Blog

Fossil debuts new ‘Makers’ concept store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre

June 07, 2018

The time is right for Fossil’s newly designed retail concept store, which is now open at CF Toronto Eaton Centre.
Replacing the former Fossil store, this new 1,458-sq.-ft. ‘Makers’ concept is the first of its kind in the world and celebrates the unique craftsmanship and services on which the brand has built its reputation.
Located on Level 2, amid a number of high-end retailers, the fresh, well-designed, space highlights the spirit of Makers and focuses on product-related services, continuing the brand’s ever-present goal to enhance and improve the overall brand experience.
New materials and color palettes, including tonal gray, brass finishes, brick floor and pops of black, give the store a soft modern feel: Everything is modular, adding a unique flexibility for both selling and storytelling. The design elements were chosen specifically to lean into the concept of celebrating craftsmanship, which has been one of the founding principles of Fossil brand since its inception more than 30 years ago.
“Customers are shopping in a different way—largely in part to the ease of online and mobile shopping—and we recognize that and want to be part of a convenient, enhanced shopping experience,‘‘ says Steve Evans, Executive Vice President for Fossil. “Retail stores have become more about creating experiences and sharing meaningful in-person relationships with consumers. This store gives us an opportunity to bring to life what we do best: hands on customization, convenience, and a celebration of the Fossil lifestyle.’’
The front of the store will 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 will also feature engraving/embossing icons designed specifically for the local market, including the Toronto skyline and a maple leaf.  The Service Centre will be open for appointments and walk-in customers, offering specialty support for smartwatches and staff on hand to replace batteries, remove links and more.
Founded in 1984, the Texas-based, watch and fashion accessories brand has built a strong following for its vintage-modern styling and a unique collections of bags and accessories, as well as signature durable watches. Today, Fossil has more than 350 stand-alone stores around the globe, including about 30 in Canada, and its collections are sold via numerous quality retailers.
The publically-trade company continues to beat market forecast and expectations, reporting two consecutive quarters of comparable store increases and a stock price that is at or near its 52-week high.
It’s an exciting time for this much-admired brand and Think Retail is thrilled to share that Fossil is now considering opening a new location in Canada in 2019. In the meantime, the company will continue building its Maker concept and more are expected to open on the global stage, with the next rollout likely in Asia.
For more, visit www.fossil.com or contact the Think Retail team.

Sugarfina opens luxury candy store at Oakridge Centre in Vancouver

June 04, 2018


Sugarfina has a taste for Canadian expansion after opening it second stand-alone candy boutique here, this time catering to lucky shoppers at Oakridge Centre in Vancouver.
The 420 sq. ft. boutique opened in early May and features the brand’s fresh modern palette of white and robin’s egg blue. The space is well-positioned close to Aritzia, Saje, Gap, Swarovski and Oak & Fort in the recently renovated marquee shopping centre. Sugarfina is already drawing huge crowds, who are eager to try its famous confectionary.  
Think Retail is thrilled to work with this inspiring brand. Dubbed the ultimate candy shop for grownups, its array of treats cater to a discerning palette with premium and whimsical takes on old favourites, including champagne-infused gummies, peach Bellini sugar candies, maple bourbon balls, single malt scotch cordials and more.
Power couple Rosie O'Neill and Josh Resnick founded the innovative concept after watching an episode of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They decided kids shouldn’t have all the fun so the duo embarked on a world tour, visiting fine candy makers and sourcing unique treats. They launched on online candy shop in 2012 and the following year opened their first boutique in Beverley Hills.
Today, Sugarfina has more than 25 across the United States, a number of shop-in-shops with Nordstrom and a rotation of pop-up locations. It debuted in Canada in November 2017 with a 950 sq. ft. boutique at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C.
Canadians are embracing the decadent concept we expect to share further exciting news soon.  To learn more, visit sugarfina.ca or contact the Think Retail team.  

French chocolatier Jeff de Bruges brings decadent treats to Quebec

April 23, 2018

French chocolatier and ice cream house Jeff de Bruges has a taste for Quebec expansion, with plans to open two delicious new locations.
Philippe Jambon created the retail concept in France in 1986 and began franchising in 1988. The company introduced ice cream to the retail mix in 1990 and dialed up growth.
Today Jeff de Bruges operates more than 500 stores across France, including corporate and franchises, and 38 international locations, including one in Canada.
The popular retail concept debuted here in 2014 at Place Montreal Trust and continues to draw followers, who love its combination of exquisite Belgian chocolates, as well as ice cream and other treats.
Think Retail is thrilled to work with Jeff de Bruges as it moves ahead with plans to open two additional locations in Quebec. Ideal spaces are 700 to 1,000 sq. ft., with a primary focus on super regional malls.
This is a wonderful tenant that draws repeat customers seeking beautiful gifts or personal indulgences. While chocolates are imported from Belgium, in Canada, the company works local ice cream brand Bilboque.
Jeff de Bruges stores are fresh and fun, with a modern turquoise and brown palette, as well as large windows so passersby are drawn in to explore and spend. The overall feel is industrial chic and items are displayed in unique ways, such as the wall-mounted chocolate tablet, for an in-store experience that is comfortable, yet upscale.
Products are beautifully packaged and gifts are personalized in store with ribbons and keepsake boxes.
Jeff de Bruges is a strong brand with international presence and is ideally positioned to expand in Canada. The company has huge market awareness in Europe and boasts turnover of more than $330 million in 2017.
For more about this fantastic brand and its growth plans for Quebec, explore the Jeff de Bruges website, or contact the Think Retail team.

Boo! L’Entrepot de Halloween pops up for Halloween

April 19, 2018

While we are still waiting for spring, L’Entrepot de Halloween is already looking ahead to fall, as it seeks pop-up locations in the lead up to its busy Halloween season.
Dubbed “Montreal’s best costume store,” L’Entrepot de Halloween plans to open two pop up stores in the city to handle high demand in the lead up to Halloween.  
Founded 27 years ago by Steve Schneider, the concept sells all things Halloween, from a wide-range of quality costumes to seasonal home décor and treats. The company takes pride in its strong reputation for offering great customer service, and great value to clients. It’s a destination retailer and people return year after year for inspiration and the latest trends.
Ideally pop-up stores will operate for about six weeks in the lead up to Halloween and an August 15 possession is optimal. L’Entrepot de Halloween can work with a range of sizes, from 2,500 to 5,000 sq. ft. They will consider both high streets and super regional malls.
This is a fabulous tenant guaranteed to generate major traffic during the lull between the back-so-school and holiday shopping seasons.
Studies show Canadians love to spend on Halloween and numbers continue to increase year after year. Data shows Canadians spend more than $400 million on the season, even outdoing our American counterparts in terms of per capita spending. It’s second only to Christmas in terms of holiday spending. A 2016 RetailMeNot survey showed average purchases:$52 for costumes$43 for decorations$42 for candy.
Think Retail is thrilled to work with L’Entrepot de Halloween on its seasonal pop-up strategy. For more about this innovative Montreal company, visit www.entrepothalloween.com or contact the Think Retail team.

Luxury preserved flower and gift boutique CocoAge to debut in Toronto

April 16, 2018

Cocoàge is bringing its luxury shopping experience to Canada, with plans to introduce the brand to high-end gift connoisseurs, with the opening of three to five decadent boutiques.
Miami-based Universal Handicraft Inc. is introducing this exciting new concept, which focuses on a unique collection of exquisite preserved flowers in luxurious paper boxes, as well as acrylic clear square boxes, ideal for displaying.  Packaged in 12, 24, 36 and 48, the flowers are the ultimate high-end gift, ranging in price from $200 to $500. However, these are next-level flowers that will last between three and five years with the proper care. They come in an array of colours to represent any occasion, such as love, friendship and remembrance. And, they can be paired with Cocoàge’ exclusive collection of exquisite chocolate products, ranging from chocolate bars to truffles, toffees, chocolate-covered nuts, gourmet popcorn and more. Again, the chocolate is next level, with marquee items, including gold-infused Belgium milk chocolate bars.
In store, concierge-style staff will greet shoppers, who will immerse themselves in a VIP experience that includes browsing, as well as sampling, in the lounge-like stores. Designed to exert warmth, with colors and lighting to set a calm, romantic mood, guests relax in comfortable armchairs, while staff showcase flowers, treats, gifts options and offer taste tests.
This isn’t your regular fare, but beautifully packages items that make for statement gifting or indulgent treats.
Universal Handicraft plans to introduce the unique concept in Canada by opening up to five locations this year. The initial focus is on Toronto. Ideal spaces are 700 to 1,000 sq. ft. in super regional shopping centres. Cocoàge is an ideal luxury co-tenant that will draw destination visitors and repeat shoppers.
Think Retail is thrilled to work with the Universal Handicraft team on this exciting market launch. The company is also expanding the concept in the United States.

For information about this groundbreaking retail concept, contact the Think Retail Team.

Copper Branch revolutionizes fast-casual, confirming 20 new locations

April 10, 2018

Eat clean, feel empowered, live inspired—a philosophy Copper Branch holds true to their core. Copper Branch is redefining the fast-casual experience, with plans to open over 20 new 100% plant-based restaurants across North America.
With their chef-inspired, 100% plant-based power food menu, Copper Branch is quickly establishing itself as a refreshing alternative to the usual fast-casual fare, serving real food designed for health-conscious, time-strapped consumers.  Established in Montreal in 2014, today Copper Branch operates 17 locations—13 in Quebec and 4 in Ontario—and will more than double its footprint by the end of the year.The company continues its push into Ontario, with several restaurants slated to open: Markham, 180 Enterprise Blvd. (spring)Peterborough, 1140 Lansdowne St. W. (spring)Bowmanville, 2377 Durham Regional Hwy 2 (summer)Kingston, 268 Princess St. (summer)Oakville, 246 Hays Blvd. (fall)Newmarket, 18267 Yonge St, East Gwillimbury (fall)Mississauga, 6055 Mavis Rd, Unit B, Heartland Town Centre (fall)Ottawa, 350 Albert St., Constitution Square and Ottawa Train Yards.Copper Branch is focused on international expansion, continuing their food revolution with 30 new locations in the works for 2019.
In addition, the company is to open six confirmed locations in its home province of Quebec, including:Candiac, Quebec, 3 Boulevard de Sardaigne (spring)Anjou, Montreal, Galeries d’Anjou (summer)Rimouski, Quebec, 2ieme Rue et de L’Avenue Léonidas (2019)Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec (2019)Montreal, 111 Duke St. St. Laurent, Montreal, Cote VertuAnd, in more exciting news, Copper Branch plans to enter two new markets this year—Alberta and British Columbia, namely Calgary and Vancouver.The plant-based concept’s time has come. After 25 years owning several traditional fast-food franchises, entrepreneur Rio Infantino set out to revolutionize the fast-casual experience with nourishing gourmet power foods designed to appeal to a mainstream audience seeking clean healthy meal options.The idea is resonating and Think Retail is thrilled to work with this forward-thinking company, as it opens restaurants and enters new markets across Canada. Ideal spaces are 1,250 to 2,000 sq. ft. in open-air centres and 450 to 1,500 sq. ft. in enclosed malls.I encourage you to check out Copper Branch’s innovative menu at www.copperbranch.ca: It will have en die-hard carnivores salivating. To chat about the company’s vision for growth, contact the Think Retail Team.