Blog

International Currency Exchange to Continue Canadian Rollout

April 22, 2014

International Currency Exchange (ICE) has their sight set on Canada for additional growth. 

The UK based company operates 50+ branches in Canada and has now announced plans to open 8 locations (in the country) during the next 18 months. Targeted markets include Vancouver, Toronto, and Edmonton. Super regional shopping centres are preferred. Requirements are as follows: Kiosks:100 square feet; in-line stores: 100-550 square feet.

ICE was founded in 1973 and is widely regarded as the top currency exchange brand in the world. The company has an extensive range of major and exotic currencies and provides the most competitive foreign exchange rates. ICE is also known for its award-winning and innovative branch designs. Further, the company’s new Click & Collect service enables customers to place their orders online for pick-up (at the location of their choosing), from 24 hours to a year ahead.

ICE is a Public Limited Company owned by the Lenlyn Group, and is a sister company of Raphaels Bank. The organization’s headquarters are based in Piccadilly, London. Today, ICE operates 300+ branches, including 65 airports, across four continents. The company has  a combined annual group turnover in excess of US$1.8 billion. 

Think Retail Partnerships: Fulfilling Mandates, Exceeding Expectations, and Commitment to Customer Satisfaction, all Keys to Long Lasting Relationships

April 07, 2014

At Think Retail, we strive to provide our customers with an experience that exceeds expectations. Assisting our clientele as they try to expand their businesses can be challenging. In order to meet client needs, we work closely with them to develop a clear understanding of their brand business model, vision and future goals. By cultivating this understanding we are best positioned to meet our clients’ needs and more. 

In 2010, Fossil, confirmed its plans to open stores in Canada’s top super regional malls and outlet centres. The company also sought to open flagship locations on the country’s top high streets. We worked very closely with Bob Higgins, Fossil’s Vice President of Global Real Estate, to develop and implement Fossil’s Canadian market entry plan. In a short time, I have secured 35+ stores for Fossil throughout Canada. Partially thanks to the strategic locations that I have successfully negotiated, Fossil’s Canadian stores not only continue to perform exceptionally well; they have also greatly exceeded expectations. I am also pleased to announce that in May, Fossil will open on Bloor Street, Canada’s top high street. Further, just last year, the company opened on St.Catherine Street in Montreal. Mission accomplished. Today I remain an active associate in meeting Fossil’s orientation needs, delivering vital information and resources that are the backbone of our business relationship.

For the past 5 years, I have carried out ladies activewear specialist, Lolë’s, mandates to perfection. Their commitment to excellence, brand awareness and drive mirrors our own as they expand across Canada. Through our collaborative efforts with Isabelle Mille, Lole’s VP Retail & Marketing, we developed and successfully implemented their real estate strategy. Lole has now opened stores in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and soon will be announcing their entry into British Columbia. We have quickly achieved our objectives. During this process, we provided Lolë with detailed market information required to make informed decisions.

Quebec based costume jewellery expert, Bizou has been our client for the past 16 years. This remains the longest standing client relationship in Bizou’s thirty (30) year history. As their real estate partner, I have successfully negotiated over 150 leases. I also served as lead negotiator in the company’s restructuring plan 6 years ago and tenaciously negotiated store closures and rent relief efforts, helping Bizou save approximately one (1) million dollars and in the process, many jobs. My team and I continue to negotiate and manage all of their new store development and lease renewals. Today, Bizou operates 130+ locations in Canada, and have opened 15 new locations in the last 3 years. Our partnership has always been and remains one of our company’s greatest achievements. 

We continue to build on our wealth of knowledge and experience that has been gained through our extensive client interactions.  Our relationships with Lolë, Fossil, Bizou and several others will continue to thrive in the future as we adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.     

Click here to read our client’s full testimonials. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon so that we can collaborate on making your entry into the Canadian retail market a successful one. I am confident that, if you put your expansion into Canada in THINK RETAIL's hands, your company will offer  testimonials soon after.

Sarah Pacini Pursues Global Expansion

March 20, 2014

Upscale international fashion brand SARAH PACINI is stepping up its plans for expansion with 10 stores scheduled for opening this year in Canada, USA, United Kingdom and Belgium.

Launched over 20 years ago in Belgium, SARAH PACINI has more than 50 exclusive boutiques worldwide, shop-in-shops in prestigious department stores, and represented in more than 1500 high-end multi-brand stores worldwide. (Company Profile 2014)

Made in Italy, the SARAH PACINI collections blend in a unique way innovative knitwear, prêt-à-porter and accessories and targets modern, contemporary women who appreciate fashion beyond the usual and who like to express themselves through individual pieces, worn separately or in a total look.

SARAH PACINI has developed a strong  expertise in branding its concept through creative designs,  superior customer service and store management.

This year 10 boutiques are already scheduled for opening in Canada, USA, United Kingdom and Belgium.

In Canada, a few prime locations are already confirmed.  Among them are Carrefour Laval and Bayview Village. Discussions are also in progress for a first exclusive boutique in Vancouver while locations in other cities are under review.

A typical SARAH PACINI boutique is located either on a high street, in leading regional malls or in an international airport. Size varies between 1350-1750 sq ft.

SARAH PACINI’s architectural concept harmoniously blends wood, metal and concrete to create a welcoming environment and offer the perfect setting for the timeless beauty of the collection. (Concept Stores 2014)

For additional information on this unique company, please visit their website at www.sarahpacini.com.

Also check out Sarah Pacini’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Pacini/110944992300051  

Bizou Opens First Store in France

March 05, 2014

Earlier this year, fashion accessories specialist Bizou opened its first international location at La Toison For in Dijon, France. The premises is 700 sq.ft and is situated on the mall’s upper level. Neighbouring tenants include Guess, Desigual, Superdry, Pandora, Mango…etc The new store is part of license agreement concluded last year, with french based KBS Retail. Two more openings in the country are scheduled for later this year. 

Bizou has also confirmed that it will open 2 locations in Ontario locations this spring: Place d’Orleans (Ottawa) and Georgetown Marketplace. Additional sites are planned for later in 2014. Further, the company has plans for considerable growth domestically in 2015 & 2-16, where 3-5 new stores are budgeted (per year). Expansion will focus on the following provinces: Ontario, Quebec, and maritime provinces. Size required is 600-900 sq.ft

Bizou was founded in 1982 and is privately owned by Marcel Labrecque. The company currently operates 130 locations.

For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.bizou.com.

Fossil Signs Lease for Bloor Street Flagship

February 13, 2014

Fashion accessories specialist Fossil confirmed its plans to open a 2,500 square foot flagship store on Bloor Street. The premises, previously occupied by Aldo, is situated on the exterior of the Holt Renfrew centre, in the heart of Toronto’s Mink Mile (on Bloor between Yonge & Bay Street). Neighbouring tenants are Aritzia, BCBG, Zara and Holt Renfrew. The store will be the second largest Fossil (full price) in Canada; the largest being the newly opened store at Yorkdale, which is 2,600 square feet. Opening is scheduled for June 1.

In addition to the Bloor Street store, Fossil will open 8 more units in Canada this year: Montreal Premium, Market Mall, Niagara Outlet Collection, Polo Park, Tanger Outlets Ottawa, Masonville Place, Lime Ridge, Quartier 10-30. Fossil will finish 2014 with a total of 32 Canadian locations. 

Fossil is primed for further Canadian expansion and expects to open 5-8 locations in both 2015 and 2016. Fossil’s size requirements are 1250-1500 square feet (minimum store width of 23.5 feet). Super regional centres, downtown high streets and outlet centres are preferred.

In other Fossil news, the company has confirmed a Q4 global launch for its new Tory Burch timepiece collection.  

Fossil operates over 543 corporate stores in 15+ countries including: US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, China, Australia….etc. Further, the company’s net sales are now in excess of $3 billion.
For additional information regarding Fossil, please visit their website at www.fossil.com.

JNBY Struts its Stuff in Calgary

January 15, 2014

In early December, upscale ladies apparel retailer, JNBY, opened their first location in Alberta, at The Core in downtown Calgary. The new store is the company’s 4th Canadian location, and first store outside British Columbia. The premises (formerly occupied by Boutique of Leathers) is 1380 sq.ft and is located on the mall’s Plus 15 Level. Neighbouring tenants include Nine West, Marciano, Banana Republic, Browns, Judith & Charles. The store design is contemporary, elegant and chic and embraces the industrial post-modernist style.

JNBY is now prepared to look at opportunities in Toronto. The company hopes to enter the market early in 2014 with a pop up store. High pedestrian street-front locations (such as Queen St and Yorkville) are preferred. Super regional mall will also be considered. Size required is 1250-1750 sq.ft.


JNBY was founded in China, in 1994. The company’s name is an acronym for Just Naturally Be Yourself. JNBY’s apparel is original and innovative, design driven and often inspired by trends in fashion, art and industrial design. JNBY’s target customer is the fashion forward, urban, 20-40 year old female. Today, the company operates over 500 locations worldwide. 

For all of the information on JNBY, please visit their website at www.jnby.com.

The Core is located in the heart of downtown Calgary on 8th Avenue. The property spans three city blocks and consists of TD Square and the former Calgary Eaton Centre. The four level mall has 175 stores with a GLA of 566,959. The shopping centre is anchored by Holt Renfrew. Other major retailers include Harry Rosen, Brooks Brothers, H&M, Michael Kors, Aritzia, Sephora…etc. The Core is jointly owned by Alberta Investment Management (AIMCO) and Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Finally, I’d like to thank Stan Boniferro of 20 Vic (leasing manager for The Core) for his help in negotiating this agreement. Stan is a great leasing guy, very hard working and with a wealth of experience.