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 or contact the Think Retail team.

Ottawa’s Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery to open first locations in the GTA

February 27, 2020

   Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery is living up to its name, with big plans to grow in new markets across the country. First up, an exciting new location set to open mid-May at Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga, Ont., followed by another in Richmond Hill, Ont.
The Greater Toronto Area debut marks the company’s first locations outside of its hometown and it’s just the beginning.   
Founded in the nation’s capital in 2012, Big Rig Restaurants is an iconic Ottawa brand, famous for its brews and menu (the name pays tribute to former Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris Phillips). Its brand promise is simple: “We are a microbrewery; committed to serving the best beer and a menu of comfort food favorites!”   
It’s been a great ride for Big Rig. In 2014, it built a state-of-the-art brewery to expand the distribution of the beer into retail outlets. Today, Big Rig’s award-winning beer is available in more than 1,000 locations in several provinces.   
In June 2019, Foodtastic Inc., the Quebec-based franchisor of multiple restaurant concepts, acquired the Big Rig Brewery and Big Rig Restaurants brand.   
As part of the deal with Foodtastic, award-winning brew master Lon Ladell stayed on board and continues to work his magic. "Foodtastic is an amazing company and I'm thrilled to continue being a part of Big Rig brewery's exciting future,” Ladell said at the time.  “With the financial support from Foodtastic we can now expand our operations throughout Canada.”   
And that’s exactly what they are doing.   
Foodtastic, which already operates 90 restaurants under 12 different banners, including Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Benny Rotisseries, Blossom, Gatto Matto, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Chocolato, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, and Bacaro, is a leader in the restaurant franchising business with $170 million in annualized sales.   
The company recently acquired two Les 3 Brasseurs sites—Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga and York Boulevard. in Richmond Hill—renovations are underway to turn both into Big Rig locations.   
This is the first step in a larger plan to aggressively expand the Big Rig brand throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver.    
This is in keeping with Foodtastic’s vision for the brand and its mandate to ramp up growth with new and existing brands following a $47-million investment from Restaurant Royalty Partners in December 2018.   
Following the Big Rig acquisition, Peter Mammas, Foodtastic president and CEO, said: “We look forward to preserving Big Rig's strong brand, while growing the restaurant system across the region… This acquisition of a homegrown Ontario business is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality brands with growth potential that complement our existing brand portfolio.”   
Since then, growth has been on the menu. With Big Rig, the search is on for 5,500-sq.-ft. locations with 1,200-sq.-ft. patios in malls, along busy high streets and in large open-air centres.   
Think Retail is thrilled to work with the Foodtastic team as it grows the Big Rig brand in new markets. For more information about these visionary industry players, visit the Foodtastic and Big Rig websites or contact the Think Retail team.  

INS Market/Marche INS to kick of Quebec expansion, with a focus on Montreal office towers, malls, busy streets and institutions

January 26, 2020

INS Market/Marche INS is a Canadian brand with staying power. 
Founded in 1994 as International News, the company carved its place as a high-profile retailer of tobacco, newspapers, magazines, lottery, beverages and confectionery.
With 200 stores and growing in Canada and the United State (Chicago and South Florida), the company has evolved with the times and along with its new name—INS Market—it’s curated its focus to become what it calls “the most modern instant gratification store in the market.” INS has zeroed in on what its busy customer base is after—convenient services, along with a large selection of beverages and better-for-you snacking solutions.  
As the company expands, its mantra is simple: “We go where the customers go.” With that in mind, Think Retail is thrilled to team up with the INS Market team to assist with their development and aggressive expansion across Quebec. 
INS stores are always strategically located in high-traffic areas. They are a mainstay on some of the busiest streets across the country, as well as in mid- and large-size office buildings, public transit venues, shopping centres and institutional areas, such as hospitals, colleges and universities. 
In Quebec, the initial focus is on office towers, shopping centres, busy streets and institutional settings throughout Montreal. Ideal spaces are 500 to 700 sq. ft. for inline stores and 150-200 sq. ft. for kiosks, however the versatile concept is adaptable to accommodate a variety of sizes, spaces and configurations. 
With a 25-year proven track record and a strong network across the country, INS is a valuable tenant, who satisfies the needs of customers and keeps them coming back again and again with its stellar line-up of branded, traceable, reliable products and services at a value price point.
The company elevates the concept of convenience and taps into consumers’ desire for quick healthy snacks and large variety of beverages. INS understands convenience, also selling confection, tobacco and e-cigarettes, newspapers, magazines, books, transit tickets, souvenirs, lottery tickets, health and beauty products, greeting cards, telephone cards, postal supplies, office supplies, flowers, mobile devices and accessories. Some stores also features a Western Union, ATM, postal outlet and dry cleaning depot. 
The high-profile brand is recognizable with his sharp red and white logo. Stores are modern and well designed, with custom merchandising to maximize variety in all spaces. INS’ potential for expansion is massive. 
For details about this strong convenience player and its growth plans for Quebec, contact the Think Retail Team.

Kristals Cosmetics eyes Canada for expansion

January 14, 2020

Miami Beach-based luxury cosmetics and skincare brand Kristals Cosmetics is growing around the globe and plans to open several locations in Canada. 
Owned by leading private label cosmetics manufacturer and distributor, UHI Cosmetics, Kristals is part of the same innovative minds behind marquee brands Deep Sea and Adore Cosmetics.
Florida-based UHI launched in January 2001, specializing high-end luxury beauty products and devices. In addition to its own network of branded retail stores, its products can be found in high-end retailers, spas and professional treatment centres around the globe.
UHI introduced the Kristals Cosmetics line of skincare products in 2015. The brand “combines the healing properties of precious gemstones with the latest anti-aging technologies to provide some of the most powerful and holistic skincare products and treatments in the market to date.”
With bio-energized formulas inspired by ancient and holistic traditions, Kristals quickly grew in popularity, garnering the attention of influencers and celebrities like Kylie Jenner, who praise the beautifying powers of crystals as part of their skincare regime.
UHI is known for the research it brings to the world of skincare. The Kristals line involves “concentrations of precious and semiprecious gemstones and metals known to create protective fields around the body” and blends them with powerful botanicals, naturally effective herbal essences and oils, for the best in skincare.
The brand’s top-selling products include, the Rock Crystal Refining Moisturizer, the Sapphire Retinol Firming and Lifting Eye Cream and the Amber Multivitamin Brightening Serum.
In response to its growing popularity, in recent years, UHI has opened several Kristals Cosmetic stores in prominent locations across North America, Asia and Europe. 
As part of this growth strategy, in November, the company opened a flagship store at the newly renovated guitar-shaped Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fl.
“We are proud to have a presence in one of the most iconic casinos in the world and excited to continue our expansion within the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel portfolio. Our skincare store will bring a one-of-a-kind luxurious shopping experience to all of the property’s visitors,” Shay Segev, president and CEO of UHI, said at the time.
The company credits the success of the brand to its retail stores, which are designed to host valuable in-store product demonstrations that show clients firsthand the direct results of Kristals’ unique formulations. The company’s modern store design has a decidedly high-end aura. Spaces are encased in glass with ambient lighting and a luxurious feel that elevates the shopping experience.
The global beauty industry is experiencing tremendous growth and UHI’s Kristals brand is at the forefront, with plans to open expand around the globe, including here in Canada. Markets of interest span British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
For more about this innovative beauty brand and its Canadian expansion, contact the Think Retail team.

ICE hot for growth with six branches in the works for 2020

December 24, 2019

After a busy 2019 opening four new branches across Canada, International Currency Exchange (ICE) is kicking off 2020 with exciting plans for six more locations.
ICE is one of the largest and most respected retail currency exchange brands in the world. Founded in the UK in 1973, ICE now has more than 400 locations in 16 countries and the growth continues.  
Today, ICE operates more than 80 branches in Canada, located in shopping centres, retail hubs and major airports, including Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City. 
The Think Retail team has been working with this marquee brand since 2008, helping facilitate its growth across the country. In 2019, ICE opened on St. Martin Boulevard in Laval, Que., at Promenades Gatineau in Gatineau, Que., St. Laurent Shopping Centre in Ottawa and Oakville Place in Oakville, Ont. 
In 2020, the focus will be on 100-sq.-ft. kiosks, as well as inline stops of 300 to 700 sq. ft., in regional and super regional malls, as well as busy open-air centres. 
The company is zeroing in on Ontario, particularly Oshawa, Kitchener, Waterloo and London. In addition, ICE is interested in further growing its brand in British Columbia and Quebec. 
ICE is unique for a number of reasons and the company’s offering is an ideal fit for Canada’s multicultural and well-travelled population. In addition to its customer-friendly foreign exchange and related services (including a popular Click & Collect service whereby you order online or via the call centre and pick up in store), services include, currency wires, money drafts, all kinds of cheques, money orders, travelers cheques and travelers GST returns. As well, some stores facilitate the sale of gold bullions, souvenir coins, Olympic coins and travelers insurance, while operating ATM bank machines.   For more about this strong international brand and it Canadian growth plans, visit or contact the Think Retail Team.