Retail Insider’s Top 22 Most-Read Stories of 2022 [Feature]

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In 2022, the Canadian retail industry adapted and shifted throughout the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Major trends included growth in omni-channel, challenges with supply chain, marketplaces and inflation among other topics.

Canada also saw a number of brands enter the country through expansion and had a number of brands unexpectedly exit the market. We will be talking about the lasting impacts of 2022 for many years to come.

Over the course of the year, some articles published in Retail Insider saw many thousands of readers, and we’ve listed the top ones below in descending order. See them all below, starting with number 22:

22. Canadian Tire Store Near Yonge & Bloor in Toronto Slated for Redevelopment: Sources

Canadian Tire store at 839 Yonge Street, January 2022. Photo: Craig Patterson

The recently renovated store could be demolished for towers as well as a new purpose-built retail space for Canadian Tire. 

21. Apple Flagship Store May Pull Out of Yonge & Bloor ‘The ONE’ Project by Sam Mizrahi: Report

“THE ONE” TOWER RENDERING: VIA THE BEHAR GROUP BUZZ

The secretive retailer could leave a hole at the iconic corner amid litigation as the developer fights to keep Apple as the anchor tenant.

20. Alo Yoga to Enter Canadian Market with Multiple Stores Including Bloor Street Flagship in Former Gap Retail Space

Future Alo Yoga Location at 60 Bloor Street (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

The upscale brand will go after Lululemon’s home market including a massive flagship store at an important corner.

19. Best Buy Launching Smaller Store Format for Canadian Market [Exclusive]

Best Buy New Concept for Sherwood Park Mall (Rendering: Best Buy)

The new concept store with a smaller footprint integrates into the regional store network at a localized level.

18. Zara to Shutter Bloor Street Store in Toronto After 22 Years 

The Former Zara on Bloor Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The Holt Renfrew Centre Zara store was the first in Toronto, replacing a Marks & Spencer location that operated for years.

17. Japanese Coffee Brand ‘% Arabica’ Kicks Off Canadian Expansion with 1st Location Opening in Toronto [Photos/Interview]

% Arabica at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The company says it will expand nationally with new locations to open in Ontario and on the West Coast next year.

16. Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto Adding More Luxury Retailers in 2022 

Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Craig Patterson)

More big name brands are opening in Canada’s densest node of luxury brand stores, including several first-to-Canada international retailers.  

15. Downtown Edmonton Retail Struggling Amid New Developments and Shifting Dynamics [Feature Story/Interviews]

Edmonton City Centre Mall (Image: Craig Patterson)

A reduction in foot traffic and a perceived lack of safety are among issues faced by a downtown core which has lost retail space over the years as suburban centres dominate the market.

14. Brazilian Steakhouse Concept Fogo de Chão to Enter Canada with Plans for 10+ Locations

Photograph courtesy of Fogo de Chao

The experiential upscale international concept is looking at cities across Canada for large-format restaurant locations. 

13. The Well in Downtown Toronto Announces Major Retail Tenants

Image: The Well

Several global and first-to-market brands will open in the highly anticipated mixed-use development that will occupy a key site at Front and Spadina — and with Shopify pulling out of the office component, it’s anyone’s guess what happens next.

12. Indigo Closing Chapters Book Store on Rideau Street in Downtown Ottawa to Relocate to CF Rideau Centre [Renderings]

Chapters Rideau in Ottawa – Image: Dustin Fuhs

The new concept Indigo store will replace a legacy Chapters store that opened in 1996.

11. Lettuce Shortage in Canada Signals Supply Chain Challenges for Food Retailers [Op-Ed]

Romaine Lettuce at Longo’s (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Canada became dependent on foreign markets prior to NAFTA, and the situation is complicated according to Sylvain Charlebois.

10. Lowe’s Sells Canadian Division to US Private Equity Firm, RONA Name to Replace Lowe’s

Image: Lowe’s

The sale indicates the failure of Lowe’s in Canada following its acquisition of RONA, according to experts.

9. ‘The Grocery People’ Launches New Concept Flagship ‘Wholesale Market’ Store in Edmonton with Plans for Expansion

Image: Wholesale Market (The Grocery People)

The new location is targeted to be a prototype for the chain with a state-of-the-art culinary centre, chef demonstrations and other elements to enhance the consumer experience.

8. lululemon to Open 3-Level Flagship Store at Yonge and Bloor Intersection in Downtown Toronto [Exclusive]

Rendering of Future lululemon at 2 Bloor Street West in Toronto (Image: Kingsett Capital)

The store will be built over three floors at one of the most significant retail corners in Canada.

7. Canadian Tire Corp. Launches 1st-Ever Activewear Brand: Interview

Forward With Design at Sport Chek (Image: Canadian Tire Corporation)

The retailer has launched a range of products including athleisure and other categories to gain market share at Sport Chek and Sports Experts stores in Canada.

6. Nike to Open Large Flagship store in Downtown Montreal 

Photo: Maxime Frechette

It’s the second large-format Nike flagship store for the Canadian market and it will feature prominent frontage on Ste-Catherine Street West. More are expected.

5. In Photos: The Last Days of Hudson’s Bay at Yonge & Bloor in Downtown Toronto

Hudson’s Bay Toronto 44 Bloor Street, May 15, 2022 (Image: Craig Patterson)

The store was once the retailer’s flagship store and it shut earlier than expected after product cleared out.

4. Hudson’s Bay Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver to Be Redeveloped

Vancouver Hudson’s Bay (Image: Streetworks Developments)

The retail component of the department store is expected to be downsized, which is part of a trend as HBC redevelops its downtown Canadian assets.

3. Halifax Shopping Centre Adding Another Major Retailer to Former Sears Box [Interview/Renderings]

Halifax Shopping Centre

The retailers will join La Maison Simons in a 150,000 square foot space that has been vacant since Sears’ demise in 2018.

2. Hudson’s Bay to Close Bloor & Yonge Department Store in Downtown Toronto [Exclusive]

Hudson’s Bay Toronto 44 Bloor Street, May 8, 2022 (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The massive bunker on Bloor was the retailer’s Canadian flagship location from 1974 to 1991. A major redevelopment of the Hudson’s Bay Centre is now planned.

1. Zellers Stores to be Revived by Hudson’s Bay Company [Exclusive]

Zellers at Hudson’s Bay Burlington Centre. Photo: Sean Tarry

The 2.0 retail concept will include Zellers locations within Hudson’s Bay department stores as well as an online portal.


Keep reading Retail Insider, as we’ll be reporting on Canadian retail industry stories in 2023. Let’s all have a safe and prosperous new year!

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