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 - 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

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

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
To learn more about the Canadian retail market and how your company can prosper in Canada, please contact me at

JNBY Ink 1st Calgary Deal

May 24, 2013

We are so pleased to announce that upscale ladies wear specialist JNBY (Just Naturally Be Yourself) has finalized an agreement to open their 1st location in Alberta, at The Core in downtown Calgary. The premises (1,370 sq.ft) is strategically situated on the mall's Plus 15 Level, adjacent such globally recognized brands such as BCBG, Brooks Brothers, Marciano by Guess, Holt Renfrew, Nine West, Guess…etc. The store is scheduled to open on December 1st.

JNBY was founded in 1994, in Hangzhou, Chine by a group of local designers. Today, the company operates 600+ stores worldwide (including Asia, Spain, US, Korea, Russia…etc). There are 3 Canadian locations, all in the province of British Columbia. JNBY caters to the urban, fashion forward women, age 20-40. Their stores are chic, modern and reflect a post-modernism design.

The Core consists of TD Square, the Holt Renfrew Building, and the former Calgary Eaton Centre, and is the dominant shopping centre in downtown Calgary. The property spans 3 city blocks and has approximately 160 stores on 3 levels, with over 560,000 sq.ft of retail. Notable tenants include: H&M, Harry Rosen, Aritzia, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Browns, Geox, Lacoste...etc. The Core also contains 4 office towers (TD Canada Trust tower, Home Oil tower, Dome Tower and the Lancaster Building).  The property is also home to the 25,000 sq.ft Devonian Garden, a glass enclosed botanical garden - which must be seen to be believed).

I'd like to thank Stan Boniferro of 20 Vic for all of his help in completing this transaction. Stan was responsive and effective throughout this process. He's a true pro.

For more information on JNBY, please visit their website at

Watch Station Opens Flagship Montreal Store

May 06, 2013

In late April, Watch Station International opened their 1st location in the province of Quebec, on Sainte Catherine Street, in downtown Montreal. The flagship store is strategically situated on Montreal's top high street (at the corner of Peel St) adjacent such other globally recognized brands as H&M, Mango, Aldo, Lacoste, American Eagle, Roots, Mexx, Guess, BCBG...etc. The premises is 2000 sq.ft and has a very chic and upscale store design. Watch Station International carries classic timepieces and collections from such renowned designers as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld, Michele, Emporio Armani...etc. This is the company's 4th Canadian store.

I'd like to offer my thanks Brigitte & Eric Fefer for all of their help in completing this transaction. They were both approachable, very pleasant, and extremely patient throughout our negotiations.    

At the moment, there are 26 Watch Station stores operating in the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe. Another twelve (12) locations have been confirmed for opening in 2013.

In other Canadian Watch Station International news, the company has confirmed two more store openings - both outlets. The first opens this summer, at Simon's Toronto Premium. The second location will be in Ottawa at Tanger Ottawa Outlets. Both stores will be 1200 sq.ft.

Watch Station is poised for further growth in Canada and have targeted the following cities for additional (outlet store) openings: Vancouver and Edmonton. Size required is 1000 sq.ft.

For more information on Watch Station International, please visit their website at

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