1Boathouse to Enter Quebec with Stores
Casual youthful multi-brand Canadian fashion retailer Boathouse will expand into the Quebec market this year for the first time with stores. The move signals confidence in the Quebec retail market as well as the importance of brick-and-mortar retail.
A lease has been signed to open a Boathouse store at the Promenades Gatineau near Ottawa in a space most recently occupied by Le Chateau, and more announcements will be made as the retailer ramps up its expansion in Quebec and the rest of Canada. We’ll be discussing the expansion more this month.
“We’re exited about going into Quebec. It’s been a dream for a long time,” said Janet Weatherhead, Director of Sales and Operations at Boathouse/Blackwell Supply Co. “Quebec wants the experience of brick and mortar. People want to come back to the malls and there’s no time like the present.”
“Everyone in our company feels blessed and has been so loyal. We’ve worked so hard through COVID and now the time’s right to expand,” she went on today.
Boathouse carries men’s and women’s clothing, and footwear and accessories from brands including Champion, Kappa, Volcom, Adidas, Billabong, Vans, Crooks & Castles, Nike, Tentree, and others.
The company was founded in Saint Catharines, Ontario in 1973 and now has over 80 stores across the country. Boathouse also owns Blackwell Supply Co. shoes which will also be discussed further in Retail Insider.
2Triple O’s Enters Ontario with Plans for 30 Locations Over 5 Years
Ontarians are about to get a taste of Triple O’s, the West Coast restaurant specializing in burgers, fries, and shakes, as the company has announced its plans to launch six restaurants in the GTA in 2021/2022. When Retail Insider last reported on Triple O’s, the company had said that it was looking to open four locations in Ontario to start and the expansion is now ramping up after being delayed due to the pandemic.
The first Ontario location opened on March 2 in Mississauga’s Courtneypark, and it will be followed by a restaurant opening on Zenway Blvd in Vaughan this April. Triple O’s plans to open 30 locations in Ontario over the next five years.
The Triple O’s drive-thru restaurants will be located at Pioneer and Ultramar gas stations through the company’s existing, long-standing relationship with Parkland Fuel Corporation, as well as at free-standing Triple O’s locations.
Triple O’s is known for its 100% fresh Canadian beef burgers, served with a pickle on top. The company was founded in 1997 and now has 71 burger restaurants in Canada and Hong Kong.
Triple O’s is a spin-off of White Spot Restaurants, Canada’s longest-running restaurant chain and the country’s first chain of burger restaurants. Founder Nat Bailey started White Spot in 1928 as a traveling lunch counter in the back of his Model T Ford.
After the first two restaurant openings, subsequent restaurants will be opened in Toronto, as well as a second restaurant in Vaughan, and a Hamilton location. The company will also be operating its On The Go Truck, a 30-foot mobile restaurant serving its famous offerings. Triple O’s quick-serve restaurants will offer drive-thru, curbside pickup using the Triple O’s mobile app, dine-in service (once restrictions end), and delivery through SkipTheDishes and DoorDash.
3Tendon Kohaku Opening 1st North American Location in Vancouver this Month
Tendon Kohaku, a Singapore-based chain restaurant focused on Japanese tempura dishes, is set to open its first North American location in Vancouver this month.
The popular Asian eatery has moved into the ground level of the Robson Court building at 840 Howe Street, at the corner of Howe and Smithe Streets in downtown Vancouver. Other lease deals executed include Station Square near Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby as well as at The Amazing Brentwood in Burnaby. Locations are now being sought in Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey and other markets.
Kohaku is a joint venture from two giant Japanese food corporations: Nadai Fujisoba (the largest soba chain in Japan) and the Kings Know Group.
Kohaku’s first location opened in Singapore in 2016 and it now operates several other outposts in the Philippines and Malaysia too. Along with plans to launch in downtown Vancouver, Tendon Kohaku also has been listed as a planned tenant for Station Square in Burnaby.
Sister brand Kokoro Mazesoba, which already has a presence in Vancouver, is also expanding with five recent deals in downtown Vancouver, Coquitlam, Station Square in Burnaby, The Amazing Brentwood, and another undisclosed location. Locations will ideally be in the 2,500-3,500 square foot range. The two concepts like to be paired together, according to CBRE, with locations close by or even in the same space with one kitchen for both concepts. A joint location for the two brands would ideally be in the 5,000-6,000 square foot range. Strong urban nodes with a high Asian demographic will be key and the concepts are expected to expand to other parts of Canada.
4Holt Renfrew Announces Spring 2021 Campaign Starring Canadian Actor/Singer Jordan Alexander
Toronto-based large-format multi-brand luxury retailer Holt Renfrew has announced details regarding its Spring 2021 campaign starring Canadian actor and singer, Jordan Alexander.
Kicking off March 1, the campaign highlights Alexander in a photo and video series, styled in a selection of Holt Renfrew’s Spring collections. Alexander, a cast member of HBO Max’s Gossip Girl, is also featured in a campaign video, singing her rendition of Bruce Cockburn’s classic, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.”
The theme of Holt Renfrew’s Spring campaign is Empowering Self-Expression, a celebration of the retailer’s updated Mission: to empower self-expression and ignite positive change. The video also features a group of Canadian dancers, shot in-studio against projections of local landmarks and scenes of nature from Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. The dancers represent various disciplines and include: Esabelle Chen (Montreal), Kim Gingras (Montreal), Jay Musodi (Vancouver), Nneoma Oguejiofor (Toronto), Manushi Patel, (Toronto), Jordan Phouttharah (Toronto), Cameron Wilson (Toronto), and Jera Wolfe (Toronto).
Holt Renfrew customers across Canada can also participate in the Spring campaign by tuning into an live event on Holt Renfrew’s Instagram channel featuring a one-on-one conversation with Jordan Alexander and Tyrone Edwards, Co-Anchor, CTV’s ETALK, on Sunday, March 14 at 7 p.m. ET.
Because of lockdowns in Ontario, half of Holt Renfrew’s stores have been shut to in-person shopping since November 23rd. On Monday, lockdown measures are expected to lift with reduced capacity for Holt Renfrew’s Toronto stores (50/100 Bloor Street West and Yorkdale) and the Square One location in Mississauga. Holt Renfrew also operates large stores in downtown Vancouver and downtown Calgary as well as the beautiful Holt Renfrew Ogilvy store in downtown Montreal.
5MONDAY Haircare Introduces Salon Quality Haircare to Walmart
MONDAY is the brainchild of New Zealand entrepreneur and beauty enthusiast, Jaimee Lupton, who was inspired to create a range of products that provide the benefits of salon quality formulations to all shoppers.
An explosive hit upon launch in Australia and New Zealand, MONDAY caused sellout in-store and newsworthy sales and after only six weeks on shelf, became the best-selling haircare collection in its domestic market. MONDAY has shipped over 2 million bottles internationally since launch in March 2020 and now Canadian’s can buy the affordable, yet luxury, haircare brand in Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart.
MONDAY launches with four targeted ranges, each with a shampoo and conditioner featuring premium formulations with a focus on natural ingredients such as jojoba oil, shea butter, and ginger root extract. Engineered to perform better than leading salon brands, MONDAY’s formulations have been through seven stages of research and development.
The brand is cruelty free and sustainable. Bottles are proudly made with recyclable HDPE plastic and pumps are made with 100% recyclable plastic through the use of PP material, to minimize the brand’s carbon footprint and reduce landfill.
“The distinctive square shape is not just aesthetic – it means the bottles can be packed much tighter and more efficiently to distributors. All the labelling on pack is screen-printed straight onto the surface to avoid any glue residue left behind,” notes Lupton.
6Flow Water Appoints New CEO
Flow Water Inc., one of the fastest-growing premium water brands in North America, has announced the appointment of a new CEO, Mr. Maurizio Patarnello.
Mr. Patarnello will play a key role in scaling Flow to meet its goal of becoming one of North America’s premier sustainable mineral spring water and wellness beverage companies. Mr. Patarnello joins Flow after an impressive 27+ year career working for Nestlé, and during his tenure he assumed various positions of increasing responsibility around the world, including throughout western and eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In 2017 he was appointed CEO and Chairman of Nestlé Waters, a role that he occupied through the end of 2019.
He has dedicated the large majority of his career to the bottled water business, in which he significantly contributed to Nestlé Waters’ growth of iconic multibillion dollar brands such as Nestle Pure Life, Perrier, San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, and Poland Spring. He is also a pioneer in the global consumer health movement from carbonated soft drinks to bottled water.
“Just weeks after we announced our intent to take Flow public, it is incredibly energizing to have someone of Maurizio’s stature and expertise join the Flow family, and his leadership will help us accelerate our growth, hone our strategy and execution, and scale our business in North America,” Nicholas Reichenbach said. “I’m proud to have led Flow from its inception to being a high-growth company that is now ready to go public and am so grateful be able to hand the reins to such a seasoned executive like Maurizio, while taking on a new active role as Executive Chairman.”
“I am thrilled to join the highly professional and dynamic executive team and lead Flow with Nicholas Reichenbach and the Board, as we stand on the precipice of an important evolution of the company and of water and beverage aisles across North America. Flow has tapped directly into the modern consumer’s desire for high quality sustainable water and functional beverage products and is poised to be a market leader in the space. Accelerating Flow’s growth will be our main goal in the coming years. I expect great things to come,” says Patarnello.
7District Ventures Leads $10 Million Investment in Plant-Based Technology Company
District Ventures Capital has announced an equity investment of $5 million in Outcast Foods, an innovative food technology company that diverts food waste from landfills and turns discarded fruits and vegetables into clean, nutrient-dense, sustainable food products.
BDC Capital also participated in the financing round and matched the $5 million investment for a combined total of $10 million.
Established in 2017 by serial entrepreneur, Dr. Darren Burke, and former NHL forward, TJ Galiardi, Outcast tackles the growing global issue surrounding food waste in both a unique and sustainable way. Utilizing rejected, surplus, or past-date fruits and vegetables from local farms, food processors and grocers, Outcast’s innovative food upcycling technology creates high-quality products with its own line of ‘Plant-Strong’ upcycled protein powders and dietary supplements, in addition to providing its plant-based ingredients to a variety of industries including cosmetic, agriculture, and pet food manufacturers.
“We saw the giant issue of food waste as an opportunity to create a new category in the growing supplement industry. All we needed to do was figure out how to transform waste stream food into high purity, nutrient-dense, long shelf-life natural health products,” said Dr. Darren Burke, Co-Founder and CEO of Outcast Foods.
“We have created a win for everyone in the supply chain with Outcast. Retailers not only cut costs associated with hauling unsold produce away to the landfill, but there’s also a reduction in carbon footprint, and customers enjoy delicious and sustainable products. We’re ready and excited to scale our operations with our new partners,” added TJ Galiardi, Co-Founder of Outcast Foods.
Outcast currently partners with multiple grocers, manufacturers, and farmers across Canada who supply an average of one million pounds of daily food waste. Regarded as ‘first-to-market’ in the upcycled food category, the company currently operates from its facility in Dartmouth, N.S. with plans to scale significantly in 2021.