Blog

Retail and business expert Martin Lamarche joins Think Retail

April 12, 2021

Think Retail is thrilled to welcome Martin Lamarche to our growing and high-performing team.
Martin brings to the table a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit and strong focus on customer service excellence, which will be invaluable to our amazing clients.
With more than 20 years of experience in the retail and wholesale apparel industry, including product development, sales and management, Martin knows the retail scape and offers a unique perspective that will help brands to grow their footprint in the Quebec market and across Canada.
Martin has a diverse business background and is well positioned to offer insights fuelled by strong analytical, interpersonal and negotiation skills.
Most recently, as CEO and co-founder of Berso Branding and Retail Inc., Martin created an innovative immersive retail concept designed for tech-savvy new parents.
Previously, he served as Divisional Vice-President, Children Category, for Aubainerie, a Montreal-based fashion brand that operates more than 50 locations.
Martin also spent eight years with Montreal-based Boyz Group Inc. as Divisional Vice-President of national and international business and product development. In this role, Martin travelled extensively in Europe and Asia Pacific for fashion and product research. This international experience gave him a unique foundation and valuable insights into global retail trends and opportunities.
A creative and confident leader, Martin is a gifted communicator and the type of person you want in your corner. We are thrilled to have him in ours, and working on behalf of Think Retail clients.
Please join us in welcoming Martin to the team!
Martin can be reached at mlamarche@thinkretail.ca or 514-607-9783

Second Cup Coffee Co. acquisition is fantastic news for Foodtastic

February 09, 2021

Quebec-based Foodtastic is building on its stellar line up of franchise foodservice brands with the acquisition of Second Cup Coffee Co.
"Second Cup has been a Canadian staple for almost 45 years and we're excited to welcome them into the Foodtastic family," Peter Mammas, President and CEO of Foodtastic, said following the announcement.  
Think Retail congratulates the Foodtastic team on the strategic acquisition of this iconic Canadian coffee brand, which presenting exciting potential for growth and innovative partnerships. 
Foodtastic, a leader in the restaurant franchising industry, purchased the Canadian coffee brand from Mississauga-based Aegis Brands Inc. for $14 million in cash, plus a post-closing earn-out. The deal allows Aegis, formerly known as The Second Cup Ltd., to focus on its other businesses, including the Hemisphere Cannabis Co.
We see the Second Cup chain as the ideal partner for Foodtastic and the move is keeping with a mandate to ramp up growth with new and existing brands following a $47-million investment from Restaurant Royalty Partners in December 2018. 
Since then, Foodtastic has made several exciting announcements, including the addition of Ottawa’s Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery and Quebec-based Chocolato to its portfolio of marquee restaurant concepts. Foodtastic is well-positioned as a leader in the restaurant franchising business, with more than 130 restaurants—brands include, Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, Rotisseries Benny and Bacaro—and $240 million in annualized sales.
"We look forward to working with all our new franchisees and emerging through this pandemic with a revitalized Canadian leader in the premium coffee segment. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality Canadian brands with growth potential," explains Mammas. 
In 2020, Second Cup operated 244 locations across the country and pivoted quickly to adjust to the pandemic. It closed underperforming cafés, but also launched an ecommerce platform; announced plans to sell via retail locations; and outlined a plan to open 14 “non-traditional” locations in places such as hospitals. In August, it partnered with Petro-Canada to pilot three drive-through locations at gas stations in Ontario. 
Think Retail is honoured to work with Foodtastic as it builds its portfolio and charts innovative plans for its strong network of foodservice concepts. For more information about Foodtastic and its portfolio, visit the Foodtastic website or contact the Think Retail team

Star Bédard to become Beauté Star, as part of a retail and brand reinvention

October 13, 2020

It’s fitting a company in the business of helping people transform themselves through hair and beauty products is undergoing a transformation itself. 
Top Beauty Group (TBG), which comprises Star Bédard, as well as M2B, Professional by Fama and Madame B2K, is rebranding its chain of retail stores, launching a new website and unveiling a new prototype store in Drummondville, Que. 
The company operates 24 Star Bédard/M2B stores in the Province of Quebec, as well as Northern New Brunswick and Eastern Ontario. The stores will now operate under the Beauté Star moniker, kicking off a new direction for the Quebec-based company. 
“We created a name change to support both brands,” says Andrew St-Charles, Directeur, E-commerce et Marketing for TBG. “The name change is also based on a change to our business model.” 
Founded in 1978 by France Bédard Bourdon and Gaétan Bourdon, the family-run business made a name for itself by offing salons a range of high-end products at accessible prices. It soon became the go-to destination for everything that salon owners need to operate their businesses, from products to equipment and accessories. 
Today, the company, with headquarters in Laval, is still owned and managed by the Bourdon family, however the founders’ daughters—Marie-Christine and Marie-Danielle—officially took the helm in 2015 and are co-presidents. The fashionable sisters have built on an enduring reputation as the Quebec leader in the distribution of professional hairstyling products, continuing to innovate and expand the business to further solidify its position as a leader in the hairstyling and beauty industry. 
The change in business model is an exciting new direction that puts the company’s selection of quality, professional and exclusive hair and beauty products directly in the hands of consumers. 
“People have learned what it actually means to use these products. It’s not the same mindset as before,” says St. Charles. “Consumers are more conscious of what products they're putting on their body and in their hair so they want to make sure that they're using higher quality products.” 
Beauté Star is positioning itself to be the go-to destination for these products. People are accustomed to quality, but they need to buy product more often than the very three to six months that they visit their salon—the new Beauté Star business model will fill that gap. 
In order to support its salon clients and share profits, the company is giving salons promo codes to share with clients: When people purchase products via the Beauté Star website or in stores, salons will get a commission. 
First up, the company is launching a new direct-to-consumer website and, on November 30, plans to debut its new prototype store, which St-Charles calls “feminine and exciting.” Designed by famed architects Provencher-Roy, the new store is experiential with a strong digital focus; for instance, there is an in-store shopping app and iPads throughout. 
The new store won’t be open to consumers until some time next year. Eventually all 24 Star Bédard locations will rebrand as Beauté Star. For now, the initial focus in on building the direct-to-consumer brand online. 
Think Retail is honoured to work with this innovative Quebec-based company: The Bourdon family represents true entrepreneurial spirit and Beauté Star is a retail success story with an exciting future.
For more information visit the new Beauté Star website or connect with the Think Retail team

CellPlus Services to open five new locations in Ontario and Quebec

October 07, 2020

CellPlus Services is dialing up growth, with plans to open five new locations in the next 12 months. 
The Quebec-based already has four sites in the province—Les Galeries Lachine, Les Jardins Dorval and Le Place Vertu in Montreal, plus Centre Régional Châteauguay in Châteauguay. 
Now, the plan is on opening 100 sq. ft. kiosks in regional malls across Ontario and Quebec, with a primary focus on Ottawa and Montreal. 
CellPlus Services has carved a reputation for its professionalism and customer service. All repairs are done in-store by trained, bonded, customer-service oriented technicians. In addition to cellphones and smartphones, technicians repair iPads and other tablets. 
Studies show people are waiting longer before upgrading their smartphones, which means the device lifecycle is extended, often requiring more repairs. 
With the slogan—‘Don’t Replace It, Let’s Fix It’—cracked screens, faulty buttons, fuzzy cameras, lax charge ports, non-functioning speakers and crackly headphone jacks are just a taste of what they can tackle. 
In addition, CellPlus Services sells a wide range of smartphone and tablet accessories, including cases, headphones and Bluetooth components. 
CellPlus Services sets itself apart by promising on-the-spot screen repair in 30 minutes. In addition, technicians offer free diagnosis—customers only pay once the device is repaired. Plus, all work is backed by a six-month warranty on parts and workmanship.  
The timely retail concept appeals to a wide customer base, repairing all major smartphone and tablet brands, including Samsung, Apple, LG, BlackBerry and Huawei. 
For more information about the tech repair brand and its services, visit www.cellplusservices.ca
Think Retail is thrilled to partner with CellPlus Services to take this dynamic company through its next stage of expansion. To discuss opportunities, contact the Think Retail Team.  

Rock'n Deli to open several new locations in Toronto

March 27, 2020

Montreal-based Rock'n Deli is in expansion mode, with plans to open more exciting locations in the Greater Toronto Area.
Founded in 1992, Rock’n Deli debuted in the Gourmet Area at Carrefour Laval and quickly built large group of loyal customers in the market for casual dining in a unique atmosphere. 
Famous for its authentic Montreal-style smoked meat and high-quality menu, today Rock’n Deli has eight locations—six in Quebec and two in Ontario. The plan is to open another this spring on Dixie Road in Mississauga Ont., followed by another in Milton Ont. A new Rock’n Deli is also slated for Moncton, N.B. this year, marking the brand’s East Coast debut. 
Now Think Retail is thrilled to work with this visionary company as it moves to the next level. 
The popular franchise concept is in constant demand. The goal is to further grow in the GTA, with plans to open an additional two or three locations later this year. 
Markets of interest include Toronto’s downtown core, Richmond Hill and Markham. Ideal spaces are 900 to 1,200 sq. ft. along busy high streets, in open-air centres and shopping malls. 
Rock’n Deli is an ideal tenant with wide appeal. The concept is modern and fresh with a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu that caters to diverse customers throughout all dayparts. 
The company taps into fresh audiences with Halal-certified smoked meat. In addition to smoked meat, Rock’n Deli has a wide range of delicious salads made on-site daily, wraps, egg dishes and poutines. It also offers take-out and home delivery. 
For more about this growing concept, visit Rock’n Deli website or contact the Think Retail team.

Fossil opens ‘Makers’ concept store at Metropolis at Metrotown

February 28, 2020

Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C. today welcomed its latest marquee tenant, Fossil, purveyor of timepieces, smartwatches, jewellery, bags and accessories.      
The 1,100 sq. ft. retail space is located on Level 1 of the three-story shopping centre, which is home to more than 400 stores and restaurants, as well as a movie theatre.    
Fossil’s exciting new store—its first in Canada in several years—embodies the company’s innovative Makers concept. Introduced in 2017, it’s designed to celebrate the unique craftsmanship and services on which the brand has built its reputation. The goal is to create meaningful experiences for shoppers that go beyond simple transactions.    
The bright modular space highlight Fossil’s unique services, including building your own watch, engraving and embossing stations, as well as a mix-and-match strap bar. The Custom Shop and Service Station features engraving/embossing icons and the Service Centre is open for appointments and walk-in customers, offering, among other things, specialty support for the company’s popular and evolving array of smartwatches.    
Founded in Texas in 1984, Fossil built a strong following for its vintage-modern styling. While steeped in tradition and craftsmanship, it is also alive with innovation, consistently generating rave reviews for its stylish, smartwatches that offer the latest technology paired with classic and fashion-forward designs.     
Today, the public company has more than 450 stand-alone stores around the globe, including about 30 in Canada, and its collections are sold via numerous quality retailers and department stores.   
Think Retail is delighted to work with this forward-thinking company and celebrate its Metropolis at Metrotown opening—for more information, visit www.fossil.com or contact the Think Retail team.