Photo: SPINCO

Canada’s largest spin studio, SPINCO, has announced the launch of its first home fitness bike, Podium, alongside connected fitness industry leader, Echelon Fitness. This relationship is set to usher in a new generation of fitness bikes featuring state-of-the-art technology that transforms workouts into unparalleled fitness experiences, competing with Peloton which is also seeing significant market growth.

Flagship retail locations are set to open in Spring 2021. SPINCO operates 18 studio locations across Canada and has more than 150,000 members. This born-and-bred Canadian company has grown significantly every year since its founding in 2014, earning a reputation for cultivating a strong community of riders committed to physical and mental wellbeing.

“Our bike was created with our passionate riders in mind,” said Michelle August, Founder of SPINCO. “When you step inside a SPINCO studio, there is an unexplainable feeling that riders experience and we set out to recreate that raw experience at home with custom content created just for them. We believe that the result is a bike that is true to our brand and an exceptional addition to our in-studio programming.”

Podium will feature immersive content that is exclusively Canadian made and curated by SPINCO’s top instructors from across the country. Additionally, riders will also have 24-7 access to the Echelon catalogue of live and on-demand workouts.

“There were no shortcuts when we created this product,” said August. “Great steps were taken to ensure our bike was approachable, intuitive and met the needs of today’s consumer. We have included key features that truly set us apart, including a 22-inch HD touch screen, 32 levels of electronically controlled resistance, best-in-class components and innovative aesthetics that are perfect for any rider.”

SPINCO would not have been able to make this bike a possibility without the support of Echelon. “SPINCO came to us with a unique value proposition that truly excited our team,” said Echelon Founder and CEO Lou Lentine. “Our DNA is so similar, delivering incredible fitness that drives brand love and a sense of true community. The commitment to their clientele pushes them to keep innovating and we know that dedication will make their at-home product an incredible success.”

The SPINCO bike will be available exclusively at for $1999.00 with guaranteed delivery in spring 2021.

GH+A Design Studios logo
GH+A Design Studios logo

GH+A Design Studios Wins Five Design Awards

Mastermind Toys Play Preview logo
Mastermind Toys Play Preview logo

Design firm GH+A has announced that it has won five awards for design excellence. GH+A design studios is a proud collaborator on the following projects:

  • ICSC Global Awards North America
  • Category: Renovations/Expansions projects under 150,000 square feet
  • Project: CF Chinook Centre Dining Hall, Calgary, AB
  • Prize: Silver
  • ICSC Global Awards North America
  • Category: Renovations/Expansions projects over 500,000 square feet
  • Project: Devonshire Mall, Windsor, ON
  • Prize: Silver
  • ICSC Global Awards North America
  • Category: Renovations/Expansions projects over 500,000 square feet
  • Project: Devonshire Mall, Windsor, ON
  • Prize: Sustainable Gold
  • DrivenxDesign London Design Awards
  • Category: Interior Design – Retail –
  • Project: RS No.9 Carnaby St., London, UK
  • Prize: Silver
  • Canadian Interiors Best of Canada Awards Competition
  • Category: Retail & Showroom
  • Project: Canada Goose, Beijing, China
  • Prize: Winner

Calling all Inventors, Manufacturers, and Vendors – Mastermind Toys Wants to See Your Very Best Products for 2021

Mastermind Toys is looking for the next best toys and games with its Mastermind Toys Play Preview initiative. For inventors, manufacturers, and vendors, it could be your chance to capture the Mastermind Toys team’s attention and become a part of the brand’s 2021 plans.

For years Mastermind category buyers have relied on toy fairs around the world to assemble its curated assortment of toys. Due to COVID-19, this simply won’t be possible, and so with an eye on its 2021 offering, Mastermind Toys is excited to announce that it will be hosting a Mastermind Toys Play Preview — a virtual toy fair with vendors worldwide.

Mastermind Toys is Canada’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer, with 68 stores coast-to-coast and a wonder-filled website. As Canada’s Authority on Play, Mastermind Toys works harder to be ahead of the trends and discover the very best in play—always with an eye on the end consumer. Great products for every age and stage drive the brand, and Mastermind Toys is very thoughtful in its product selection.

To learn more visit



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