Change Lingerie Announces New Store Openings

August 19, 2019

With four new stores on the horizon, Change Lingerie is setting its sights on new markets across Canada, including Alberta. 
The company recently opened a 650 sq. ft. store in CF Galeries d’Anjou and has announced four new locations—two are to open in Quebec this September, including a 700 sq. ft. store in Place Rosemere and a 750 sq. ft. location at Galerie Rive Nord. In addition, Change will open a 1,000 sq. ft. location at Guildford Town Centre in Surry, B.C. this December and a 775 sq. ft. store at CF Masonville Place in London, Ont. is already in the works for November 2020.
It continues to be an incredible run for the international brand, which debuted in Denmark as a private label concept in 1997, before opening its first retail store in 2001.
Since then, the fan-favourite brand has gone from strength to strength and today operates more than 200 locations in three continents and 15 countries. It debuted in Canada in 2006 and now has more than 20 locations in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
These markets are still of interest as Change continues its Canadian rollout, however plans for 2020 include an Alberta market entry. Ideal spaces are 600 to 1,000 sq. ft.
Change is a dynamic tenant that attracts a diverse customer base drawn to its impressive selection of bra in more than 110 sizes from A to M cup. Its mission is “to provide the perfect bra to as many women around the world as possible” and in doing so, it cultivates loyal customers, who keep coming back for more thanks, in part, to the Club Change loyalty program. Change boutiques are bright and welcoming, with a modern edge, making it an ideal tenant for busy shopping centres and high streets.
Think Retail is excited to work with this fresh brand as it continues to grow across Canada.For more, visit the Change website or contact the Think Retail Team.

Fossil to open new ‘Makers’ concept store at Metropolis at Metrotown

June 17, 2019

Fossil is getting ready to open another of its innovative Makers concept stores, this time at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C.
The 1,100 sq. ft. retail space will open November 1 at the three-story shopping centre, which is home to more than 400 stores and restaurants, as well as a movie theatre.
The Makers stores are designed to celebrate the unique craftsmanship and services on which the brand has built its reputation. Fossil debuted the retail concept at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in 2018, with a 1,458 sq. ft. store replacing the former Fossil.
“Customers are shopping in a different way—largely in part to the ease of online and mobile shopping—and we recognize that and want to be part of a convenient, enhanced shopping experience,‘‘ Steve Evans, Executive Vice President for Fossil, explained at the time. “Retail stores have become more about creating experiences and sharing meaningful in-person relationships with consumers. This store gives us an opportunity to bring to life what we do best: hands on customization, convenience, and a celebration of the Fossil lifestyle.’’
Indeed, Fossil is a company steeped in tradition and alive with innovation. Founded in 1984, the Texas-based, watch and fashion accessories brand has built a strong following for its vintage-modern styling and a unique collections of bags and accessories, as well as signature durable watches. Today, it’s a leader in the ever-evolving smartwatch category.
The public company recently reported earnings of $465.3 million for its latest quarter, surpassing expectations. Fossil has more than 350 stand-alone stores around the globe, including about 30 in Canada, and its collections are sold via numerous quality retailers.
The new Metropolis at Metrotown store will highlight Fossil’s unique services, including building your own watch, engraving and embossing stations, as well as a mix-and-match strap bar. The Custom Shop and Service Station will also feature engraving/embossing icons and the Service Centre will be open for appointments and walk-in customers, offering specialty support for smartwatches and staff on hand to replace batteries, remove links and more. The fresh design is bright and modular.
Next up, Fossil plans to open two more locations in Canada in 2020 and as many as three in 2021. Ideals spaces are 1,500 sq. ft. in Ontario and British Columbia. In addition, Fossil is eyeing a market debut in Newfoundland.
Think Retail is delighted to work with Fossil on its continue expansion in Canada. For more information, visit or contact the Think Retail team.

Foodtastic acquires Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery

June 11, 2019

Foodtastic Inc., the Quebec-based franchisor of multiple restaurant concepts, is now adding beer to its business model with the acquisition of Big Rig Brewery and Big Rig Restaurants (Big Rig).
Foodtastic, which already operates 55 restaurants under seven different banners, including Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, and Bacaro, is a leader in the restaurant franchising business with $125 million in annualized sales.
Founded in Ottawa in 2012, Big Rig Restaurants is an Ottawa favourite for great beer and food. In 2014, the company built a state-of-the-art brewery to expand the distribution of the beer into retail outlets. Today, Big Rig’s award-winning beer is available in more than 1,000 locations in several provinces.
"Big Rig is a treasured local brand and we are excited to welcome Big Rig into the Foodtastic family,” said Peter Mammas, president and CEO of Foodtastic. “We look forward to preserving Big Rig's strong brand, while growing the restaurant system across the region. We are already looking at locations in Toronto. This acquisition of a homegrown Ontario business is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality brands with growth potential that complement our existing brand portfolio. We believe the Big Rig acquisition will leverage our marketing, purchasing and operational systems to better serve our Big Rig customers and welcome many new ones." 
As part of the transaction, award-winning brew master Lon Ladell is staying on board and increasing his equity stake in the brewery. "Foodtastic is an amazing company and I'm thrilled to continue being a part of Big Rig brewery's exciting future,” Ladell said.  “With the financial support from Foodtastic we can now expand our operations throughout Canada.”
This latest acquisition is part of Foodtastic’s mandate to ramp up growth with new and existing brands following a $47-million investment from Restaurant Royalty Partners.
"Our partnership with Restaurant Royalty Partners (RRP) marks an exciting next step in our company's growth. This capital will accelerate Foodtastic's strategy of acquiring brands with strong potential for growth," Mammas said when announcing the investment in December. Think Retail is thrilled to work with Foodtastic as it goes from strength to strength and grows its brands in markets across the country. For more information about this innovative company, visit the Foodtastic website or contact the Think Retail team.

Chocolatier Jeff de Bruges opens at Carrefour Industrielle Alliance in Montreal

June 04, 2019

French chocolatier and ice cream house Jeff de Bruges is celebrating the opening of a new kiosk at Carrefour Industrielle Alliance in Montreal as part of an ongoing expansion strategy. 
The European concept debuted in Canada in 2014 and has built a strong following among those drawn to its combination of exquisite Belgian chocolates, ice cream and other treats. 
Jeff de Bruges’ new 175-sq.-ft. kiosk at Carrefour Industrielle Alliance is well located in the 210,000-sq.-ft. historical building, the heart of Montreal’s pedestrian network. The destination space is home to a number of popular restaurants and boutiques, as well as anchors, La Maison Simons and the Banque Scotia Theatre.
Think Retail is thrilled to work with the Jeff de Bruges team on the next phase of growth. The French company is household name in Europe. Launched by Philippe Jambon as a chocolatier in 1986, it started selling ice cream in 1990 and now operates more than 500 stores across France, including corporate and franchises, and close to 40 international locations. Chocolates are imported from Belgium and ice cream is locally sourced—in Quebec, it’s Bilboquet.
In September, Jeff de Bruges will move from a temporary pop-up space to a new 650-sq.-ft. store at the Montreal Eaton Centre, which is reinventing itself with a $200 million large-scale redevelopment project. This flagship space will replace the brand’s debut location at Place Montreal Trust.
Next up, Jeff de Bruges is looking to expand in super-regional malls across the Province of Quebec and possibly open a location in Ottawa. It has two strong formats—kiosks of about 175 sq. ft. and inline stores of 500 to 850 sq. ft. 
This is a marquee brand and a valuable co-tenant that draws repeat customers seeking the perfect gift or treat. The stores have an industrial chic vibe with a modern turquoise and brown palette that’s echoed in its packaging. 
For more about this powerhouse brand and its plans for expansion in Canada, visit the Jeff de Bruges website, or contact the Think Retail team.

Glassbox Barbershop seeks flagship Montreal location

May 24, 2019

Glassbox Barbershop is where trend meets tradition, offering an old-school community gathering space with a modern edge. 
Founded in August 2015 by Peter Gosling, Glassbox now has three locations—two in Toronto and one in Hamilton—and expansion is part of the vision.
The original barbershop is on Harbord Street in Toronto and lays the foundation for the brand ethos. In addition to barber chairs and related amenities, the spacious store features a show-stopping black-felt pool table. The clean, modern aesthetic has a skate culture vibe, with boards hanging on the walls alongside the work of local artists. Glassbox is a place you want to hang out, not just come for a cut.
Gosling and his team, which includes a marketing director, understand the value of brand building and creating a more extensive experience for customers. Glassbox is heavy on social media, hosts a slew of cool events and is involved in numerous industry-related initiatives. They have established themselves as the go-to experts for all things barber related and are elevating the standards for men’s haircutting.

Also, through the clever Glassbox Education program, they operate courses for those who want to learn barbering fundamentals (these classes also serve as a scouting ground for future barbers).

Glassbox has a second Toronto location in the hip Roncesvalles neighbourhood and Hamilton is now on the map. In both cases, Glassbox maintains it's modern aesthetic, but is unique to the community it serves.
The concept is poised for growth with their three successful shops already up and running. 
Think Retail is thrilled to work with Glassbox on its entry into the Quebec market. First up, we’re looking for a definitive high street flagship location in Montreal.
Ideals spaces are 800 to 1,000 sq. ft. in areas where Glassbox’s core demographics—young professionals in their early 30s, university students and creative minds—gather.

As part of its five-year vision, once a Montreal shop is established, Glassbox will be ready to expand into other regions (Quebec City, Laval, etc.).

Think Retail is excited to help bring this innovative barbershop concept to the Quebec market. 
For more information, please contact the Think Retail Team.

International Currency Exchange announce two new locations and more on the way

March 25, 2019

With two new stores in as many months, International Currency Exchange (ICE) continues steady and sustainable growth in Canada. Next up, the company is looking to open as many as five more.
With more than 40 years experience, ICE is a high-profile global brand that has earned is place as one of the largest and most respected retail currency exchange brands in the world.
At Think Retail, we’ve had the great pleasure since 2008 of working with ICE on its growth here in Canada. Last month, ICE opened a new location on St. Martin Boulevard in Laval, Que. and this month the company will open a kiosk at Oakville Place in the affluent community of Oakville, Ont.
The enclosed shopping centre, which caters to a sophisticated consumer, is the ideal fit for the ICE brand. Located at the highly visible intersection of Queen Elizabeth Way and Trafalgar Road, this recently renovated centre offers an impressive tenant mix, with more than 100 retailers and noteworthy tenants including Hudson's Bay, H&M, SportChek, and Sephora. It’s in a high-traffic area and is easily accessible by vehicle and public transit.
Think Retail is now working with the ICE team to open three to five new locations in 2019 and 2020. At the moment, ICE operates more than 80 branches in Canada, located in shopping centres, retail hubs and major airports, including Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City. Moving forward, ideal spaces in existing markets will focus on kiosks in regional and super regional malls. Other areas of interest include, 500 to 1,000 sq. ft. in open-air centres with supermarkets, pharmacies and bank. Downtown Montreal and Toronto (Yonge and Dundas corridor) are of particular interest.
Founded in the UK in 1973, ICE now has more than 400 locations in 20 countries across four continents and this exciting organization keeps growing. On average, ICE manages a transaction every six seconds and serves more than 7 million customers a year.
It continues to build on its strong reputation for customer-friendly foreign exchange and related services, including a popular Click & Collect service. It offers an extensive range of major and exotic currencies that cater to Canada’s diverse and well-travelled population. Other services include, currency wires, money drafts, all kinds of cheques, money orders, travelers cheques and travelers GST returns. As well, some stores facilitate the sale of gold bullions, souvenir coins, Olympic coins and travelers insurance, while operating ATM bank machines.
For more about this impressive international company and its Canadian expansion plans, visit or contact the Think Retail Team.