Live Out Loud Every Day - Lole Opens Their 1st Store

September 20, 2010

We are pleased to announce the opening of the 1st Atelier Lole, on St. Denis St in Montreal. The store was the creation of Groupe Cossette with the help of architectural firm Aedifica, who have done a magnificent job bringing forward  an exceptionally fresh retail design, which is highlighted by the live green walled storefront, evoking the feel of a city park. Atelier Lole is truly a one-stop shop for the active women, to shop, participate in organized training\exercise sessions in parks and yoga courses, as well as to attend presentations on such topics as health, nutrition, travel..etc. Lole are owned by Longueuil based Coalision Inc, who plan to open 40 Lole locations in North America in the next 5 years.

To view the Press Release, click here

How Sweet It Is - Hot Fudge Opens its 1st Location at Place Laurier

August 25, 2010

We are very pleased to announce that Hot Fudge has opened its first location at Place Laurier in Sainte-Foy, Quebec. The store is 1600 square feet. Hot Fudge specializes in the sale of fashion accessories, such as sunglasses, watches, hats, purses, jewelry, head-phones...etc. This multi-brand concept will feature top designers such as: Nixon, Volcom, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson...etc. Hot Fudge caters to the 15-25 clientele. Hot Fudge was designed by company owner Joey Labrecque, and Frederic Bernier, who did a magnificent job to bring forward a unique design that is colourful, eye-catching and completely out of the box (see photo). Hot Fudge is planning to open a 2nd location in the province of Quebec in 2011. Size required is 1500 square feet. Think Retail wishes to thank Michel Richard at Ivanhoe Cambridge for his efforts in completing this transaction.

Surge Retail International and Think Retail Form Strategic Alliance

May 05, 2010

American retail real estate advisors and brokers Surge Retail International will be teaming up  with Canadian counterpart Think Retail, with an eye on the North American market.

Retail real estate experts Surge Retail International and Think Retail have formed a strategic alliance for the North American market. The partnership, will see the two companies sharing and leveraging assets, information, resources and client bases, with the hope of gaining a larger audience.

The strategic alliance is well timed, as the global economic downturn has seen numerous US apparel retailers (such as Victoria’s Secret, Brooks Brothers, and Forever 21) expand into Canada. In fact, throughout the American retail industry, Canadian expansion is increasingly considered an effective counter to dwindling American growth, one that is safer and easier than a move to Europe or Asia.

The alliance between Surge Retail International and Think Retail positions both companies at the forefront of the retail real estate industry, creating unique continent-wide opportunities for both companies and their clients.

Surge Retail International, which is based in Massachusetts, specializes in retail tenant representation, US site selection and procurement, US strategic expansion planning, with a focus on European retailers looking to develop their business in the North American market. Current clients include All Saints, , DC Shoe, Swarovski, and Quiksilver, among others.

Montreal-based Think Retail is a real estate broker catering to international and national retailers expanding in Canada, and specializing in retail tenant representation, Canadian market entry strategies\strategic planning, Canadian site selection, and retail acquisitions. Current clients include American Apparel, Fossil, Le Creuset, and Crabtree & Evelyn, among others.

BIZOU - Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On

May 04, 2010

Over the last couple of years, fashion accessories and costume jewelry specialist, Bizou International Inc., has radically altered their business operations and the results have been fantastic.

Bizou has implemented a new aggressive inventory management system; hiring policies for store personnel have been revamped; store design has been significantly upgraded; in-store merchandising has been overhauled resulting in a dramatic improvement of their overall product display;  marketing initiatives are now focused and effectively target their core customer;  All this to say, Bizou has developed a new corporate culture which is now top line focused.

It's clear that these changes have not gone un-noticed by Bizou's customers. In a tough economy Bizou's sales have now risen in three consecutive years; 5% in 2007, 15% in 2008, and 5% in 2009.

Furthermore, greater profits have given Bizou the necessary flexibility to spend the monies required to put their best foot forward in the marketplace. In this regard, Bizou has completed store renovations in the following shopping centres: Champlain Place, Promenades St. Bruno, Place Sainte-Foy, Carrefour du Nord, and Galeries Rive-Nord. Later this year, Bizou's flagship store at Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, will be fully renovated, as well. Finally, in fall, Bizou will convert its kiosk to an in-line location in the expansion area of Galeries Saint Hyacinthe. Looking forward, the company is hoping to double its budget for store renovations in 2011.

Bizou is also primed for expansion and is currently seeking to open two stores later this year, in Ontario. The company will target regional and super regional centres in markets over 100,000 people. Optimal store size is 600-850 square feet.

As noted, Bizou has introduced a new store prototype. This new design is appealing, elegant and inviting. To see photos of the new concept, please click on the this link.

Bizou currently operates 131 stores in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

For more information on Bizou, please visit their website at

Show me the $$$ - International Currency Exchange Opens 3 New Locations in Canada

April 19, 2010

UK based, International Currency Exchange (ICE) unveiled its new kiosk design prototype with its openings, last night in Place Rosemere, Quebec, and last week at Bramalea City Centre, Ontario.  The new design was developed by Robert Ruscio at RuscioStudio. Using the Bird's Nest in China (Beijing National Stadium) as its inspiration, Robert did a magnificent job in transforming ICE's look, which previously had a more institutional feel, to a strikingly unique kiosk, which now has that 'wow' element written all over it. The ICE team, led by Shamir Desai and Darren Sutton continue to seek out ways to improve its visual offerings to Canadian landlords and in this case, they simply hit it out of the park.

ICE is scheduled to open its next branch in May at Galeries de la Capitale, Quebec.

The company currently operates approximately 35 foreign exchange branches in Canada and the company is primed for further expansion. Furthermore, ICE is prepared to open 3-4 more stores this year. Kiosk requirements are approximately 100 sq.ft. The company will also consider opening in-line locations; size required is 100-500 sq.ft

With over 300 locations operating worldwide, International Currency Exchange is class leader in foreign exchange.

I would be remiss if not to thank Giilles Levesque and Judie Hart of Morguard with whom I negotiated these most recent transactions, as well as Robert Gauthier of Redcliff.

Jacques Despars - Best in Class

April 07, 2010

For over 40 years, the Les Entreprises Jacques Despars has revolutionized the world of beauty in the province of Quebec. Furthermore, the name Jacques Despars has become synonymous with excellence and style.

Today, Les Entreprises Jacques Despars operate approximately 25 salon and hair product stores in the province of Quebec and continue to seek out expansion opportunities. Plans for 2010 forecast the opening of 2 locations, in cities such as Montreal and Quebec City. The company is also prepared stimulate growth through the acquisition of existing salons.

The hair product division specializes in internationally branded beauty, hair\head, and salon products. Locations offer brushes, curling irons, hair dryers, gels, mousses, sprays, shampoos, and skin products, as well as, on-site consultation from the Jacques Despars team of experts. Size requirements are as follows: In-line store - 900 sq.ft; kiosk - 180 square feet.

Offer your centre patrons the best in class and add a two-time Maple Leaf Award winner to your centre.

To view the full article, click here.