BRIEF: Hudson’s Bay Launches Beauty Recycling, Tim Hortons ‘Innovation Café’ Shutters in the Financial District

Hudson’s Bay Partners to Launch Beauty Recycling Program

Hudson’s Bay this week announced a partnership called Pact Collective, which is described as being the first not-for-profit recycling program dedicated exclusively to the beauty industry. Founding members include Hudson’s Bay, Credo Beauty, MOB Beauty, and Element Packaging.

On Earth Day on April 22, Pact launched across North America with recycling bins available in 20 Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada and all 10 Credo stores in the United States. Hudson’s Bay says that it plans to roll it out to all 87 of its Canadian stores through 2021. The materials collected in the take-back bins will be sent to a recycling partner where they are sorted, cleaned, and then recycled, upcycled, or reused.

Julie Yan, Director of Sustainability for Hudson’s Bay, says “By bringing together beauty industry stakeholders through the Collective, Pact is enabling change from within. As a purpose-driven retailer, it was a clear opportunity for Hudson’s Bay to help drive that change, reduce our own impact on the planet, promote education and provide sustainable solutions for our customers”.

Exterior of Hudson’s Bay store on Queen Street, Toronto. Photo: Hudson’s Bay

The Beauty Industry is said to generate an estimated 120 billion cosmetic packages annually, and most are made with virgin plastic and a small percentage are successfully recycled. Pact’s mission is to provide a sustainable solution for hard-to-recycle beauty packaging including plastic packages smaller than a yogurt cup, squeezable tubes, fragrance bottles, pumps, caps, and other common formats that are unlikely to be recycled in curbside programs.

The announcement comes on the heals of Nordstrom’s announcement earlier this month that it was launching a beauty recycling program in its Canadian sores called BEAUTYCYCLE.

Tim Hortons Innovation Cafe Shuts Down in Toronto’s Empty Downtown Financial District

Interior of the Tim Hortons Innovation Cafe. Photo: CNW Group/Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons’ attempt at becoming a boutique coffee shop has fallen flat after less than two years in operation. The Tim Hortons Innovation Cafe on King Street West has closed, largely due to COVID-19 and the mass exodus of office workers from the city’s downtown core.

“The reality of COVID-19 has meant that the downtown core has been largely vacant for 13 months and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future,” reads a statement from Tim Hortons.

Sign on Tim Hortons Innovation Cafe announcing its closure. Photo: Dustin Fuhs

The location was the first of its kind for the Canadian staple, elevating the usual no frills Tim Hortons experience with ‘Dream Donuts’, draft lattes, and matcha.

“Tim Hortons 130 King was one of several innovation restaurants that we developed – where we try new menu innovations and new design concepts as we continue to grow and evolve the Tim Hortons brand.”

Retail Insider reported on the opening of the Innovation Cafe in the summer of 2019 and initially the location was greeted with long lineups and general excitement.

It’s tough to say whether or not this concept would have prevailed long term with the Canadian public if it had not been for COVID-19. At the time many thought Timmies should probably just stick to what they know. In a statement, however, the company promised further innovation and exiting things to come.

“We closed Tim Hortons 130 King last week and will continue to trial new ideas and concepts in our innovation restaurants.”

Porsche Centre Markham Opens at CF Markville Mall

Exterior of the Porsche Centre Markham at CF Markville. Photo: CF Markville

CF Markville Mall has officially welcomed Canada’s newest Porsche dealership. Located at 8590 McCowan Road at the northwest corner of the CF Markville site, the Porsche Centre Markham is the first car dealership in Canada that is fully-integrated with a regional shopping centre. A full-service dealership with new and pre-owned vehicle sales, parts, and service, the centre is also the latest addition to the portfolio of Toronto-based premium automotive group Pfaff Automotive Partners.

The 53,000-square-foot dealership is one of the first in the world to feature Porsche’s new global retail architecture, ‘Destination Porsche’, and it is connected directly to CF Markville’s underground and above-ground parking structures, and features pedestrian access.

Additionally, the dealership has integrated a full parts and service operation, as well as a Porsche Driver’s Selection boutique. Customers needing service have the flexibility of 24/7 pick-up and drop-off with a contactless kiosk, and the dealership has the capacity to accommodate service appointments on short notice.

Porsche Centre Markham is also fully-equipped to accommodate the brand’s electric models, with dedicated electric vehicle charging stations on-site, as well as an electric vehicle battery repair room, future-proofed for servicing the new Porsche Taycan and future electric Porsche models.

The addition of the Porsche Centre Markham to CF Markville is just the latest in a growing list of shopping centres adding auto retail showrooms to their mix. The latest example is West Edmonton Mall’s 317,000-square-foot Mayfield Toyota dealership which opened last year.

During the Ontario-wide stay-at-home order, Porsche Centre Markham’s sales and service departments are operating on an appointment-only basis, with Porsche parts and boutique items available for curbside pickup. Appointments can be booked online at

BonLook Acquires Virtual Optical Measurement Tool

Montreal-based eyewear company, BonLook, has announced its acquisition of EyeMeasure — a technological application that obtains various measurements necessary for prescription eyewear purchases.

EyeMeasure is a simple application that allows the user to measure pupillary distance (the distance between the centre of each pupil) and bifocal segment height. This technology allows for instant measuring with increased precision when compared to other technologies currently used in the e-commerce sector. The application also includes virtual try-on and frame digitization features that can greatly contribute to a smoother customer experience, replicating to in-person service.

EyeMeasure in action. Photo: BonLook

“Innovation is one of BonLook’s core values, and this new acquisition allows us to move closer to our objective of improving eye care service and prescription eyewear purchase accessibility in-store and online. For several months now, BonLook has been working to identify solutions that can address changes in the industry, while developing new technological tools that we will not only be able to use but also share with other players in the industry. We are currently reinventing systems that will allow eye care professionals to gain access to greater potential for expansion in terms of e-commerce and to reach more customers in an innovative and efficient manner,” expressed Louis-Félix Boulanger, BonLook’s Chief Operating Officer and cofounder.

BonLook has pursued an aggressive expansion plan over the last five years or so. Between growing its brick-and-mortar presence and widening its range of services, this newest acquisition is part of BonLook’s strategic growth plan within an increasingly competitive market. In addition to pursuing its sales operations in-stores and online, the company aims to act as a vector of technological innovation in the field of optics.

The company will enable other businesses equipped with a transactional site to implement the application to take measurements and to access its software development kit (SDK). This will allow partners to develop their own mobile applications and to benefit from the measurement and virtual try-on features. From now on, the EyeMeasure application will be included among BonLook’s services while remaining available to the general public without charge on the Apple App Store.

Altitude Sports Launches Next-Day Delivery in Western Canada

Altitude Sports warehouse. Photo: Altitude Sports

Montreal-based Altitude Sports has announced the introduction of next-day delivery to Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Regina, all from its Montreal distribution centre starting on April 26, 2021.

After its most successful year to date, Altitude Sports, Canada’s only exclusively online outdoor retailer, is building on last year’s launch of same day/next day delivery to Montreal and Toronto.

When compared to the same time period in 2019, last year between September and December the brand saw a 62 percent increase in new customers across Canada, a 99 percent increase in new customers in Montreal, and a 39 percent increase in new customers in Toronto. Additionally, from July 2020 to February 2021 over 25,000 customers used same day/next day in Montreal to deliver over 35,000 packages.

Altitude Sports

“We constantly look to push the boundaries for what’s possible as an ecommerce business,” says Maxime Dubois, CO-CEO. “Same Day/Next Day Delivery was an initiative that was clearly worth it.”

Now available in Western Canada’s biggest cities, orders placed by 2 pm EST will arrive by 8 pm local time the following day . Prices for next ay delivery will range from $7.99 to $12.99, depending on the shipping location. Orders placed after 2 pm EST will be eligible for two-day express delivery.

Altitude Sports continues to increase its product offering, partnering with new and exciting brands from Canada and around the world, with a focus on high-quality products, especially those that have the lowest impact on the environment. This season’s new brands include: Tentree (Canadian sustainable activewear brand), Praise (Montreal run and après run apparel) and Fox (gear and apparel for mountain biking).

“Our customers come back to us time and again because we evolve with the industry and we listen to them to ensure we are bringing in the best assortment of outdoor gear and apparel,” adds Dubois. “Our goal is to become Canada’s one-stop destination for outdoor living.”

This announcement comes days after Retail Insider reported that Gap-owned Athleta is entering Canada with stores, further intensifying the competitive athleisure and outdoor apparel market in Canada.

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