Retail Insider’s Top 23 Most-Read News Articles of 2023 [Feature]

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In 2023, the Canadian retail industry adapted and shifted throughout a year of uncertainty. 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 2023 for many years to come.

In 2023, Zellers relaunched, Nordstrom exited Canada, and Bed Bath & Beyond’s real estate was snapped up for new concepts. Retail leasing remained robust with shopping centres adding new tenants.

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 23:

23. Yorkdale Breaks Records as the Highest-Performing Shopping Centre in Canada [ICSC Study/Analysis] 

Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The luxury-heavy Toronto shopping centre saw higher sales per square foot last year than ever, while surpassing two billion dollars in sales for the first time.

22. Hudson’s Bay to Shut Historic Standalone Store in Banff Alberta

Photo: Can Pac Swire via Flickr

The smallest department store in the chain caters to tourists and locals in the town and had been an important retailer in Banff for over 80 years.

21. First NBA Courtside Restaurant to Open this Spring in Downtown Toronto [Interview/Renderings]

NBA Courtside Restaurant in Toronto (Image: NBA)

The 10,000 square foot premium sports-inspired dining experience celebrating the National Basketball Association will be unlike anything in the city to date, and will be within walking distance of Scotiabank Arena.

20. Yorkdale Launches Unprecedented 100,000 Square Foot Luxury Retail Expansion in Toronto [Feature/Photos]

Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Craig Patterson)

Oxford Properties will re-tenant Yorkdale’s centre run in an effort to create one of the world’s leading clusterings of luxury brand stores.

19. Hudson’s Bay Launches Outlet Store Concept 

Hudson’s Bay at Eglinton Square in Toronto, 2019. Photo via Google Street View

The department store retailer’s new location features outlet pricing, following the shuttering of a previous Hudson’s Bay Outlet concept during the pandemic.

18. Bowling and Entertainment Concept ‘The Ballroom’ to Replace Mark McEwan Grocery Store at Yonge & Bloor in Toronto [Exclusive]

Future Ballroom Social at 1 Bloor (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

It will be the second bowling offering for downtown Toronto, occupying a former grocery store space at the iconic corner in Bloor-Yorkville.

17. New Retailers to Open at ‘The Well’ in Downtown Toronto into 2024 [Interview]

The Well in Toronto (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Oliver Harrison of RioCan discusses the massive project which has finished construction and is now seeing new retailers open.

16. adidas to Combine Canadian and US Business Units in Major Organizational Shift [Exclusive]

adidas Halo Store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The restructuring aims to streamline adidas’ retail operations in Canada with country GM Alim Dhanji exiting for another major company.

15. Bed Bath & Beyond to Leave Hundreds of Thousands of Square Feet of Vacant Retail Space with Canadian Exit

Bed Bath & Beyond at South Edmonton Common (Image: South Edmonton Common)

New tenants will have to be found for spaces vacated by the retailer following court filings last week that will wind down the Canadian retail division.

14. Promenade Shopping Centre in Thornhill to be Redeveloped into Vibrant Urban Centre [Renderings/Exclusive Interview]

Promenade Shopping Centre (Concept rendering – subject to change)

The transformational mixed-use development will include new retail to serve the area, amenities, and thousands of multi-family residences for the rapidly growing community.

13. Israel-Based ‘Fox Home’ to Expand into Canada with Multiple Stores in 2023

FOX HOME at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Tel Aviv-based Fox Group is investing heavily into the Canadian market with other store concepts expanding that include Nike, Mango, and Laline.

12. Mastermind Toys Acquired by Joe Mimran’s Unity Acquisitions, 18 Stores to Close 

Mastermind Toys at Upper Oakville Shopping Centre (Image: Upper Oakville Shopping Centre)

Unity will acquire the majority of Mastermind Toys store locations following a bankruptcy filing, with a significant number of employees continuing with the business.

11. CF Chinook Centre in Calgary to See Several Global First-to-Market Retailers Open in 2023 [Interview]

CF Chinook Centre (Image: Cadillac Fairview)

Calgary’s first Uniqlo, Nike flagship store, and Jo Malone will be among new retailers while others are expanding or relocating in the city’s top mall.

10. Furla Abruptly Exits Canadian Market and Shuts All Stores 

Furla Yorkdale (Image: Michael Muraz)

The upscale Italian brand opened three standalone locations in Canada, and locked the doors on the stores last week without any warning.

9. Inside Zellers 2.0 and its Newly Secured In-House Brand ‘Anko’ [Photos/Analysis]

Zellers at Scarborough Town Centre in Toronto, March 21, 2023. Photo: Craig Patterson

The new Zellers stores at Hudson’s Bay launch tomorrow, featuring Kmart Australia-developed brand Anko which is expanding globally after seeing commercial success in that country.

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

Shuttered eBar coffee shop at the mall entrance to Nordstrom at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Bill Manning via Reddit

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

7. Royalmount in Montreal Announces more Retail Tenants Ahead of Summer 2024 Opening: Interview with Carbonleo CEO Andrew Lutfy [Exclusive]

Royalmount (Image: CarbonLeo)

Lutfy says that he aims to make Royalmount a world-class destination with a mix of retail, foodservice and attractions that will be unlike anything in Canada.

6. KIT + ACE Launches Store Expansion in Canada Under New Ownership [Interview]

Future KIT + ACE at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The Vancouver-based retailer will open two locations this fall in Toronto and Calgary, with plans for a substantial expansion into 2024 says CEO David Lui.

5. Insomnia Cookies Expands into Canada With 1st Canadian Location Opening in September [Interview]

Insomnia Cookies at York University in Toronto, Ontario (Image: Insomnia Cookies)

The brand known for delivering warm cookies to satisfy late-night cravings, is entering the Canadian market after seeing huge success in the US.

4. Why So Many American Retailers have Failed in Canada [Feature/Expert Interviews]

Nordstrom at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Following the announcement of Nordstrom’s exit from Canada, Retail Insider interviewed a panel of experts about why various retailers from the US have struggled here.

3. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack to Exit Canada and Shut All Stores

Nordstrom at Yorkdale (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The Seattle-based large format retailer has been in Canada for almost a decade and is said to have never made a profit.

2. Salvation Army Thrift Store in Canada Faces Unprecedented Donation Slump Amid Consumer Shift [Interview]

The Salvation Army (Image: downtownacton.ca)

As the cost of living rises and online resale gains popularity, the thrift store is struggling to maintain its product assortment at a critical time.

1. Zellers to Open Initial 25 Stores in Canada with Potential Return of Mascot ‘Zeddy’

SUBURBAN OTTAWA STORE. PHOTO: MONIKA JASKOLKA VIA GOOGLE MAPS

The new concept stores will feature a range of product categories and marketing indicates the return of a popular teddy bear mascot.


Keep reading Retail Insider, as we’ll be reporting on Canadian retail industry stories in 2024. Let’s all have a safe and prosperous new year!

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