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Watch Station International Opens at Toronto Premium Outlets

September 05, 2013

In early August, Watch Station International opened at Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, Ontario (25 miles west of downtown Toronto). The premises is 1,200 sq.ft. and is strategically situated adjacent other globally recognized brands such as Hugo Boss, DKNY, Coach, True Religion, Calvin Klein, Fossil, Ted Baker…etc..
 
All Watch Station International stores carry a wide array of classic timepieces from the world's top designer brands such as Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Emporio Armani, Michele, DKNY, Skagen, Karl Lagerfeld. Prices range from $200-$2500.
 
Toronto Premium Outlets is the company's 5th Canadian location. A 6th store has already been confirmed and will open next year in Ottawa, at Tanger Ottawa Outlets. By the end of 2013, there will be 75 Watch Station International stores in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the US.
 
Watch Station International continues to expand (outlet stores only) in Canada. The following cities are targeted for additional openings: Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver. Size required is 1000-1200 sq.ft (with minimum width of 23.5 ft).
 
Toronto Premium Outlets is owned by Simon Property Group (joint venture with Toronto based Calloway REIT). The project was Simon's 1st in Canada and from all reports, it has been a phenomenal success. The centre continues to draw massive crowds, one full month after opening. Toronto Premium Outlets has 85 stores and a GLA of 375,000 sq.ft. Simon has announced a 2nd Canadian Premium Outlets that will open in Montreal, on November 1,2014.
 
Finally, I'd like to thank Brad Cole, Vice President of Leasing Premium Outlets\Simon Property Group, for all of his help and efforts throughout our negotiations of this transaction. Brad did a herculean job with Toronto Premium. First, while many of us Canadians have visited Woodbury Commons and Premium Outlet centres in Orlando and Las Vegas, the branded outlet centre format, with a high concentration of retailers offering made for outlet (MFO) merchandise, is somewhat foreign. Brad worked tirelessly to educate us on this cookie cutter styled project, which has been so successful throughout the United States and Europe. He was always highly responsive and effective. Second, his pre-lease of this project at 94% was absolutely OUTSTANDING. We are often told by landlords that their goal is to have 85% of the project open at Grand Opening. The rationale provided is that once prospective retailers see how strong the centre is performing at and following the opening, then landlords will secure commitments for these final spaces and at higher minimum rents than those achieved to prior to opening. I can write a blog all about Opening Co-Tenancy but will save this hot topic for another day. Notwithstanding, take this to the bank. Landlords who shoot for 85% often get less. Further, at Grand Opening, our clients sales projections presume that the property is fully leased - 100%. In addition to doing a great lease-up, Brad ensured Simon delivered big time with respect to co-tenancies. They said they would bring in top retailers such as Polo, Michael Kors, Coach, Restoration Hardware, Tory Burch, J Crew, Nike, Brooks Brothers, Hugo Boss, Fossil, Ted Baker…etc. And they did.
 
For additional information on Watch Station International, please visit www.watchstation.com.

Aroma Espresso Bar Steams Ahead to Montreal

September 03, 2013

Aroma Espresso Bar has tapped Montreal as the next step in their Canadian expansion strategy. Anat Davidzon, Operating Partner of Aroma Group Inc. confirmed recently, that the company has concluded a franchise agreement that will see several units open in Montreal over the next 3 years.
 
For the company's Quebec market entry, Aroma is targeting Montreal's downtown core. The company will consider high street locations and multi use towers. The size required is 1700-2250 sq.ft., plus terrace.
 
While Aroma is known for their gourmet coffees, their gourmet food offerings are freshly made on site, and combine global flavours and ingredients to create unique, innovative and healthy choices for discerning guests.  Aroma's breads and pastries are baked on-site in open kitchens, in full customer view. Aroma locations have a modern design with cutting edge décor that includes modern finishes, contemporary lighting, wi-fi and urban music.
 
Aroma was founded in Jerusalem in 1994. After opening 100+ locations in Israel, in 2006 the company opened their 1st international location in Soho, New York. The move into Canada came one year later where they quickly expanded to approximately 20 locations. Today there are  over 150 Aroma Espresso Bars operating in 6 countries.
 
I'd like to thank Sam Wertman, President of Retail Logic Realty Inc., for reaching out to us to assist on this exciting mandate. Sam has done great work with Aroma in the Greater Toronto market and we're pleased to collaborate with him.
 
For all of the Aroma news, please visit their website at www.aroma.ca.

Fossil Opens 1st Canadian High Street Location

July 29, 2013

In early July, Fossil opened a flagship location in the heart of downtown Montreal. The store is located at 1253 Saint Catherine Street and is the company's first Canadian high street location. The space is 2400 square feet and is strategically situated adjacent other globally recognized retail brands such as F21, A\X Armani, Lululemon, Oakley, Urban Outfitters, Guess, Apple…etc.

In other Fossil news, the company recently confirmed several new Canadian store openings. They include the following:

Yorkdale
Pacific Centre
Toronto Premium
Richmond Centre
Guilford Centre
Fairview Pointe Claire
Champlain Place
Tanger Ottawa Outlets


Fossil will end 2013 with twenty-five (25) Canadian locations.

The company is eager to open additional units in Canada and is prepared to expand in the following markets: Alberta, BC, Ontario, and Quebec. Size required is 1250-1500 sq.ft (full price) and 3000 sq.ft (outlets). Fossil stores open in super regional malls and outlet centres.

Further to the above, Fossil has its sights set on Toronto to add a flagship high street location in this market.

We'll have more exciting Fossil news to announce next month. Stay tuned for the exciting details.

In the interim, for all of the information regarding Fossil, please visit their website at www.fossil.com.

Lole Lands in Yorkville

July 19, 2013

In early July, ladies activewear specialist Lole opened its 6th Canadian location, in Toronto's posh shopping district of Yorkville. The store is located at 88 Yorkville Avenue, and is strategically situated adjacent Anthropologie, Diesel, Free People, and Whole Foods. The space is 1400 square feet.

The Yorkville opening comes on the heels of the company's highly successful White Yoga Session (late last month) at Fort York National Historic Site. The event was attended by over 2000 people and was the largest outdoor yoga session to be held in Toronto . Please click on the link to see a video of this magical day - http://www.lolewomen.com/blog/2013/07/03/torontos-lole-white-yoga-session-2013/. Lole's White Yoga tour hits Montreal next, on July 27th. The session is already sold out with over 5000 people expected to participate. The tour wraps on September 1 at the magnificent Grand Palais in Paris.

Lole stores are inspired by the beauty of the city park, with a living wall incorporated into the storefront. Once inside, the customer experience is unique and highly interactive, focused on wellness and community. All locations offer free exercise meet-ups twice weekly at the local park, as well as, lectures given by yoga\pilates specialists, and nutrition experts. Lole stores specialize in the sale of technical, versatile and feminine fashion apparel for urban woman.

Lole is owned by Quebec based Coalision Inc, who own several exciting brands including: Lole, Orage and Paradox. Coalision Inc is owned by Kilmer capital (whose CEO is Larry Tanenbaum of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment). In addition to Quebec, Coalision Inc operates offices in the US, France and Hong Kong. The company operates a total of 13 Lole stores in Canada, US, France and Switzerland.

The company plans to open 7 stores in Canada in 2014, doubling their Canadian store count by the end of next year. The following provinces are targeted: Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Lole will locate in super regional malls, downtown high street locations, and outlet centres. Size required 1250-1600 sq.ft.

Further to the above, we are pleased to confirm that the company is now prepared to open their 1st location in British Columbia.

Finally, I can tell you that we're dotting the I's and crossing the T's on Lole's next deal. Stay tuned for a MAJOR announcement coming soon.

For all of the information on Lole, please visit their website at www.lolewomen.com.

Le Creuset Set to Bolster Canadian Retail Presence

July 04, 2013

Iconic cookware specialist Le Creuset recently, unveiled their plans for Canadian expansion. Raffi Kouyoumdjian, Le Creuset's Canadian Country Manager, confirmed that the company is prepared to open full priced Le Creuset flagship stores in cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and Quebec City. Super regional malls and downtown street-front locations will be considered. Size required is 1250-1500 sq.ft.

The company currently operates three (3) Canadian locations - Chinook Centre, Sherway Gardens and Carrefour.

Le Creuset was founded 85 years ago in 1925 in Fresnoy Le Grand in northern France. The company is privately held (and financed) by Paul Van Zuydam, who acquired Le Creuset in 1987. Today there are 250+ Le Creuset stores in 24 countries including US, Canada, UK, Italy, China, Australia, Mexico, Japan, SOuth Africa, Russia…etc.

Le Creuset is the most searched housewares brand in North America (Google, AOL & Yahoo). Further, the company is also included on the Top 100 Worldwide Brands from Times of London. Le Creuset's products are used by globally recognized chefs such as Michael Smith, Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan, Martin Picard…etc.

Le Creuset is truly Best In Class!

For additional information on Le Creuset, please visit their website at www.lecreuset.ca.

Yorkdale & Pacific Centre Top the List of New Canadian Fossil Stores

June 06, 2013

Richardson, Texas based watch and fashion accessory specialist Fossil  confirmed plans to open 10 new Canadian locations. At the top of the list are Canada's two highest performing centres, Pacific Centre ($1500 psf) and Yorkdale ($1300 psf). The company also confirmed that they will open (later this month) their first Canadian high street location, on Sainte Catherine Street in downtown Montreal.  
 
The following is the listing of all upcoming Fossil openings with opening month in parenthesis;
 
1253 Sainte Catherine Street (June)
Yorkdale (August)
Pacific Centre (October)
Toronto Premium Outlets (August)
Richmond Centre (September)
Guilford Town Centre (September)
Markville Shopping Centre (September)
Fairview Pointe Claire (September)
Champlain Place (September)
Tanger Ottawa Outlets (July 2014)
 
At the end of 2013, Fossil will operate 25 stores in Canada.
 
In addition to the above, Fossil is poised for further Canadian expansion (in 2014 and 2015) and is focused on the following provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Super regional malls and downtown street-front locations will be considered. Size required is 1250-1500 sq.ft. Outlet stores require 3000 sq.ft.
 
With respect to performance, Fossil's Canadian average now exceeds $1000 psf - OUTSTANDING!
 
In other Fossil news, the company reported record 1st quarter 2013 earnings.
 
Here's a quick snapshot of the results;
 
- Net sales increased 15% to a Record $681M
- EPS increased to a Record $1.21
- North American wholesale increased 13%; Europe wholesale increased 14%
- Direct to consumer sales increased 22%
- Global retail comps increased 4.3%, the 20th consecutive quarter of positive comps
- Operating Income increased 14%
 
Net sales grew in all segments compared to the prior fiscal year first quarter. Simply put, Fossil is off to a great start to 2013.
 
Fossil products are sold to department stores and specialty watch and jewelry stores in 130 countries worldwide. Fossil also operates over 450 company owned and operated stores in 15+ countries.
 
For additional information on Fossil, please visit their website at www.fossil.com.
 
To learn more about the Canadian retail market and how your company can prosper in Canada, please contact me at tflanz@thinkretail.ca.