Canadian Asian supermarket chain T&T Supermarket has opened its latest location in CF Fairview Mall in Toronto as part of an $80-million revitalization development by owners Cadillac Fairview.
The supermarket has opened in the former Sears space where an informal Asian food hall area has been created with other food service establishments Fuwa Fuwa, Hazukido, Xing Fu Tang, Saint-Germain Bakery and Urban Cova.
Other brands set to open in the new wing are Good Catch, Omni Noodle Palace, Coconut Grove and Bingz Crispy Burger.
The new wing is accessible from the Don Mills TTC station exit and the West parking lot.
Tina Lee, the CEO of T&T Supermarket, said the new CF Fairview Mall location is 36,000 square feet.
“It’s been four years in the making,” she said. “Cadillac Fairview certainly makes headlines in malls across the country. This is a really interestinig retail story that is a collaboration between T&T and Cadillac Fairview. We’ve taken this department store space, it was formerly a Sears, and it was vacant for a long time.
“Wherever we open stores, we are a destination by ourselves and I think we are one of the only grocers in the country that gravitates towards malls. We think that creating a food experience that is enjoyable . . . I think it’s a really good match for us because it is something that people gravitate towards not just for their core grocery shop but also to explore and to eat. Our prepared foods and our in-store bakery. The grocerant portion of our business is quite entertaining.
“So to bring that to Fairview Mall is a really good fit. And then Fairview has really stepped up their revitalization of the entire mall and invested more than $80 million to revamp the mall and they have a very curated selection of other tenants that they have placed beside the T&T anchor store . . . I think it’s going to be one of the best executions of an experiential food hall so far that I’ve seen in the country. A modern, trendy, Asian food concept and all these tenants have a pretty broad appeal and we really have created a food destination.”
Daryl Clemance, General Manager at CF Fairview Mall, said the shopping centre has been a local landmark for more than 50 years. Over the last five decades, the centre has gone through a few transformations.
He said the opening of the supermarket marks the completion of the $80-million renovation and revitalization that transformed the existing 230,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by Sears.
“It’s really giving our customers a unique shopping and dining experience. It’s a little different than what some of our competitors have obviously,” said Clemance. “T&T being very popular, with their arrival and careful planning by our leasing team, we’ve welcomed a fleet of complementary retailers in the surrounding area and it’s kind of turned itself into a little bit of an informal Asian food hall, if you will.
“It’s continuing to add some points of differentiation for us and gives our customers another unique experience when they come to CF Fairview Mall.”
T&T is on the lower level of the former Sears space. A Marshall’s opened in the upper level at the beginning of COVID. That includes a combo store with HomeSense. SportChek has been relocated from 17,000 square feet into a new 25,000-square-foot space.
Clemance said leasing has been very active in the past year and occupancy today is close to 90 per cent.
Cadillac Fairview submitted an application about a year ago for site plan approval to densify the property. Clemance said it’s a long-term plan but the first phase will include three residential towers (two condos, one rental) with about 1,400 units on the south side of the shopping centre.
“Adding T&T and all the specialty food and the restaurants is really a necessary amenity for that residential that we hope to add in the not too distant future,” added Clemance.
The CF Fairview Mall store is the 32nd location for T&T in Canada.
Recently, it also announced it will be opening a new store in London, Ontario. The company confirmed the store, which is expected to open in Summer of 2024, is located at 530 Oxford St W, the southeast corner of Oxford St W and Wonderland Rd. At 39,000 square feet, it will be the largest Asian supermarket in town.
T&T, which has been in business since 1993, will be located in a strip mall that is currently under renovation to prepare for the expanded grocery store.
“When I was a student at Western, I carpooled with friends for three hours to the closest T&T in Toronto to get the ingredients I needed to make simple meals in residence. Despite the long drive, going to T&T is what cured my feeling of being homesick, having moved to London from Vancouver, BC. 20 years later, I still think London residents and students crave what T&T has to offer, so I am delighted that I finally get to bring the T&T experience back to my old school stomping grounds,” said Lee.
She said the company will be opening a new location on June 1 in Coquitlam, BC, just off Lougheed Highway.
“In the next few weeks, we’ll have a couple of new location announcements too,” added Lee.
The chain is part of Loblaw Companies, which purchased it in July 2009.
Related Retail Insider Articles
- T&T Supermarket Opens First and Largest Store in Montreal with Expansion Plans for 2023 [Interview]
- Shopping Centre Site Intensification Proposed for CF Fairview Mall in Toronto: Expert Interviews
T & T should come to Lethbridge Alberta.
We have an empty Sears store in a very vibrant mall.
There is lots of mall parking. Also a lot of high rise condos.
Two being built right now. Phase One to be completed Spring 2024.
They are all within walking distances.
Win win situation for both parties. Fabulous addition to the Community.
Having grown up and still living in the community surrounding Fairview mall, my family, friends and I have always looked to Fairview mall as a great destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. In recent years however, we are less inclined to choose Fairview mall as a place to do any of those things and instead drive or take transit to other shopping centres/ destinations. The reason being that despite the “upgrades”, more and more it looks like there’s no upkeep at this mall. Even more troubling is the ability of CF to attract and retain popular, leading global and Canadian brands at this mall. Meanwhile, Scarborough Town Centre a competing mall in the region has been able attract many exciting and leading brands over the years as Fairview mall has fallen behind. It’s easy to bet that in the coming years many will come to question the decision to create an entire wing to cater to just one segment of the demographic as part of the ongoing decline at this mall. Fairview mall was a prime shopping centre for 50 years but the decline has already begun.