Michael Smith Cooks it up at Le Creuset

October 03, 2011

In late September, Culinary master Michael Smith visited the new Le Creuset store at Sherway Gardens in Ontario. Mr.Smith was on hand to participate in a special meet and greet with customers, as well as, to sign copies of his new book, Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen. Approximately 300 people attended this wonderful event. Chef Michael Smith is an award-winning chef and cookbook author, Food Network Canada host, and newspaper columnist. Le Creuset is the go-to brand for luxury and quality cookware, making it the number one choice for professional chefs and home cooks alike.

In other Le Creuset news, the company's 3rd Canadian is currently under construction at Carrefour Laval, in Quebec. The opening will mark Le Creuset's entry to La Belle Province. This store is scheduled to open in mid-November.

Le Creuset will continue to expand, in Canada, in 2012. Markets of interest include Vancouver, Quebec City, and Ottawa. Size required is 1350-1500 sq.ft. Please contact us if you have any opportunities you wish to discuss or present.For additional information on this iconic company\brand, please visit Le Creuset's website at

Lole - Living Loud in Toronto

September 08, 2011

In late August, ladies outdoor apparel specialist Lole, opened their 1st store in Toronto. The premises is strategically located in the heart of the affluent Oakville shopping district, on Lakeshore Road East, between George and Thomas. The 2000 sq.ft store is uniquely designed.

Immediately striking when you arrive at Lole, is their storefront; a green living wall (see photo) evoking a city park - Lole's playground. The wall represents the urban nature and Lole's commitment to respect and connect to it.

The Social Living Wall (iPad wall) is another great innovation. Using the LolePop App, which is available for free on ITunes, Lole's Friends and customers load their workout\exercise, travel, and fashion....etc photos.  These pictures are then displayed on the 8-10 iPads in Lole's stores.

Lole has also developed an exclusive and revolutionary Point of Sale system that allows every transaction to be completed via iPods. This technology brings Lole's retail customer experience to a higher level and decreases the transaction time.

At Lole, the company is committed to getting woman moving every day which is why they created the Lole Meet-Ups Program. Women who join this inspirational movement can participate in free exercise meet-ups at parks, twice a week, led by their ambassadors, who are renowned experts at Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and urban fitness. The program promotes fitness and good health, as well as community involvement and the enjoyment of urban green spaces.

Tea and fruits are served daily in all Lole location - Don't be late.

Further to the above, we are also pleased to announce that Lole will be opening at Bayview Village in Toronto, on September 22.

In 2012, Lole is planning to open six (6) stores. Markets of interest include: Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Vancouver and Halifax may also be possibilities. Both super regional malls and high pedestrian street-front locations will be considered. Size required is 1250-1750 sq.ft.

A little about Lole - Lole's parent company Coalision Inc, is owned by Kilmer Capital, whose CEO is Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment. Coalision Inc own 3 brands: Lole, Orage, and Paradox. Combined sales are in excess of $100M. Lole's CEO Bernard Mariette, former CEO of Quiksliver Inc (1995-2007) has the company primed for international expansion in the US and Europe (at the moment there is one Lole store operating in Zurich).

For more information on Lole, please visit their website at

Le Creuset - A Retail Icon Opens Flagship Toronto Location

August 29, 2011

In mid-August, retail icon Le Creuset opened its first Toronto location at Sherway Gardens. The store looks absolutely fantastic (see photo) and is off to a great start. The 1350 sq.ft premises is situated across from Coach, William Sonoma, and Lululemon. This is Le Creuset's 2nd Canadian store; the first opened late last year, at Chinook Centre, in Calgary.

Sherway Gardens is owned by Cadillac Fairview, and is the Canada's #6 rank centre in terms of sales. The centre is anchored by Holt Renfrew and is home to such top retailers as Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, Aritzia, Harry Rosen, Michael Kors, Sephora, Victoria Secret...etc. Annual traffic is approx 10 million.

Le Creuset was founded 86 years ago, in 1925, in Fresnoy Le Grand in northern France. The company is best known for its artisan built enameled cookware, and is the pre-eminent cast iron brand world wide. Since 1987, the company has been privately held by Paul Van Zuydam and is self financed. Le Creuset operates approximately 110 locations in 15 countries, and enjoys distribution in over 28 countries. The brand enjoys tremendous cache as evidenced by its inclusion in the Times of London's Top 100.

Worldwide Brands. Furthermore, Le Creuset is the most searched cookware brand in the US on AOL, Google, Yahoo. Le Creuset is also the most aspired brand amongst women 25-35 in Japan.

I am also pleased to announce that Le Creuset will open its first location in the province of Quebec, at Carrefour Laval. The store is scheduled to open in early November.

Le Creuset will continue to expand in Canada, and have targeted additional flagship openings in both Vancouver and Ottawa. Size required is 1350-1750 sq.ft.

Based on our anticipation of only a few Canadian openings, those centres with a Le Creuset store will be perceived as a true destination for brand and houseware interested consumers.

For additional information, please visit Le Creuset's website at

Bare Escentuals Announce Plans to Open in Canada in 2012

August 18, 2011

I am so pleased to announce that Think Retail has been retained by San Francisco based, Bare Escentuals, as their exclusive Canadian real estate broker.

Please indulge me while I provide you with some background and story about this magnificent company:

In 1976, Bare Escentuals opened it’s first boutique in California, as a bath and body retailer.  Leslie Blodgett joined Bare Escentuals in 1994 as CEO and has been the face of the company ever since.  Leslie helped transform this local bath and body retailer into one of the leading prestige cosmetic companies in the United States with the launch of bareMinerals, an award winning line of cosmetic and skincare products.  Bare Escentuals started the idea that makeup could actually be considered skincare, and that got people talking.  What makes Bare Escentuals so special is they only use the finest quality ingredients in their products to give you everything you want without any harsh chemicals.  It’s makeup so pure you can sleep in it!

Bare Escentuals continues to grow the brand worldwide.  In March 2010, Bare Escentuals was purchased by Shisheido, the largest cosmetic company in Japan, for $1.7 billion.  Today, they are operating close to 200 company-owned boutiques in the United States.  In order to continue their international expansion plans, Bare Escentuals plans to open 3 - 5 boutique locations in Canada, focusing on Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario to start.  The boutiques range from approximately 900 - 1,200 square feet, with 20 feet of frontage.

For more information on Bare Escentuals, please visit their website at

Fossil's Sales Reach Record Levels

August 15, 2011

During a week of that was one of the most volatile in the history of Wall Street, Richardson, Texas based Fossil (FOSL) released their financial earnings for the 2nd quarter; the results were record setting and beat analyst's expectations. Here's an overview of their strong performance:

Second Quarter (2011 vs 2010)
- Net sales increased by 34.9% to Record Level of $556.7 million compared to $412.6 million;
- Gross profit rose 31.7% to $312 million, compared to $236.9 million;
- Operating income increased by 34.1% to Record Level of $86.3 million, compared to $64.3 million;
- Global comp sales increased 22%

Six Month Period Results (2011 vs 2010)
- Net sales increased by 35.7% to $1.09 billion compared to $0.81 billion;
- Gross Profit increased by 34.5% to $613.8 million, compared to $456.3 million;
- Operating Income increased by 54.7% to $178.8 million, compared to $115.6 million;

Looking forward to the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2011, Fossil expects net sales to increase in a range of 22%-24%

In regard to Canada, last month, Fossil opened their 1st store location in the nation's capital, at Ottawa's Rideau Centre, the country's #5 ranked mall in terms of sales per square foot. Furthermore, in June, Fossil opened at Carrefour Laval, the top performing mall in the province of Quebec. We expect to announce shortly Fossil's next 2011 store opening. Stay tuned for additional updates.
For 2102, Fossil is prepared to open approximately 6 Canadian locations, and are targeting super-regional malls and high pedestrian street-front locations. Size required is 1500 sq.ft (with minimum of 23.5 ft storefront).

In addition to the above, Fossil is also seeking to open a couple of Fossil Outlet stores in Ontario or Quebec in 2011. Size required is 3000-6000 sq.ft.

Finally, Fossil is also now prepared to open the first Watch Station store in Canada, which specializes in the sale of all licensed brand watches (Michele, Burberry, DKNY, Armani...etc). 

Fossil operates 360 corporate stores in 15+ countries.

For more information on Fossil, please visit their website at

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August 08, 2011

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