Farrow & Ball seeks new site for Toronto showroom

June 13, 2016

Think Retail is delighted to partner with JLL Real Estate to assist with Farrow & Ball’s Toronto real estate requirements.
It’s always a pleasure to work on a brand that inspires such devotion. Farrow & Ball is lauded the world over for its edited palette of 132 paints and hand-crafted artisanal wallpapers.
The offering is one of visual delight, but also Farrow & Ball stands apart in terms of quality. 
Founded in 1946 by John Farrow & Richard Ball in England, the company makes its own crafted paint and paper at its factory in Wimborne, Dorset. Its production is never outsourced, which means the company can maintain the highest of standards (in 2010 Farrow & Ball made the bold decision to move its entire range of paints away from oil based to water based finishes with low or minimal VOC content). Its success is reflected in group sales figures that have close to tripled in the last decade to more than $90 million a year. 
Farrow & Ball has an exclusive collection of showrooms around the globe—28 in the UK, 11 in Europe, 11 in the US, and one here in Canada.
The space at 1054 Yonge—between Bloor and St. Clair—is a design mecca, where people go for inspiration and to peruse the entire collection of richly pigmented paint colours (while reveling in their quirky names) and wallpaper designs. This is not a store; it’s a place that inspires loyalty and passion among those who love this brand for its unique depth of colour, exacting quality and authentic craftsmanship. On site, customers can experiment with colour, texture and finish, while availing of the expertise of the showroom team. 
Nestled amongst the opulent residences of Summerhill and Rosedale, Farrow & Ball is well-positioned to attract a consumer demographic that spans affluent urban professionals, young cosmopolitans, and design-savvy individuals who are passionate about their homes and willing to invest in premium products.
Farrow & Ball opened the Toronto showroom in 1999—its first overseas location—and now seeks to relocate and potentially open a second store in the market. 
The areas of interest encompass Rosedale (in the same area as the current store), as well as new opportunities in both the King Street East and Castlefield Design District. The optimal size is 1,000 to 1,500 sq. ft.
For more about this pioneering company, and the Farrow & Ball real estate needs, visit or contact the Think Retail Team. 

Adore Cosmetics to open 10 to 15 stores in Canada

June 10, 2016

Think Retail is thrilled to partner with UHI Cosmetics as it dials up Canadian expansion for the celebrated Adore Cosmetics brand. 
We love working with companies that build beautiful stores and Adore does that and more with a luxurious retail experience enhanced with product demonstration stations that invite consumers to explore and fall in love with this popular line that encompasses beauty, anti-aging and organic skincare. 
Launched in 2001, Adore Cosmetics is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury innovative skincare products. Based in Miami Beach, Florida, the company is the complete package, led by a team that sees value in researching, manufacturing, wholesaling and creating a retail experience designed to highlight the creative technology and high-end ingredients that work together for its unique formulations.
Today, Adore has more than 50 boutiques around the globe. The company has expanded and continues to expand throughout the U.S., as well as Mexico, U.S. Virgin Island, Caribbean, the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Adore already has a strong Canadian footprint with five stores—Fairview Pointe Claire (Quebec); Tanger Cookstown, and Pickering Town Centre (Ontario); Southland Mall (Saskatchewan); and downtown Vancouver.  
The company has just announced three (3) exciting new store openings:

- Rideau Centre (mid August) 
- Oshawa Centre (October)
- Tsawwassen Mills (October)

Adore is planning to open at least 10 to 15 more boutiques in Canada, with a primary focus in super regional malls in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Size required is on 600 to 1,200 sq. ft.
Adore is a landlord’s dream tenant. Its stores around the world showcase a vast line of more than 60 products, driving repeat foot-traffic that delivers one of the highest industry averages of sales per square foot.
And that’s in an already booming industry. Analysts estimate the global beauty industry—consisting of skin care worth $24 billion; makeup, $18 billion; $38 billion of hair-care products; and $15 billion of perfumes—is growing at up to 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the developed world’s GDP!
The industry is broken down into six main categories; skincare being the largest, which accounts for more than 35% of the global market and growing. 
Adore is ideally positioned to capitalize on the market interest: The UHI Team has developed a concept that combines the best in anti-aging skin care with an impactful product demonstration presentation and luxurious retail experience that is already making waves. 
The buzz is strong and Adore’s popular Organic Innovation line—based on organic extracts combined with age-defying Plant Stem Cell Technology—is celebrated in the pages of major fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine, from Cosmo to Elle.
It’s such an exciting time for the Adore brand and we are delighted to work with UHI as it realizes its growth plans in Canada. For more about this innovative company, visit or contact the Think Retail Team.

Le Creuset debuts in Vancouver with its largest store in Canada

June 06, 2016

Today, the iconic Le Creuset brand adds a pop of colour to retail scene in British Columbia, with the exciting opening of its first store in the province and largest in the country.
The 2,000 sq. ft. store at 2997 South Granville is the colourful cookware company’s second high street location in Canada.
This fresh modern retail space is ideally positioned in Vancouver’s bustling uptown, upscale neighhourhood, which is home to a vibrant collection of retailers, restaurants, galleries and residences.
Le Creuset is in good company, with neighbouring tenants that include, William Sonoma, West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids. The brand has great synergy with fellow tenants and this much-anticipated opening finally gives West Coast shoppers a taste of its classic on-trend wares.
Le Creuset—founded in Northern France in 1925—is a hit with Canadian consumers, who celebrate its signature combination of quality, functionality and colorful aesthetics. In Canada, Le Creuset is the No. 1 bridal registry brand and it’s consistently the No. 1 or No. 2 cookware supplier to all the company’s trading partners.
In turn, Le Creuset has been on fire of late. In 2015, they more than doubled their footprint in Canada, celebrated several market entries, including a new 1,100 sq. ft. modern masterpiece at Southgate Centre in Edmonton; unveiled their first high-street location at 577 Sussex Drive in Ottawa; opened at 1,050 sq. ft. space in the tony Bayview Village in Toronto; and relocated to a larger 800 sq. ft. store at Place Ste. Foy in Quebec City.
Le Creuset now has nine stores in Canada and it turning up the heat on expansion, with plans to further target select markets, including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal—ideal spaces are 750 to 1,250 sq. ft. One area of particular interest is downtown Montreal, where Le Creuset would like to open a flagship high street store. In addition to major street locations, the company is also keen on super regional malls.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on another exciting opening.

At Think Retail we are thrilled to work with this innovative brand as it lays the foundation for another marquee year and build its presence in top-tier locations across the country.
For more about Le Creuset and its plans for expansion, please visit or contact the Think Retail Team.

China's HNA buys currency exchange firm ICE

May 20, 2016

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has acquired International Currency Exchange (ICE)—one of the most established and respected retail currency exchange brands in the world.
This is a major transaction, involving one of Think Retail’s longstanding clients and we are excited about what this means for ICE in Canada. 
HNA is a Global Fortune 500 company and this acquisition is part of a strategic effort to expand outside of Asia. It brings with it major growth potential for the ICE brand.
At Think Retail, we have worked with ICE since 2008, plotting its expansion coast to coast and we will be sharing soon details on the next phase of its growth.
Founded in the UK in 1973, ICE is one of the world's largest currency exchange retailers, with more than 350 locations in 19 countries.
The company has solid roots in Canada that go back more than a quarter century. ICE boasts a number of strong strategic partnerships and in 2012 was named the exclusive foreign exchange partner of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA).
Founded in 1993, privately-owned HNA has evolved from a local aviation transportation operator to a conglomerate with several core divisions, including aviation, real estate, capital, tourism, hospitality, technology and logistics. ICE will become part of HNA Tourism, which specializes in air travel, hospitality management, tourism, finance, investment and e-commerce.
The acquisition "adds wings to our global coverage of financial services for overseas tourism, and will provide important support to the acceleration of the pace of our internationalization," HNA Tourism said in a statement.
With its huge international presence, ICE was the ideal acquisition for HNA. In Canada, ICE already has more than 50 locations coast to coast, in shopping centres, retail hubs and most major airports, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City.
Under the leadership of co-founder and chairman Chen Feng, HNA has grown into a conglomerate with nearly $100 billion in assets.
At Think Retail, we are excited to see where HNA takes the ICE brand. We look forward to working with the company as it capitalizes on this marquee acquisition. For more, visit, or contact the Think Retail Team.

Shinola makes Canadian debut in World’s Coolest Neighbourhood

May 06, 2016

It’s fitting that one of retails coolest brands is making its Canadian debut in what Vogue magazine considers one of the World’s Coolest Neighbourhoods.
We are thrilled to share that Shinola has confirmed the much-anticipated launch of its first store in Canada, slated to open on Toronto’s Queen West in late June.
The 1,800 sq. ft. store is ideally situated at 1000 Queen St. W., at the corner of Ossington Avenue, in the heart of the vibrant Queen West scene.
At Think Retail we are always interested in getting to know trend-sending and exciting brands. Shinola has been on our radar for some time and we are honoured to have partnered with Shinola to successfully develop and implement the company’s strategy for their Canadian market entry.
Last fall, we wrote about the intriguing piece, published in AdWeek, that celebrated the rise of Shinola by delving into its backstory and discussing next steps for this fascinating brand. Check it out here, it’s worth the read: “How Shinola went from shoe polish to the coolest brand in America, Nobody’s confusing shit with Shinola anymore.
We knew this was a company we wanted to work with and, with our expertise in helping high-end retail brands navigate their Canadian market entry, it was the perfect partnership.
Founded in 2011, Detroit-based Shinola designs and manufactures a range of modern, high quality products, including watches, leather goods, bicycles and pet products. Shinola is constantly diversifying into new categories and most recently expanded its offerings to include speakers, turntables and high-quality headphones.
In a few short years, Shinola has solidified its reputation as a brand with an authentic story and positive impact, guaranteed to be a hit with the Queen West crowd.
The company gets its moniker from an old shoe polish brand that inspired the World War II era colloquialism, "You don't know shit from Shinola."
Dallas-based Bedrock Manufacturing acquired the name in 2001 and it was a shrewd move.  They put it to use when turned their attention to creating a watch-manufacturing brand to create jobs domestically and bring obsolete skills back to American shores. They set up shop in Detroit, hiring local artisans and enforcing the city’s reputation as a manufacturing hub.
Shinola quickly evolved into a cultural phenomenon, with mentions on late-night television and plenty of unsolicited celebrity endorsements. Jimmy Kimmel Live made waves last year with a mock game show called "Can You Tell S#*t from Shinola" that featured company products, including a wristwatch, a basketball, bags and a bicycle, alongside other lesser-quality versions. Contestants had to identify the Shinola and the other products got tossed in a trashcan.
Wow, you can’t buy this kind of endorsement! Bill Clinton calls the company an American success story and is rumored to have purchased more than a dozen as gifts.  Current President Barack Obama is also a fan—during a recent trip to the UK, he presented Prime Minister David Cameron with a custom Shinola watch.
Beyond quality and style, what makes Shinola stand out as a retailer it that its stores are more than stores. They are destination spaces, where people gather for community events, such as whiskey tasting and trivia nights. Shinola has 14 stand-alone flagship stores in the U.S. and one in London.
Products are also sold internationally online and via a select group of retail partners.
Think Retail is excited to welcome Shinola to Canada. For more about this trend-setting brand and its plans for expansion, visit the Shinola website or contact the Think Retail Team

Lolë pops up in British Columbia

April 30, 2016

Earlier this year Lolë unveiled groundbreaking plans to open several pop-up shops in 2016 and we are pleased to announce the first two locations—Uptown in Victoria and Orchard Park Shopping Centre in Kelowna, B.C.
Agreement has also been reached to open a third pop up in the province—details coming soon.
These inaugural locations are the ideal venues for Lolë’s unique pop-up approach, one that is designed to elevate brand awareness and test new markets.
Uptown is a sophisticated open-air shopping centre in the heart of Greater Victoria. The mall is home to a wonderful array of tenants, providing a luxurious mix of fashion, food and more. Orchard Park is Kelowna's premier mall with more than 170 retailers and  services.
In addition to the initial three stores, the company is interested in opening more pop-up locations, with a strong focus on British Columbia and Ontario. The scope is national, with the exception of Ottawa and the Province of Quebec.
Well-positioned high street spaces of 1,000 to 1,500 sq. ft. are preferred, however Lolë may also consider select super regional malls.
There is no doubt Lolë is in the midst of a spectacular period of growth, as the brand goes from strength to strength. What makes it work is its authenticity—it’s a true lifestyle brand, which has built a loyal following for its bold and beautiful activewear clothing for women.
Conceived in Montreal’s Longueuil area in 2002, Lolë is now part of Quebec-based Coalision Inc., which boasts an impressive team with offices around the globe.
2015 was a banner year for company, which opened several flagship locations—debuting in Calgary with a 1,350 sq. ft. store at The Core in Calgary; opening a 2,476 sq. ft. marquee flagship store at 954 Rue Ste-Catherine West in Montreal; setting up a 1,500 sq. ft. store at shopping mecca  CF Toronto Eaton Centre; and opening two outlet locations, one at Vaughan Mills, just north of Toronto, and another at Vancouver’s McArthurGlen Designer Outlet.
The retailer now has more than 30 stand-alone locations in Canada, including two airport stores and the three outlets, as well as stores in major cities around the world. Its apparel is sold in 210 “shop-in-shops” and available at more than 1,600 retail outlets worldwide.
Lolë has proven to be a master of all things retail, from design to marketing, customer relations and expanding its footprint in the right markets. To find out more about this phenomenal Canadian brand and its pop-up plans, contact the Think Retail Team.