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Toronto feels the love from Adore Cosmetics

July 24, 2017

Boutique to open at Holt Renfrew Centre this fall as part of steady expansion

As Adore Cosmetics continues to win accolades for its organic innovations in skincare, we are pleased to announce that those in Toronto’s downtown core will now have access to the ground-breaking collection, with the opening this fall of a much-anticipated boutique at Holt Renfrew Centre. 
The Miami-based company will open an 800 sq. ft. store to showcase its celebrated Organic Innovation line—based on organic extracts combined with age-defying Plant Stem Cell Technology—that continues to build an avid fanbase around the globe and is a mainstay on the best-of lists of major beauty and fashion magazines.
Located on Bloor Street, just steps from Yonge, Holt Renfrew Centre is an ideal location for Adore. As the unofficial anchor of the Mink Mile, the centre attracts more than 8-million visits a year and is close to the city’s busiest subway stop. It’s a marquee shopping district that’s easily accessible—traits inline with the Adore brand.
Launched in 2001, Adore’s parent company UHI Cosmetics is among the worlds leading manufacturers of luxury innovative skincare. Based on strong research and innovation, they use creative technology and high-end ingredients to produce unique products that feature a specially calibrated concentration of plant stem cells to defend against the effects of aging and promote healthy-looking skin.
Adore has more than 75 boutiques around the globe, including Canada, where it operates ten locations  —Fairview Pointe Claire (Quebec); Rideau Centre and Oshawa Centre  (Ontario); Southland Mall (Saskatchewan); Tsawwassen Mills and  Robson Street in downtown Vancouver (British Columbia); Southgate (Calgary) . 
Think Retail is delighted to work with the Adore team, which is keen to expand across the country. Adore will open an aforementioned 922 sq. ft. store at the new Outlet Collection Winnipeg this fall and seeks 500 to 900 sq. ft. opportunities to open full-price and outlet boutiques in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton and Quebec City.In addition to shopping centres, they will also consider non-conventional locations such as, airports, train stations and office buildings. 
This is a wonderful tenant with beautiful spa-like boutiques that delivers repeat foot-traffic and among the highest industry averages of sales per square foot. 
For more about Adore and its expansion plans for Canada, visit its website or contact the Think Retail Team.

Change Lingerie Opens at CF Carrefour Laval and unveil major plans for 25 new stores in Canada

July 21, 2017

Change Lingerie is hot in Canada with a new store at Carrefour Laval and plans for at least 25 more locations. 
The exciting international retailer opened a 550 sq. ft. store at the prestigious CF Carrefour Laval this week (July 20). Think Retail is delighted to have worked on the deal, which sees Change taking over part of the space formerly occupied by Bentleys (the original space was demised to accommodate Change and Spanish accessories retailer Uno de 50—perfect co-tenants!). 
Known as a fashionable destination filled with trendy retailers, Carrefour Laval is a super regional centre, offering a premiere shopping experience to those living on the North Shore of Montreal and surrounding area. It’s a perfect fit for the Change Lingerie brand, which is making huge inroads in major centres across Canada and building a strong consumer fanbase for its innovative collections that appeal to a wide array of women looking for the perfect fit. 
Next up, Change Lingerie is to open a 650 sq. ft. boutique (now under construction) at CF Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., and another store of 750 sq. ft. is in the works for Oshawa, Ont.’s recently renovated Oshawa Centre. 
At Think Retail, we are thrilled to work with this ambitious retailer as it readies for aggressive expansion into 2018 and 2019, with plans for at least 25 more stores. Ideal spaces are 500 to 850 sq. ft. and markets of interest include, the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.
Change Lingerie is positioned to redefine Canada’s lingerie sector and they are just getting started. As a bit of background, the concept launched in Denmark 1997, first as a private label brand before opening its first stand-alone retail store in Denmark in 2001. Change of Scandinavia quickly gained a huge following because of its vast selection of more than 110 different sizes from A-M cup in a variety of styles. 
Today, the retailer attracts a wide consumer base because of its high-quality garments and a straightforward mission: “To provide the perfect bra to as many women around the world as possible.”
Now operating as Change Lingerie, the hugely popular retailer has more than 240 franchise and corporate stores in 15 countries across three continents (in Europe, Asia and North America), as well as an international online store.


Change debuted in Canada in 2006 and has 16 locations—five stores in British Columbia, one in Saskatchewan, five in Ontario and five in Quebec. 
Change is a wonderful cotenant, with modern and beautifully designed stores that feature a crisp black and white palate. About 75% of revenue is derived from the sale of underwear and bras, however the company also offers a growing selection of loungewear, swimwear, nightwear, stockings and a men’s underwear collection. 
This summer marks two years since Think Retail partnered with Change to facilitate its growth in Canada. We look forward to working with this strong international brand as it builds its footprint and garners fans across the country. For more about Change and its ambitious plans, visit its website or contact the Think Retail Team.

Copper Branch kicks off national expansion with new Toronto restaurant

July 20, 2017

Offering a fresh take on the QSR experience, Copper Branch is bringing its signature power foods to Toronto’s power set, with its first restaurant in the city.
The 675 sq. ft. vegan eatery opened at Commerce Court’s revamped food court July 19. The newly renovated space features fresh lighting and new furniture, along with bright finishes. It’s an impressive area and a wonderful fit for Copper Branch’s Toronto debut. 
At Think Retail, we believe the heart of the Toronto’s financial district is an ideal location to introduce movers and shakers to Copper Branch’s innovative plant-based menu, which is designed to ‘Empower, Energize and make people feel their Best.” 
Established in Montreal in 2014, Copper Branch is a fast growing company with a clear mandate—to be the undisputed leader in healthy fast-casual foods. 
After owning several traditional fast food franchises over a period of 25 years, entrepreneur Rio Infantino wanted to revamp the QSR experience with nourishing gourmet power foods. It’s not about simply catering to vegetarians (although they love it) but rather a wider audience seeking clean healthy meal options. 
We are delighted to work with Copper Branch as it expands across the country. The concept recently opened a 1,500 sq. ft. restaurant in Quebec at First Capital’s Carre Lucerne in Mont-Royal and we are pleased to announce a new deal to open on Sherbrooke Street in the Westmount Village and thereafter in Place Laurier. In early 2018, the concept will open another Ontario location, at Downtown Markham, and we expect to announce several more deals soon. 
Copper Branch is at the helm of a powerful trend in clean, healthy eating and is strategically positioned to open at least 20 restaurants next year. 
They will continue its growth in the Greater Montreal and Toronto area, however we are also looking to secure debut sites in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Ideal spaces are 500 to 2,300 sq. ft. along high streets, as well as in open-air centres and regional malls—this is a marquee tenant with a lot of flexibility and strong branding.
Copper Branch is taking plant-based foods to the mainstream market with “real” fast food designed for health-conscious time-strapped consumers.  For more about this unique brand and its expansion plans, visit www.copperbranch.ca or contact the Think Retail Team. 

Five Guys sizzling with plans for 16 new restaurants

June 30, 2017

As Five Guys Burgers and Fries continues to shake up the burger market with hotly-anticipated openings around the globe, we are thrilled to announced that Think Retail is partnering with NY-based Bantam Restaurants LLC to open more locations here in eastern Canada. 
Bantam Restaurants LLC has the rights to Ontario (east of Kingston), Ottawa, Quebec and the East Coast provinces. We will be their exclusive broker as they open a minimum of 16 new Five Guys restaurants in these markets in the next five years. 
This is great news for burger lovers! Five Guys is a leader in the burger wars and has cultivated a loyal fanbase for its hand-formed burgers, hotdogs and fresh-cut fries. In fact, People magazine just named Five Guys to their annual 100 Reasons to Love America list. And, in a recent Harris poll, Five Guts unseated In-N-Out as the BEST burger chaini the United States. Five Guys is sizzling and just added milk shakes to its repertoire. 
Founded in Arlington Virginia in 1986, Five Guys started as a family-owned carry out burger joint. It soon developed a cult-like following and the Murell family kept up with demand by opening four more restaurants. 
They began franchising in 2003 and in the first 18 months, Five Guys Enterprises sold options more than 300 units, creating a national stir and garnering media coverage coast to coast. Everybody wanted a Five Guys in their community and they soon became the fastest growing franchise in the U.S., according to QSR Magazine. 
Today Five Guys has more than 1,500 locations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East, with another 1,500 in development. 
In Canada, Five Guys is focusing its expansion on 2,500 sq. ft. opportunities in open-air centres (with patio), high streets and super regional malls. Ideal co-tenants include, Cineplex, GoodLife Fitness, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Best Buy, SAQ/LCBO, PetSmart, Golf Town and Chipotle to name a few. 
The fast-casual restaurant chain is a premium tenant and its restaurants feature a fresh décor accented with red and white checks. Five Guys boasts remarkable brand loyalty—even Barack Obama is a fan and was often pictured treating White House staffers—and they are proven branding geniuses, always garnering attention-grabbing headlines that drive sales. 
With their promise of 250,000 ways to enjoy a Five Guys burger, customers are always coming back for more. For more about this growing brand and their plans in Canada, visit the Five Guys website or contact the Think Retail Team.

KidZania is the next big thing for North American shopping centres

June 19, 2017

KidZania is a fascinating concept that is garnering headlines around the globe and now it’s coming to North America, with plans to open in New York, Dallas and Chicago. It’s a theme park of sorts, but instead of rides and characters, it’s a downsized version of the real world, where kids try out professions in a fun interactive environment.
As The New Yorker puts it: “From a child’s perspective, KidZania is an enclosed, enticing world—resembling the outside one but oriented to children’s capacities and interests.”
The first KidZania family entertainment centre opened in Santa Fe Shopping Mall in Mexico City in 1999 and today there are 24 locations in major cities around the world, targetting children ages 4 through 14. Another nine are under development and the company continues to seek franchisees as it moves into new markets. 
At Think Retail, we have been watching this company for a while and eager to hear about their plans to expand further afield. This spring, the company finally announced its North American debut. The inaugural U.S. locations, developed by Chicago-based real estate firm GGP Inc. are expected to open in 2018 and 2019. According to the company, they will join the rapid expansion of locations in Paris, Doha, Johannesburg, Guadalajara, Abu Dhabi, Surabaya and Toronto!
It’s a groundbreaking idea that takes role-playing and dress up to new heights. Each location is a child-sized replica of a city, complete with buildings, shops, vehicles and other features. Kids can choose from more than 60 roles—jobs vary according to country and custom—and each takes about 25 minutes to complete: They can try their hand at everything from pizza making to surgery and in doing so work to earn KidZos, a special currency, which they can spend on in-house activities or at the gift shop. There’s a lesson on finance in there, too. 
Corporate sponsors, from Coco-Cola (work in an onsite bottling plant) to Crest (who wants to be a dentist?), McDonalds (would you like fries with that?) and British Airways (for budding pilots), feature prominently—there are more than 800 sponsors in the sites around the world—and, while this is a privately owned company, their investments help fund the business model. 
The award winning global theme park is a game-changer in terms of children’s entertainment. 
It’s also a massive opportunity for shopping centres, which are increasingly offering entertainment and experiences as a means to attract consumers and fill space with dynamic and engaging tenants. 
This new world of edutainment is more than child’s play. Parents can track their children on devices, while taking advantage of the opportunity to run errands, shop and dine. 
The  North American market is ripe for this fresh ideas and no doubt kids, parents, landlords and developers would welcome what’s being dubbed as the one of the fastest growing kid’s hands-on entertainment brands in the world.
For more information, visit www.kidzania.com, or, to share your thoughts, drop us an email

Superstar Chef Antonio Park is taking his culinary vision to new heights

May 26, 2017

Antonio Park embodies what it is to be a true Canadian celebrity chef. An immigrant with a diverse background who has worked the world over, Park owns and operates a handful of destination restaurants in Montreal, each of which elevate the city’s food scene with their own unique offering. His high-profile stint as a judge on the Food Network’s cult hit Chopped Canada simply seals the deal and word is he’s now prepping for a Toronto debut.
After a recent fabulous evening and unparalleled meal at the famous Park sushi restaurant on Victoria Avenue in Montreal’s Westmount, I felt inspired to highlight Chef Antonio Park as an exciting brand builder and influencer. At Think Retail we are always interested in following marque concepts and Park’s growing collection of restaurants, markets and cafes are definitely worth watching.
A student of the world (his family moved to Canada in 1990), Chef Park learned the importance of fresh, from-scratch cooking from his mother, but also went to culinary school in Japan where he trained under masters, perfecting, then evolving, his approach to create menus that take sushi, seafood and other fare to new levels.
He’s been a chef in Tokyo, Osaka, New York and Toronto, but lucky for us, he returned to Montreal and in 2012 opened his first restaurant, the now-famous Park (named after his late father).
It’s an exquisite culinary experience unlike any other. His food stands apart, embodying who he is—a taste of his Korean heritage, Japanese training and the South American flavours of a childhood spent in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.
His reputation for quality is unparalleled. For instance, he imports his fish live from Japan to ensure ultimate freshness. And, in 2015, he became the first chef in Canada to secure a license to import and serve Japanese Kobe beef. It’s efforts such as these that help solidify Park restaurant’s status as a marquee space.
He capitalized on this by opening the adjacent Sous Chef Marche Gourmand, which sells a selection of healthy organic foods and homemade juices.
And, Chef Park brings his love of Latin cuisine to the forefront with his restaurant Lavanderia (named after his mother), which serves South American favourites (with a twist) and is conveniently located on the same block as Park restaurant, enabling him to oversee both kitchens.
In essence, Chef Park dominates Victoria Avenue, which is also home to his catering and events company, Trout Lake, and his latest endeavor, Café Bazin, a café/pastry concept that is to be presided over by Park restaurant’s executive pastry chef, Bertrand Bazin.
Of course, his collection of Montreal restaurants would not be complete without a downtown presence, which he delivers with Jatoba (a fresh take on the Japanese-South American fusion) and Kampai Garden, which reinvents the traditional beer garden with legendary cocktails and delectable bites in a beautiful leafy space at 1616 St. Catherine Street West, in the heart of the city.
Chef Park’s restaurants are destinations among the who’s who, attracting a celebrity clientele that spans Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry to former hometown Habs favourite P.K. Subban.
As illustrated by his flourishing mini-empire, Chef Park brings to the table much more than celebrated culinary skills—he possesses a tenacious business acumen. Each of his concepts is unique, while on brand, adding to the city’s foodscape with unbeatable food, but also great atmosphere that’s always ahead of the curve. He has an incredible eye for design and insight into the experiential component of the restaurant business. With several concepts under his belt, Chef Park boasts a proven track record and his vision is ripe for expansion.
At Think Retail, we love that Chef Park calls Montreal home and has chosen this city as the place to lay the foundation for his empire. However, we believe this culinary visionary has the potential to make his mark in cities across the country and beyond. He is already preparing to open his first restaurant in Toronto’s posh Yorkville area and no doubt this is just the beginning of an exciting period of growth for his business.  
Park Chef is a man of the world, who speaks six languages—English, French, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese and Japanese—making him the ideal super chef in a multicultural country like Canada. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
We’d love to hear what you think. Contact the Think Retail team