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BRIEF: GAP Shuts All 3 Mink Mile Stores, BentallGreenOak Welcomes 2 New Super Regional Centres to Portfolio

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1
Toronto’s Mink Mile Says Goodbye to The Gap

Exterior of St. Vital Centre. Photo: St. Vital Centre
Exterior of St. Vital Centre. Photo: St. Vital Centre

The signs are off all three of the Gap’s storefronts on Toronto’s prestigious Mink Mile. The Gap storefront at 60 Bloor Street West saw its signage come down earlier this week. On Wednesday, signage for the Gap-owned Intermix at 130 Bloor Street West was being taken down. Both of these developments followed the shuttering of the Banana Republic store at 80 Bloor Street West in October. 

It’s the first time in more than two decades that the Gap has no storefronts on Bloor Street. The spaces will also have to be leased at some point — so far only the Intermix space has been leased, filling about 2,000 square feet. The Gap store on Bloor spanned about 17,000 square feet and Banana Republic was about 6,500 square feet. 

The Gap opened at 60 Bloor in 1999, joining the nearby Banana Republic store that had opened in 1995. Intermix opened in 2011 prior to being acquired by Gap in 2012. 

See also: The Gap to Close Bloor Street Flagship Store in Toronto in January 2021

2
BentallGreenOak Welcomes 2 New Super Regional Assets to its Retail Services Portfolio

Exterior of the Pen Centre. Photo: Cushman & Wakefield
Exterior of the Pen Centre. Photo: Cushman & Wakefield

BentallGreenOak has announced that, effective January 1, 2021, it has welcomed two new Super Regional Assets to its retail services portfolio. Having been awarded the management services mandate for St. Vital Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Pen Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, the addition of these two properties will increase BGO’s retail assets under administration by over 2 million square feet.

With 927,000 square feet of leasable space, St. Vital is home to 160 stores and services and is situated in one of Winnipeg’s fastest growing areas. St. Vital is anchored by Hudson Bay, London Drugs, Silver City, Sport Chek, Walmart, and the soon-to-open Homesense and Marshall’s. This centre welcomes over 8 million visitors per year. St. Vital is known for its expansive food hall and exceptional location that is easily accessible for families and students.

Pen Centre is the largest enclosed shopping centre in Ontario’s Niagara Region, with over 1,072,000 square feet of leasable space. Located just 15 minutes from two of Ontario’s largest tourism draws —Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls — Pen Centre is perfectly positioned to welcome tourists as easily as it does local St. Catharine’s-area residents. An estimated 10 million customers per year visit Pen Centre for its 160 stores and services and impressive anchor mix including Hudson’s Bay, Landmark Cinema’s, Walmart, Winners/Homesense, H&M, Zehrs, and a new Sport Chek concept store.

For information on opportunities available in these two retail properties, please contact:

St. Vital Centre – Shane Epp shane.epp@bentallgreenoak.com / Brad Boyce brad.boyce@bentallgreenoak.com  Pen Centre – Garnet Peirson garnet.peirson@bentallgreenoak.com / Paul Ceresne paul.ceresne@bentallgreenoak.com

Exterior of Google office. Photo: Google
Exterior of Google office. Photo: Google

3
Retailers Ranked Among Canada’s Best Places to Work in 2021

Rendering of Kia Motors Canada showroom. Rendering: Kia Motors
Rendering of Kia Motors Canada showroom. Rendering: Kia Motors

This week Glassdoor announced the winners of its 13th annual Employees’ Choice Awards, recognizing the Best Places to Work in 2021 across Canada. The awards are based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback by completing a company review about their job, work environment and employer over the past year.

Ratings were based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied.

Lululemon ranked seventh in the list and Ikea ranked 17th. Apple, which has a network of stores in Canada, ranked 4th although that could include support services. The top 10 list include the following:

  1. Google (4.5 rating)
  2. Microsoft (4.4 rating)
  3. TC Energy (4.4 rating)
  4. Apple (4.4 rating)
  5. belairdirect (4.4 rating)
  6. Sage (4.3 rating)
  7. lululemon (4.5 rating)
  8. SAP (4.3 rating)
  9. Manpower (4.3 rating)
  10. Salesforce (4.3 rating)

See also: 25 Best Places to Work – Canada

4
Kia Canada Reports Record-Breaking Year in 2020

Interior of Crocs store showcasing a variety of colours. Photo: Crocs
Interior of Crocs store showcasing a variety of colours. Photo: Crocs

Despite a challenging year and a turbulent automotive market in 2020, Kia celebrated eight months of record sales (January, February, June, July, August, September, October, and December) including their best-ever month in Canadian history, in August.

Kia sold a remarkable 72,452 units in 2020, with top models Forte and Sorento among the best-selling models, and newcomer Seltos emerging as a consumer favourite. Kia attributes its record-breaking year to Canadians’ desire for uncompromising quality, leading design, innovative technology and award winning vehicles. Kia was also awarded top position for the 6th year in a row in the J.D. Power IQS report in the US.

“During a year where Canadians were looking for vehicles that could not only meet their needs, but that they could rely on for quality and safety, we are grateful that we can deliver on products that satisfy both,” says Elias El-Achhab, Chief Operating Officer at Kia Canada.

Kia Canada offered a range of consumer promotions in 2020, including the industry leading “Kia Has You Covered” incentive from May to August, in which Kia paid, not deferred, the first six months’ of payment on finance and the first three months’ payment on leases, on a number of their most popular models. As an extension of the Power to Give COVID-19 response initiative — in which Kia Canada partnered with Food Banks Canada to deploy vehicles and funds to local hunger relief organizations — the brand is also proud to have donated protective Face Shields  to the Public Health Agency of Canada for the dedicated frontline workers of Canada.

5
Crocs Cleaned Up in 2020

RBC, Rexall and Be Well Logo (CNW Group/RBC Royal Bank)
RBC, Rexall, and Be Well Logos. Photo: CNW Group/RBC Royal Bank

Crocs is on track to report its best annual sales ever as the pandemic gives new life to the brand. Revenue for 2020 will climb more than 12% to about $1.4 billion, a record high, the company said Monday in a statement. That’s well above Crocs’ earlier forecast for sales growth of no more than 7%. It also anticipates sales growth of 20% to 25% in 2021.

Crocs shares jumped as much as 11% in New York trading. The stock has been on a four-year winning streak and gained 50% in 2020.

“Amidst a global pandemic in 2020, we will deliver the strongest revenue in Crocs’ history,” Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said in a statement. “Our brand momentum is exceptional, and we anticipate another record year in 2021. We definitely benefited from consumer casualization,” said Rees, adding that the clogs are also easy to clean and sanitize, thereby enhancing their pandemic-time appeal.

Looking ahead, he said value and comfort will continue to be important for shoppers. More younger consumers also gravitated to the brand during the pandemic due to various collaborations rolled out by Crocs. In the past 12 months, the brand teamed up with a number of artists and brands, including Post Malone, Justin Bieber, and fast-food chain KFC on special edition collections.

“They were younger, predominantly female consumers. This was a big driver of growth in North America. As the year progressed, it broadened to new younger male consumers,” he said.

There are currently Crocs stores in three Canadian cities — Edmonton, Montreal, and Ottawa — and many retailers across the country, like Softmoc, also sell the ever-popular sandal.

6
RBC and Rexall Team Up to Reward Canadians for Managing Their Health and Wellness

Lineup of Flow flavours. Photo: Flow Alkaline Water
Lineup of Flow flavours. Photo: Flow Alkaline Spring Water

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Rexall have announced a new strategic partnership that will allow RBC clients to earn and receive even more value and savings, while accessing Rexall’s health and wellness resources. RBC clients will receive 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at Rexall when they link their eligible RBC credit and debit cards to their Be Well™ card. This will deliver 5x more value than nonRBC Be Well™ members or unlinked RBC clients.

“We’re thrilled to be adding Rexall to our highly successful loyalty partner program,” said Sean Amato-Gauci, Executive Vice-President, Cards, Payments & Banking, RBC. “Through our proprietary RBC Rewards loyalty program and strategic loyalty partnerships, our clients receive additional ways to instantly save and earn more RBC Rewards points. We’re proud to be partnering with Rexall, a company that shares our common values of supporting the health and wellness of our employees and clients.”

Rexall’s Be Well™ loyalty program, which launched this past September, already has over 1.7 million members and provides access to tools and insights into managing and improving health and wellness, while also delivering value and savings.

“This new offering enhances our mission of making the journey to better health and wellness easier, simpler, and more rewarding,” said Nick Caprio, President, Rexall. “We’re looking forward to growing our partnership with RBC to give additional tools and benefits to Canadians searching for a path to better health.”

RBC clients can visit www.rbc.com/rexall to learn more about this new program and for more information about Be Well, visit www.letsbewell.ca.

While Rexall’s efforts to create loyalty are commendable, it still has a way to go to meet the top loyalty program in the country, PC Optimum, under the Loblaw/Shoppers Drug Mart umbrella.

7
Flow Alkaline Spring Water Innovates Online with New Flavour

Peach + Blueberry Flow Alkaline Spring Water

Flow Alkaline Spring Water, a leading premium water brand emphasizing sustainability in sourcing, packaging, and practice, introduces a new addition to its range of delicious flavours ‘Flow Peach + Blueberry’. The flavour joins the following line-up of premium spring water with organic flavours including: Cucumber + Mint, Strawberry + Rose, Blackberry + Hibiscus, Lemon + Ginger, and Watermelon + Lime.

Launching in January 2021, Flow’s newest organic flavour Peach + Blueberry will be available for preorder from December 26th, 2020.

The Peach + Blueberry flavour has organic flavour derived from essences of organic fruits and is  a pure tasting alkaline, mineral-rich flavoured water with no sugars, juice, or calories and emphasizes sustainability through its eco-friendly packaging. This new flavour is still packaged in 100% recyclable cartons and made from +75% renewable materials, underscoring the brand’s commitment to sustainability.

“Flow’s Peach + Blueberry is a taste of summer in the colder months,” says Krissie Millan, CMO of Flow Alkaline Spring Water. “Great tasting, thirst-quenching water is a simple, necessary pleasure you should be able to enjoy anytime, and in any flavour you like.”

During the first COVID-19 pandemic in April of 2020, the Canadian brand donated a total of $1 million worth of Flow water to frontline healthcare workers across North America.

Available for pre-order online from the end of December on flowhydration.com and in retail stores including Loblaws, Metro, Longo’s, Whole Foods, Healthy Planet and more.

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