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Hudson’s Bay Partners with PlantX to Open Café and Retail with Plans for Expansion into Multiple Bay Stores: Interview

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PlantX, which sells 100 per cent plant-based products, has launched a presence in two Hudson’s Bay locations with plans to aggressively expand into more spaces across the country within the iconic retailer’s stores.

Recently, PlantX opened its XMarket Café concept in the Bay’s CF Rideau Centre store in Ottawa. It also opened its retail concept in the Bay’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

“The Hudson’s Bay experience is evolving, and our stores are fast becoming hubs for discovery and inspiration,” said Wayne Drummond, President, Hudson’s Bay, in a statement. “XMarket Café speaks to a growing consumer segment and incorporates local partnerships that make this new experience special and unique to the community.”

XMarket Café at the Rideau Hudson’s Bay in Ottawa
XMarket Café at the Rideau Hudson’s Bay in Ottawa

Sean Dollinger, PlantX Founder, said having a retail presence in Hudson’s Bay’s locations offers incredible opportunities to exert its plant-based impact and build on its retail efforts. 

Sean Dollinger

“We’re thrilled to have physical spaces within Ottawa and Toronto communities to offer a more direct and dynamic PlantX experience,” he said.

PlantX was launched more than a year and a half ago. As the digital face of the plant-based community, PlantX’s platform is the one-stop shop for everything plant-based. With its fast-growing category verticals, the company offers customers across North America more than 5,000 plant-based products. In addition to offering meal and indoor plant deliveries, the company currently has plans underway to expand its product lines to include cosmetics, clothing and its own water brand.

PlantX has a head office in Vancouver and is currently operating in Canada, the US, the UK, Germany and Israel.

Image: PlantX

The company’s retail locations are more or less like education centres and distribution points. 

“Essentially the way Tesla created their showrooms to educate people on electric cars and why they’re better than fuel-powered cars and then they used their centres also as delivery points for their cars and education centres. Same idea. We’re e-comm at the true heart of PlantX but we use our retail locations for same-day fulfillment. So we’ll have same-day fulfillment in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver by the end of this month and in the US we have same-day delivery in San Diego, Los Angeles and Chicago,” said Dollinger. 

The 100 per cent plant-based café concept features carefully-crafted vegan beverages and plant-based food options with ingredients sourced from Ottawa businesses, including local bakery Keepin’ It Vegan. PlantX has also opened signature XMarket shops at both Yorkdale and Rideau, offering a curated selection of plant-based products spanning grocery, home, personal care, pets and more.

Image: XMarket

The new store at Rideau will assist PlantX with its distribution for online customers in Eastern Canada, including shoppers on TheBay.com Marketplace, allowing for same day PlantX deliveries in the Ottawa area, as well as accelerated shipping of PlantX products across all of Canada. By further centralizing its Canadian operations, PlantX is advancing its digital and technological growth, while the new fulfillment capabilities will increase cost-savings.

The stores that don’t have a café concept are under 1,000 square feet – about 750 square feet – while the café concepts are anywhere from 1,200 to 2,000 square feet.

“Being with the oldest retailer in the US and Canada and them recognizing PlantX which has just been around for 16 months as an innovative company in Canada and providing us an amazing opportunity to give such great placements, I think speaks volumes for PlantX,” added Dollinger. “We’re going to start our same day delivery rollout in Toronto and Ottawa by the end of January and depending on how that launch goes.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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