Designer Toy Culture Retail Concept POP MART Expanding into Canadian Market with Stores [Interview]


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POP MART, a market-leading character-based entertainment company and a global champion of designer toy culture, with an innovative vision and retail concept, is expanding in Canada.

Tony Flanz and the team at commercial real estate firm Think Retail is helping the brand with its real estate needs for its Canadian expansion.

The brand, which has a network of more than 380 stores, plus more than 2,000 Roboshops—which dispense toy collectibles—has a retail footprint that spans more than 84 countries, including China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the U.S., Europe and Canada. Plus, Pop Mart has a significant digital presence. It also have more than 500 distributors.

POP MART at American Dream

“The company is looking to further growth and that includes stores in several Canadian markets—British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec,” said Flanz.

Tony Flanz

“This is such a fun and interesting concept that appeals to all demographics, from young people who love toys to mature collectors. POP MART collaborates with major companies, including Marvel and Disney, to create branded toys that span Harry Potter to SpongeBob, Minions, Pokémon and favourite anime collections. 

“Its collectibles go beyond the usual, as POP MART is known for collaborating with artists to create unique characters that have a loyal fan base. Some of its best-known characters include MOLLY, The Monsters, DIMOO, Skullpanda and others.”

Funan POP MART Store, Singapore (Image: POP MART)
POP MART Australia (Image: POP MART)

Flanz said the focus in Canada is on super regional centres with high annual traffic. Ideal sizes are: 1,000 to 1,500 square feet for inline stores; 100 to 150 square feet for kiosks; plus the company is interested in sites for pop-up stores and Roboshops. 

According to POP MART: “Through global artist development, IP operations, designer toy culture evangelism, and strategic investments, we have built an integrated platform covering the entire designer toy value chain, allowing artists to focus solely on their craft and giving stage to talent from all over the world.”

POP MART says its mission is to light up passion and bring joy around the world.    

POP MART Singapore (Image: POP MART)
POP MART Singapore (Image: POP MART)

Flanz said POP MART is a well-known brand with brick-and-mortar stores that are company owned and beautifully designed for a fun browsing (and buying) experience. 

“In addition to its thriving online business, POP MART experiments with cool pop-up stores designed to test new markets and increase brand awareness,” he said. 

“With strong branding that appeals to its target markets – it’s also well established across relevant social media channels, including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook – POP MART is an ideal tenant.”

POP MART in Richmond, BC (Image: POP MART)
@nathan_fox_was_here Pop Mart Flagship store in American Dream Mall. @POP MART US @POP MART #americandreammall #popmart ♬ original sound – Nathan Fox

In September, POP MART announced the grand opening of its first permanent location in the United States in the prestigious American Dream Mall in New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to bring our unique retail experience to the American Dream Mall,” said Larry Lu, Head of POP MART North America. “The opening of our first permanent store in the US signifies an important milestone for our brand, and we are excited to share our passion for designer toys with our loyal fans and collectors in the United States.”

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.


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