1Nordstrom Names New Head of Canadian Stores
Upscale Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom has appointed retail veteran Alix Box as the new Senior Vice President, Regional Manager for Canada. Ms. Box replaces Michelle Haggard who is retiring after 30 years of working with Nordstrom.
Ms. Box’s previous experience includes 10 years at Starbucks between (1997 and 2007) where she was Vice President of Canadian operations, seven years (between 2007 and 2014) in store operations and marketing at Holt Renfrew, three years as President and CEO of Second Cup Ltd. (between 2014 and 2017), and most recently as the Chief Customer Officer for LCBO, prior to being poached last month by Nordstrom.
Nordstrom’s first Canadian head was Karen McKibbin who held the role of President of Nordstrom Canada from September of 2012 until January of 2017 when she became president of Nordstrom’s off-price division, Nordstrom Rack.
Nordstrom’s first store in Canada opened in September o 2014 at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary and the retailer now operates six full-line stores in Canada as well as seven Nordstrom Rack locations. In 2015 Nordstrom opened stores at CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa and at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver. In 2016, Nordstrom opened two stores in Toronto at CF Toronto Eaton Centre and at Yorkdale, followed by a smaller location at CF Sherway Gardens in 2017. Ms. Box will lead those stores as well as the seven Nordstrom Rack locations in Canada.
Nordstrom is struggling in Canada amid government-mandated store closures. The four Ontario full-line Nordstrom stores remain closed at least until the middle of this month, and foot traffic is down in Calgary and Vancouver. Nordstrom only launched its Canadian e-commerce site in the spring of 2020 during the pandemic and at a time when consumers were shifting online and competition was growing from retailers such as Holt Renfrew which was also beefing up its online business.
In Canada, Nordstrom will continue to compete with Holts, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue which entered Canada in 2016 and has three full-line stores. In the high-end menswear space, Harry Rosen still maintains significant market share with a strong brand matrix. As brands continue to go direct-to-consumers, retailers such as Nordstrom are vulnerable as brands look to stand on their own by opening stores and operating dedicated online shopping portals — this has led to Holt Renfrew seeing success by offering brands dedicated spaces via a leased concession model.
2Summerhill Market Lands Prominent Chef Ted Corrado as New Executive Chef
Gourmet grocer Summerhill Market has announced that popular Toronto-based chef, Ted Corrado, has joined the team as company Executive Chef. Best known for his work with The Drake properties and his secret cannabis dinners with ByMinistry, Chef Ted Corrado will be based out of Summerhill Market’s commissary, overseeing the more than 700 items Summerhill Market prepares daily in-house.
Having spent over two decades cooking in some of Toronto’s renowned restaurants including Rain, Luce and George, Chef Ted Corrado emerged as one of the most influential names in the Toronto food scene. He made a name for himself in the city as Head Chef at the ROM’s c5.
Corrado was the first notable culinary name to make the shift from traditional hospitality into the world of cannabistronomy. As Director of Culinary for byMinistry, he oversaw the launch of their first-of-its-kind cannabis cooking school, plant-forward food and drink menus at all byMinistry spaces, and a range of edibles lines.
Summerhill Market currently has three locations across Toronto with a fourth location opening in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood in March 2021. Retail Insider reported on Summerhill’s most recent opening back in December 2019.
3Queen Street BIAs Collaborate to Remind Toronto of Importance of Shopping Local
All in an attempt to support the street’s 400 plus local businesses during this trying time, the campaign features a daily draw for a $50 voucher from a different local business, and a $200 giveaway on Sunday between both BIAs combining prizes.
Every day at 12:00am, that day’s door on the advent-style calendar for each BIA is opened and the prize is revealed. Everyone is invited to earn entries to win in the daily giveaways by performing small acts of support, such as following local businesses on Instagram or leaving a supportive comment. The door closes at 11:59pm each day and the winner is announced at noon the next day.
Queen Street is one of Toronto’s most iconic, cultural, and economic drivers for the city, and the campaign aims to promote, highlight, and remind communities of the businesses that really need help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winners can decide how they wish to spend their prizes, either by shopping online, arranging for a curbside pick up, or simply holding on to them until lockdown and restrictions have been lifted.
4Digital Main Street Partners with GetintheLoop to Support Local
Digital Main Street is pleased to announce that GetintheLoop has been selected to offer its mobile marketing solutions to the hundreds of businesses in Toronto’s Kensington Market BIA, Riverside BIA, Lakeshore Village BIA, the Eglinton Way BIA, the Broadview Danforth BIA, and the Beach Village BIA through the Community Collaboration Program this winter.
The program has the goal of onboarding 240 main street businesses (40 per BIA) to the GetintheLoop platform and 50 have already come online. Funding for this pilot is made available through the Digital Main Street Future Proof program.
GetintheLoop’s technology connects local shoppers to local businesses by providing real time mobile offers and promotions. Users receive push notifications and emails highlighting specials, incentives, and loyalty programs that are available from nearby small businesses. Participating businesses can feature both in store and online offers; promoting curbside pick-up, delivery, buy now use later, and other timely offers based on the current market conditions. Digital Main Street is supported through FedDev Ontario funding and in partnership with ventureLAB.
As main street businesses in Toronto face ongoing closures, they are looking for new ways to engage with their customers and to attract new ones. The Community Collaboration Program seeks to pilot projects that will help main street businesses discover innovative ways to expand their reach. The pilot runs until March 2021. We encourage interested businesses to contact their BIA to learn more.
5AtGames and The Brick Expand Partnership With Premier Launch of Legends Pinball in Canada
The most feature-rich machine in its class, Legends Pinball will be available throughout The Brick’s more than 220 retail outlets across Canada, as well as online at www.thebrick.com.
Legends Pinball sports a large 32-inch 1080p LCD playfield, 15.6-inch 1080p LCD backglass, 8-bit precision Hall-Effect plunger, arcade-quality flippers and nudge buttons, accelerometers, tactile feedback, extensive connectivity and accessories options, Internet connectivity and downloadable apps, global leaderboards, lobby for Party Play and Team Play, and more – priced at an MSRP of just CA$999. Pre-orders are now open, with deliveries expected to begin by April 2021.
The Brick already carries a full line-up of Legends Arcade Family products from AtGames.
6Swedish Plant-Based Milk Brand Secures $8.2 Million Investment
Sproud, the Swedish maker of a range of innovative plant-based milks made from pea protein, has announced that it has raised $8.2 million from growth capital investor, VGC Partners. The investment will be used to accelerate the brand’s distribution and brand building activities in Canada and other core markets. This most recent injection of funding further illustrates the growing investor interest in the alternative dairy retail sector.
Sproud’s innovative product line was developed to match both the taste and nutritional profile of dairy and the business is doubly attractive to investors as the production of peas is far more sustainable than other plant proteins.
Sproud is currently available at major retailers and specialty grocers across the country and continues to pursue extensive expansion in Canada, including development of Canadian manufacturing facilities that will handle production for all North American markets.