Blog

Expansion on the menu at Marcello’s Market & Deli

August 20, 2015

Think Retail is pleased to partner with Marcello’s Market & Deli to help facilitate the company’s expansion in Eastern Canada. 
Founded in Ottawa in 1997, Marcello’s is a well-established and brand with more than 25 locations in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. We are looking forward to working with company president, Fadi Kachi, as he and his team build the brand in new markets: It’s an exciting time for growth. 
Marcello’s prides itself in being an affordable marketplace for busy professionals, offering on-the-go nourishment, value, variety and service. Its locations have a European feel and offer great food in a warm, modern atmosphere. 
Stores feature fresh produce, deli items, grocery items and freshly prepared take-out food, as well as a hot and cold buffet with more than 20 dishes cooked daily. There’s something for every taste, from veal parmesan to beef bourguignon, tacos, chicken curry salad, seafood chowder, pastas and a wide range of vegetarian options. Its tagline definitely delivers: “Discover a World of Taste at Marcello’s.”
Marcello’s is an ideal tenant because it appeals to a varied audience, from those popping in for a quick coffee and biscotti in the morning, to individuals looking for a freshly made nutritious meal, or a catered lunch for the office.
As Marcello’s ramps up its plans for Canada-wide expansion, our immediate focus is on securing sites in downtown Toronto and Montreal.     
Targetted areas include the financial core and optimal spaces are in office buildings, mixed-use towers and shopping centres with an office tower component. Street-front access is preferable, but Marcello’s will consider going inline for the right opportunity.  Size is somewhat flexible, ranging from 1,500 sq. ft. to as much as 4,000 sq. ft., depending on the location. 
For more about this fresh brand and its plans for expansion, please visit www.marcellos.ca or contact the Think Retail Team. 

Merrell steps into the Canadian market with two new outlets

August 03, 2015

We are thrilled to welcome Merrell to the Canadian market and to the Think Retail client-partner team, as the company has named us as their exclusive Canadian broker.

Merrell is a marquee brand that’s built a strong and dedicated following for its quality outdoor footwear and clothing.

The company dates back to 1981 when two executives for the Rosignol ski company joined forces with shoemaker Randy Merrell to create an affordable high-performance boot, which customers soon dubbed ‘the best boots ever made.’

Next up, Backpacker Magazine named them "the most comfortable and functional boots in North America" and word soon spread. During the next couple of decades, the company built it following and its collection, which grew to encompass several designs and lines, including footwear for women and children, as well as Merrell Apparel, which launched in 2006.

Today Merrell is owned by Wolverine World Wide, one of the largest footwear manufacturers in the world and the powerhouse behind a slew of high-profile quality brands, including its namesake, as well as Sperry, Saucony, Stride Rite, Hush Puppies, Keds, Sebago, Chaco and more.

With headquarters in Rockford, Michigan, Merrell is an international success story, with its products sold in more than 150 countries and its retail stores operating around the globe.

Merrell will open its first two in Canada on August 7. Merrell stores typically range from 3,000 to 3,500 sq. ft.: A 3,150 sq. ft. store will open at Tanger Outlets Ottawa and a 3,500 sq. ft. store at Tanger Outlets Cookstown, just south of Barrie, Ont. and ideally situated 45 minutes north of Toronto, en route to cottage country.

Thus far, no further stores are planned for 2015. However, we look forward to watching Merrell further build its following and its fan base in Canada with these two exciting new stores.

For more information about this all-encompassing lifestyle and performance brand, visit www.merrell.ca or contact the Think Retail team.

Le Creuset serves up plans for three new stores

July 29, 2015

The iconic Le Creuset brand is bringing its signature pop of colourful sophistication to more Canadian tables and retail centres, with the opening of a fresh selection of new stores. 
Two weeks ago, Le Creuset opened a 1,050 sq. ft. store opened at Bayview Village in Toronto; and just last week, the company opened an 800 sq. ft. at Place Ste. Foy in Quebec City.
In addition, the company is to make its debut in British Columbia with a 2,200 sq. ft. store on South Granville Street, which scheduled to open December 1st. This is particularly exciting because it marks Le Creuset’s first high street location in Canada.
This will bring to six the number of Le Creuset stores in Canada by the end of 2015. 
Le Creuset continues to expand and several exciting announcements are in the works. In the meantime, areas of particular interest include, downtown Montreal and downtown Vancouver—ideal spaces are 750 to 1,250 sq. ft. on major street fronts. The company is also considering the Halifax market.
The brand has proven very popular among Canadian consumers, who appreciate the combination of quality, functionality and aesthetics. In Canada, Le Creuset is the No. 1 bridal registry brand and it’s consistently the No. 1 or No. 2 cookware supplier to all the company’s trading partners.
Since its launch in 1925 in Fresnoy Le Grand in Northern France, Le Creuset has built a strong reputation for its highest quality Enameled Cast Iron cookware. The company celebrates tradition, manufacturing its cast iron in the original foundry and ensuring unparalleled quality control, with each piece passing through the hands of 15 skilled artisans to ensure perfection.
Products are distributed in more than 30 countries, via its partnerships with specialty retailers and high-end department stores, however Le Creuset is also a retail success story, with more than 250 of its own brand name stores operating in 25 countries—it’s own stores carry an exclusive selection of its diverse products, some of which can’t be found anywhere else. 
As a company, Le Creuset is fully self- financed and delivers consistently strong financial results, bolstered strategic efforts to branch into new markets and categories. It also owns Hallen International Inc., a maker of popular wine accessories under the Screwpull trademark. Le Creuset also offers an evolving collections of exciting kitchen tools and gadgets, dinnerware, professional stainless steel cookware, textiles and related accessories. 
This is a premium brand with a wonderful vibe that appeals to a wide audience. The Times of London includes Le Creuset on its respected list of the “Top 100 Worldwide Brands.” As well, it’s popular among celebrity chefs and has the honour of being one of Oprah’s ‘Favourite Things’. In addition, Le Creuset is the most searched housewares brand in North America, according to AOL, Google and Yahoo.
Here in Canada, Think Retail works with Le Creuset on expanding its presence in top-tier locations across the country. Its stores are destination spaces, designed to tell a brand and product story that takes retail to a higher level. The ambiance truly reflects the brand’s sophisticated, yet playful, essence and each location is customized based on the store specifics. The retailer further drives excitement and traffic with key in-store events combined with regular cooking demos. As a result, Le Creuset continues to generate considerable recognition and cache with affluent households in Canada.
For more information about this best-in-class brand, please visit www.Lecreuset.ca or contact the Think Retail Team. 

Change of Scandinavia to change Canadian retail landscape

July 17, 2015

We are delighted to announce that Think Retail is working with leading lingerie retail brand Change of Scandinavia as its exclusive broker across Canada. 
This marquee international brand has major plans to expand its presence across the country and we look forward to making it happen. 
Change is a well-established designer, manufacturer and retailer that launched in Denmark 1995, first as a private label brand before opening its first stand-alone retail store in Copenhagen in 2001. 
The concept quickly spread across Europe and into Asia and North America, with openings in markets around the globe—earlier this year Change celebrated its 200th store.
Change stores can be found in 14 countries, including Canada, where it debuted in 2006. Today it has 14 stores here: five in British Columbia, one in Saskatchewan, five in Ontario and three in Quebec. 
This is a very exciting retailer with the vision and momentum to become a definitive Canadian presence. There are major rollout plans in the works for 2016, however the immediate focus is to open stores in downtown Toronto and Montreal. 
Change is strong brand with a well-defined visual identity. The boutiques are beautifully designed with an intimate upscale feel. 
It’s an established concept that’s proven a marquee tenant the world over. Stores are a mix of corporate (more than 130) and franchises (80). 
In Canada, most locations are about 950 sq. ft. and generate sales of close to $550 psf in major shopping centres—Park Royal, Metropolis at Metrotown, Shops at Don Mills, Oakville Place and The Promenade Shopping Centre to name a few—as well as high streets, including Toronto’s Queen West.
About 75% of revenue is derived from the sale of underwear and bras, which are designed in Denmark and manufactured at Change’s own factories in China. Women love Change because of its vast selection in more than 100 different sizes (up to K cup) in 10 different models, offering a perfect fit for all shapes and sizes. 
There are four in-house brands—Change Basic, which is never out of stock; Change Fashion, classic fashion range; Intimate Britney Spears by Change, which is quite trendy; and its luxury line, Charade Exclusive Lingerie. 
The company is also building a strong reputation for its loungewear, swimwear, nightwear, stockings and men’s underwear line.
Research confirms the Change brand inspires fierce loyalty among consumers, who are derived from a variety of age groups and shop for lingerie several times a year. To help cultivate its customer base, the retailer operates the Club Change loyalty program, which members love for its very generous bonus scheme. 
We look forward to working with Change of Scandinavia on its Canadian growth plan. For more information about this sensational brand, visit www.change.com or contact the Think Retail Team.

Four Think Retail clients shine at the opening of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport

July 15, 2015

At Think Retail we are thrilled to have four of our partner-clients among the inaugural retailers to open at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport.

Lolë, Watch Station International, Fossil and Desigual were part of the grand opening on July 9 and there’s no doubt this outlet centre—the first to market in the Vancouver area—is going to be a huge hit among shoppers, both locals and visitors.

There’s a pent up demand for outlet shopping in the region, where the average income is higher than that surrounding any other outlet centre that’s opened in the country—consumers are ready to embrace this higher-end retail mix, which features many first-to-market retailers.

The team at McArthurGlen has done a brilliant job, curating a vibrant roster of tenants that’s fresh, appealing and ready to sell: Shoppers in Vancouver are going to be very excited.

On a personal note, it was such as pleasure working with Andrew Schulman, Senior Vice President of Leasing, North America, for McArthurGlen. We’re honoured to have had the opportunity to be a part of the opening of the British company’s first Canadian outlet centre and we look forward to working with them again.

Vancouver was a great choice for McArthurGlen’s debut—it really is the best climate in Canada for an open-air outlet centre.

And, they have done it beautifully. The build out is very aesthetically pleasing and the attention to detail is remarkable, resulting is a wonderful ambiance. Nothing has been overlooked, inside and out. From the charming exterior finishes—those upper windows are such a nice touch—to the old-world streetlights, brick pedestrian paths and landscaping, the outlet centre has earned its place as a true destination for locals and tourists.

And, of course, the shopping is amazing. Fossil, Lolë, Watch Station and Desigual will be right at home alongside some of the world’s top brands, including Armani, Banana Republic, Coach, J.Crew, Guess, Hugo Boss, Polo and more.

The 240,000 sq. ft. centre features 80 retail spaces and the next phase will add another 140,000 sq. ft., eventually the outlet centre will comprise 150 retailers. Through its network of outlet centres around the world, McArthurGlen has relationships with more than 900 brands, it will be interesting to watch the centre develop and grow.

It’s been a defining couple of years for the outlet market in Canada, which is really gaining steam. Since 2013, five designer outlet centres have opened. At Think Retail, we have been an important contributor to the success of these centres and their robust merchandising mix. Our clients are key tenants, occupying strategic space across the board.

Several more centres are in works and we will continue to play a key role in the outlet industry’s evolution. We see it as an exciting and welcome opportunity for our partner-clients and we look forward to helping them flourish.

The timing is right for Watch Station International’s debut in B.C.

July 14, 2015

The timing is right for Watch Station International’s debut in B.C.

Watch Station International is among an esteemed group of retailers now open and poised to make McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport an amazing West Coast outlet-shopping destination.

As an international leader in fashion and designer luxury timepieces, Watch Station is well positioned among the outlet centre’s higher-end tenant mix. The company curates a collection of watches for every occasion and features a wide variety of styles from upscale brands, including Fossil, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Zodiac, Diesel, DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld, Emporio Armani, Michele, Skagen and more. Prices range from about $150 to $2,500.

Watch Station is owned by Fossil, which purchased the retail chain from Luxottica/Sunglass Hut in December 2007. Today Watch Station has stores throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Canada.

At Think Retail, we are delighted to have worked with Watch Station since it entered the Canadian market in spring 2012, with a 1,250 sq. ft. store at the country’ first major outlet centre, Vaughan Mills, just north of Toronto, followed that summer by another at CrossIron Mills in Rocky View, AB.

Since then, it’s been exciting to watch the retailer’s expansion as new outlet malls began opening across Canada.

In August 2013, Watch Station unveiled a 1,200 sq. ft. store at Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, Ont. (just west of downtown Toronto), a joint venture between Simon Property Group and Toronto-based Calloway REIT, and in 2014 at Tanger Ottawa Outlets and Montreal Premium Outlets.

McArthur Glen marks the retailer’s sixth location in Canada. Watch Station will continue to expand here and is interested major market outlet opportunities only, with a particular emphasis on British Columbia, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Ontario.

Ideal spaces are 1,000 to 1,200 sq. ft. (with minimum width of 23.5 ft.) and suitable fashion co-tenants include, Michael Kors, Coach, Polo, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Spade.

Watch Station also continues to grow internationally and landlords around the globe laud the brand for its successful retail mix, which delivers sales in excess of $2,000 per square foot.

For additional information about this hot brand and its expansion at outlet centres in Canada, visit www.watchstation.com or contact the Think Retail team.