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 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

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

Pinkberry Announce Plans to Expand to Calgary

January 21, 2013

Late last week, Swirling Dreams Inc, area franchisor for Pinkberry in the province of Alberta, announced plans to bring Pinkberry to Calgary. The company expects to open a minimum of 6-8 stores in the city in the next 2-3 years. Pinkberry is prepared to consider opportunities in large open air centres, downtown high streets and super regional shopping centres. Size required is 500-1500 sq.ft.

Pinkberry opened its first location in Alberta In July 2012, at Canada's largest shopping centre, West Edmonton Mall. The store has been a phenomenal success and the company is looking to add several units in the Edmonton market.

In addition to their plans to open locations in both Calgary and Edmonton, Pinkberry is aggressively looking to expand throughout the province of British Columbia. Markets of interest include downtown Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, Victoria...etc

In other Pinkberry news, the company recently (November 2012) opened in Cadillac Fairview's new Dining Terrace at Richmond Centre in Richmond, BC. I am pleased to report that sales are off the charts and have greatly exceeded expectations.

Pinkberry's next Canadian location is scheduled to open in late spring, at High Street in Abbotsford, BC. This should be a tremendous project; 600,000 sq.ft, anchored by Walmart, Cineplex, London Drugs, H&M, Urban Barn, Old Navy, Mexx, Starbucks, David's Tea..etc

In 2004, Pinkberry revolutionized the frozen yogurt category when they introduced their premium smooth tart tasting frozen yogurt. Just 3 years later, Maveron LLC (whose CEO is Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks) invested over $27.5 million in the company. Pinkberry has developed a rabid following amongst their core customers. Pinkberry also boasts a long list of celebrity ambassadors which include: David Beckham, Taylor Swift, Larry David, Justin Bieber, Drew Bress, Ryan Seacrest...etc. Today, there are over 200 Pinkberry stores in 15+ countries.
For more information on Pinkberry, please visit their website at

Finally, don't forget to try Pinkberry's new parfaits and fruit bowls. They're fresh and delicious.

Yellow Continues Expansion With New Store Design

January 20, 2013

Late last year, the Yellow Group unveiled its new store prototype, with openings at Place Rosemere and Ottawa Train Yards.

The newly refined design is expected strengthen the Yellow brand, improve their customer shopping experience, and position them for continued success. The new concept is modern, bright and inviting. Both stores look fantastic and their productivity has been excellent.

For 2013, Yellow continues to aggressively seek opportunities in the province of Quebec and in Ottawa.  Store size required is 1200-2000 sq. ft. in enclosed malls and 3500-6000 sq. ft. in open-air centres.

Founded in 1916, Yellow Group Inc. has grown to over 100 store locations in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. The stores operate under the Yellow, Cité, and Fournier banners.

For more information on Yellow Shoes, please visit their website at

For additional information and leasing opportunities, please contact Michael Stroll at (514) 731-7936.

Yeh! Yogourt Retains Think Retail

January 16, 2013

We are delighted to announce that Think Retail has been retained by Montreal based, frozen yogourt specialist, Yeh! Yogourt, as their exclusive real estate broker, responsible for store growth strategy, site selection and lease negotiation.

Founded in 2008, Yeh! was the first to bring the exciting experience of self-service frozen yogurt to Canada. From a single shop on St. Laurent Blvd, the chain has expanded to 15 corporate and franchise locations operating or under development in Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Boston, Albany and San Diego.

Yeh! is prepared for further growth and have plans to open as many as 10 new stores this year. Think Retail has been tasked to handle their search in Ottawa, Ontario, the province of Quebec, and all of the Canadian Atlantic provinces. The size requirement for Yeh! is 600-1200 sq. ft. in enclosed malls and 600-2000 sq. ft. in strip centre, power centre, and high street locations.  In addition, kiosk locations are possible.

For more information on Yeh! Yogourt, please visit their website at

For additional information and leasing opportunities, please contact Michael Stroll at (514) 731-7936.