Blog

Le Naturiste Announce Deal With GHA Design and Confirm Expansion Plans

April 09, 2013

We are pleased to announce that Think Retail has been retained by Montreal based, Le Naturiste to manage their new store growth.

Founded in 1968, Le Naturiste is widely regarded as one of the leading specialists in the sale of natural health and wellness products. Today, the company operates 80 stores in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Le Naturiste was purchased last year by Melanie Kau and Stephen Rosenhek. Both have extensive retail backgrounds. Up until recently, Melanie was President of top Canadian furniture chain Mobilia. Stephen was Managing Partner at RSM Richter Chamberland. They are now bringing fresh ideas to Le Naturiste and are committed to reinvigorating this great brand.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent some time with Melanie and have been thoroughly impressed to hear from her, about many of the new initiatives that are now underway.  While I cannot disclose all of the details, here's a quick overview of some of the exciting changes.

First, Le Naturiste has hired award winning retail designer GHA Design to develop a brand new store design prototype. The GHA team is uber talented and always bring forth designs that are both engaging, and offer memorable consumer experiences. I am fortunate to have received a sneak peak at the renderings of the new prototype and will attest that it is a radical departure from its predecessor. The new store will be organic and highly interactive.

Further to the above, the company's website is now scheduled to be completely overhauled. The goal of the re-design is to provide a more compelling and efficient online shopping experience.

Also, Le Naturiste will soon be introducing into their stores, many new health and wellness products.  

Looking forward, Le Naturiste is now poised for steady growth and have scheduled 2-3 new openings in the next 12 months. Markets of interest include Montreal (north and south shore) and Ottawa. Super regional (and regional) and high street locations will be considered. Size required is 1000 sq.ft.

For additional information on Le Naturiste, please visit their website at www.lenaturiste.com.

Lole Confirms Yorkville Store Opening

April 08, 2013

We are pleased to announce that ladies active wear specialist Lole has finalized an agreement to open at 88 Yorkville Avenue, in Toronto. The premises will be 1,481 square feet and is strategically situated in the heart of the upscale Yorkville shopping district. Neighbouring tenants include Anthropologie, Free People, Diesel, Sunglass Hut, Whole Foods...etc. The Yorkville store is Lole's's 6th Canadian location. The company also operates 7 stores in the US, France, and Switzerland.

Lole is owned by Quebec based Coalision Inc., whose parent company is Kilmer Capital (whose CEO is Larry Tanenbaum of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment). In addition to Lole, Coalision own other brands such as Orage and Paradox. Combined sales are in excess of $85 million.



In the last year, Lole's brand and products have strongly resonated with consumers. In this regard, comparable store sales were up 27% in 2012 and an AMAZING 65% since the beginning of 2013.

We are actively seeking growth opportunities for Lole in the following Canadian markets: Calgary, Edmonton, & Toronto. Lole is prepared to consider locations on high street and super regional locations. Size required is 1250-1500 sq.ft.  

Lole's mission is  to help women to Live Out Loud Everyday by getting out, getting active and getting involved in their communities. In this regard, I hope you can participate in Lole's White Yoga Tour. Dates are as follows:

Santa Brabara - June 1
Toronto - June 22
Montreal - July 27

Last year thousands attended this great events. Check out the photo (see above) of last year's Montreal session.

For additional information on Lole, please visit their website at www.lolewomen.com.

Fossil Posts Record 4th Quarter Earnings And Announces 6 New Canadian Stores

March 05, 2013

There's lots of important Fossil news to catch you up on.
 
The first big news came two weeks ago when the company released its fourth quarter earnings.  The results were very impressive.  Fossil Inc. posted record net earnings of $151 million (in Q4), a 28% increase from the previous year. Net sales in Q4 increased to a record $948 million, an increase of 14% from the previous year. Further, 4th quarter earnings per share increased to a record $2.51. Global retail comps increased 2.4, the 19th consecutive quarter of positive comps. This is absolutely amazing. Finally, total sales for the full year rose to $2.86 billion from $2.57 billion the previous year. WOW!
 
In other Fossil news, early last week, Fossil Inc announced that they had signed a globally license agreement with Tory Burch to design, develop, and distribute a line of Swiss-made women's timepieces. In addition, Fossil designs and creates watches and accessories for other globally recognized brands including Michael Kors, Burberry, A\X Armani, Michele, DKNY, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Skagen, Karl Lagerfeld...etc.
 
Finally, we are pleased to announce 6 new Fossil locations in Canada.
 
1. Toronto Premium (Halton Hills, Ontario)
2. Richmond Centre (Richmond, British Columbia)
3. 1253 Sainte Catherine Street West (Montreal, Quebec)
4. Kingsway Garden (Edmonton, Alberta)
5. Fairview Pointe Claire (Pointe Claire, Quebec)
6. Markville Shopping Centre (Markham, Ontario)
 
Fossil continues to explore Canadian expansion opportunities. Markets of interest include Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Size required is 1250-1500 sq.ft. Minimum width requirement - 23.5 ft (but they'll take more). Outlet requirements - 3000 sq.ft. Property type: super regional centres, downtown high streets, lifestyle and outlet centres.
 
For additional information on Fossil, please visit their website at www.fossil.com.

New Store Design Boosts Bizou's Sales

March 04, 2013

Last summer, fashion accessories specialist, Bizou International Inc. unveiled their new store design prototype in Quebec’s top two malls - Montreal Eaton Center and Carrefour Laval.

Those new stores received immediate praise from customers, and their sales results have been phenomenal (comp sales in excess of +30% in both malls). With those results in mind, and with hopes of continuing to strengthen their brand and in-store shopping experience, Bizou is proud to announce its plans to renovate an additional 14 existing stores before the end of 2013.

The attached photo is of their latest store renovation in Place Rosemere. We think the store looks fantastic, and are eager to see many newly renovated stores in the months to come.

With regard to future expansion, Bizou continues to aggressively seek new opportunities in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Their optimal store size is 600 -1000 sq. ft. in regional and super-regional malls as well as high pedestrian street-front locations. 



Bizou was founded in 1982 and operates approximately 130 locations spread across 6 provinces, from Newfoundland to Ontario.

For more about Bizou, please visit company’s website at www.bizou.com. For additional information and leasing opportunities, please contact Michael Stroll at (514) 731-7936.

American Apparel Gets Its Groove Back

February 28, 2013

Los Angeles based, unisex apparel specialist, American Apparel has been on a significant upswing in the last couple of years. Further the company continues to experience tremendous growth in all segments of their operation.  If you don't believe me, here's some impressive results to chew on.

In May, American Apparel released its earnings for the 1st quarter of 2012. Here's a snapshot of the results.

Comparable Store Sales +14%
Comparable Online Sales + 25%
Wholesale Sales +17%

In August of last year, American Apparel reported results for the 2nd quarter of 2012. The results were as follows:

Comparable Store Sales +14%
Comparable Online Sales + 28%
Wholesale Sales +10%

Then in November, the company released its earnings for 2012 Q3. The results were again impressive

Comparable Store Sales +20%
Comparable Online Sales + 21%
Wholesale Sales +6%

While results for the 4th quarter has not yet been released, here's some additional information that has been announced.

November Results:

Comparable Store Sales +11%
Comparable Online Sales + 22%
Wholesale Sales +20%

December Results:

Comparable Store Sales +8%
Comparable Online Sales + 69%
Wholesale Sales +12%

January Results:

Comparable Store Sales +7%
Comparable Online Sales + 24%
Wholesale Sales +11%

Clearly, both American Apparel's brand and products are again strongly resonating with their consumers.

I recently read an article which noted hottest selling bags in all of Tokyo is American Apparel's Cities bag (which retails up to $42). Did these consumers think that they were going to Burberry or Coach? American Apparel sold more than 24,000 of these bags in Tokyo alone last year. Not bad for an ancillary product.

Furthermore, I saw a magazine feature which reported that some Canadian schools recently banned leggings from being worn. The article cited the influence of companies such as American Apparel has on teenage students and fashions.

My wife tells me that sometimes I see things through rose-coloured glasses. With this in mind, please consider that the media are once again, frequently bashing American Apparel for being naughty, raunchy and morally bankrupt in their advertising campaigns and other promotional initiatives. As their broker, this is music to my ears. From the sounds of it, American Apparel is now and again, one of North America's fashion leaders and trendsetter, turning heads with their products and subsequently their growing bottom line.

In this regard, I am pleased to announce that American Apparel is again looking to expand in Canada in select markets. Focus will be on super regional shopping centres and downtown high streets. Size required is 2500-3000 sq.ft.

American Apparel operates 251 locations in 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Italy...etc The company now has over 10,000 employees.

For more information on American Apparel, please visit their website at www.americanapparel.net.

JNBY Plans for Next Canadian Opening

February 25, 2013

Upscale ladies wear specialist JNBY recently announced its intentions to open its next Canadian location. Last week, Alex Xie, JNBY Country Manager for Canada, confirmed that the company was now ready to move into the province of Alberta. He further noted that JNBY would like to open its next store in Calgary.

JNBY stands for Just Naturally Be Yourself. The company was founded in 1994 in China, and today operate over 600 stores worldwide. JNBY has three Canadian locations, all in Vancouver. Further, JNYBY distributes its products globally to more than 30 countries including the United States, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Croatia, Spain, Korea and Brazil. The company is known for producing modern clothing that is highly fashionable and versatile.

JNBY will consider spaces in Calgary's super regional shopping centres. Size required is 1300-1750 sq.ft.

For additional information on JNBY, please visit their website at www.jnby.ca.