Engaging Physical Retail Experiences Paramount Despite Rise in Digital: Interview with Nick Iozzo of Ancillary Agency


Share post:

Toronto-based Nick Iozzo continues to build his real estate consultancy company The Ancillary Agency through the pandemic and into its recovery.

One of the unique areas the company has been working on is matching the real estate needs of creative agencies, brand storytellers and retailers in finding real estate space for promotional activations and campaigns.

Image: Nick Iozzo

Iozzo said brands are realizing that digital will always have a play in brand storytelling but as COVID restrictions are starting to come down, many retailers and brands are wanting to engage potential customers in person. They want to be where people are. They want to get those types of impressions beyond the digital world.

“If it means an activation in a promo court in a mall, if it means a sampling program in an office tower, if it means aligning their brand with a sponsorship opportunity at a commercial property, we’re there to help match those needs with the availability of inventory within the country,” he said. 

Iozzo said the Agency has been focused on three sectors. One is to help grow ancillary revenue for commercial landlords. Secondly, it works with retailers, agencies and brands directly to help them find real estate for their brand storytelling, any of the campaigns they may be launching. And thirdly, the Agency has been helping businesses grow through business development to reach new customers within the retail and commercial real estate sectors.

33 Bloor Street East (FrontRunner via Epic Investment Services)

“It’s been fantastic. On the landlord side, we’ve been working with Strathallen nationally for their retail portfolio. We are supporting KingSett for their Canadian portfolio and QuadReal’s national office portfolio. DREAM Office REIT for Film Management in Toronto representing their assets in the film community. Crestpoint for their national portfolio of retail, office, and industrial assets,” said Iozzo, adding the company is also working with some smaller independent sites such as Stackt Market in Toronto and RendezViews which is an entertainment centre in Toronto.

“We’ve really been growing and making inroads with a number of large and regional commercial real estate owners,” he said. 

“Also helping on the creative brand storytelling. We’ve been working with brands, direct agencies, to assist them in finding real estate to help them with their campaigns. We have worked with agencies that represent Labatt/Stella, Coca-Cola, Nike and Converse just to name a few. We’ve assisted them on some of their brand activations, events, throughout the country. And that’s been really good because we’re not a creative agency. We leave the creative thinking and the brainstorming to those creative agencies who represent those brands and those agencies either don’t have the connections or the expertise on finding the right piece of real estate. So they partner with us to help them find the real estate to help them execute on the campaigns.”

Another key area is helping entertainment uses expand into different parts of the country.

Image: Stackt Market

The Agency is also supporting Stackt Market with their ancillary revenue projects including pop-up retail, sponsorship, out-of-home media, and experiential activations.

“The three big projects we’re working on now is Canada’s first licenced dog park which has opened. We are working on brand partnerships for this asset. Dyson was one of the first brands we brought in. We are supporting Stackt on their Three-On-Three basketball PlayZone that has opened and we’re looking at the athletic brands, the health and wellness brands that want to be aligned with this sporting product,” said Iozzo.

“And they’ve opened up an organic garden and bee pollinator garden. And so again aligning with brands that want to promote themselves within a sustainability aspect.

“That’s been really exciting for us at Stackt and it’s sort of a site that has been leading within Canada as a first to market and Stackt has always been known as a first to market type venue. We’re really excited to be working with the proprietors there to help evolve their sponsorship and brand activation partnerships.”

Stackt is Canada’s largest shipping container market, established in April 2019 on Bathurst St. Designed entirely out of shipping containers, it is an ever evolving cultural marketplace. The ecosystem features a mix of local and international retailers, a brewery, unique service providers, start-up incubators, and innovative culinary adventures. It is anchored by a strong mandate to support local art, music, social enterprise and cultural communities.

To further expand the offering of services in the retail and commercial real estate sectors, The Ancillary Agency has also formed a partnership with the Savills Retail Toronto team, for clients seeking temporary and permanent leasing solutions and The T1 Agency, to provide sponsorship audit and valuation services.

Iozzo’s previous experience includes time with Canadian corporate giants Oxford Properties Group, Cadillac Fairview, and Rogers Communications.

Mario Toneguzzi
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 News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter

Related articles

Luxury Brand Concessions at Nordstrom in Canada Shutter Ahead of Retailer’s Exit

Several major brands leased space within Nordstrom stores and the boutique spaces shuttered over the weekend.

Nordstrom to Exit Canada Discussion: Craig Patterson & Lee Rivett [Podcast]

Craig and Lee talk about the closure announcement of Nordstrom shutting its Canadian stores. Included in the discussion is how we found out, what might be done with Nordstrom's stores in Canada, and why the retailer made the shocking move.

Why Nordstrom Failed in Canada: Interview with Lisa Hutcheson of J.C. Williams Group

The retail industry expert also discusses learnings on retail innovation from EuroShop 2023.

Vancouver-Based Brand DUER to Double Store Count in 2023 [CEO Interview]

Stores act as a community hub for the brand which is seeing rapid growth across its channels.

Uniqlo to Enter Ottawa Market with Ongoing Canadian Store Expansion

The Japanese fast-fashion retailer is targeting major cities across the country as it enters new markets with stores.

SAXX Underwear Launches 1st Immersive Shop-in-Store at Hudson’s Bay Flagship in Toronto [Interview/Photos]

The pandemic put an earlier launch on hold for the brand which is now looking to open more retail locations in Canada.

Holt Renfrew to Relocate Standalone Men’s Store on Toronto’s Bloor Street Back into Flagship

The standalone Holt Renfrew Men opened in 2014 in a former Roots location, about 500 feet west of the 50 Bloor flagship. Big changes are in store according to the retailer.

Canadian Women’s Undergarment Brand Knix Expanding Further with Stores and Significant Growth [Founder Interview]

Joanna Griffiths discusses the expansion of her brand which includes product innovation and physical stores as well as robust e-commerce.

Upscale Women’s Retailer Andrews Relocated Yorkville Village Store to New Space [Interview]

The relocation follows Andrews' opening of a store in Oakville as it curates fashion lines catering to a range of female customers.

CrossIron Mills Near Calgary Sees Strong Leasing Activity with New Tenants Added [Interview]

It's been an incredibly active year according to James Moller of JLL, noting that the next space to deal with is a soon to be vacated Bed Bath & Beyond.

Birks Investing in Stores Including Relocating CF Chinook Centre Location in Calgary [Interview]

CEO Jean-Chrisophe Bédos tells Retail Insider that the jeweller sees an upside to luxury retail in Canada, particularly in five major markets.

Badass Fitness Experience With A FightClub Meets NightClub Vibe [Interview]

Cissy Chen, founder of Rumble Boxing Studio, discusses her growing business at a time when fitness studios struggle following the pandemic.