Le Creuset turns up the heat with a new store at CF Richmond Centre

September 28, 2018

Things just got a whole lot brighter at CF Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., with the opening of a new Le Creuset boutique.
The vibrant 900 sq. ft. store is ideally positioned across from Uniqlo and Hugo Boss in the premier shopping mall, which is home to more than 250 stores and services.  The intimate size of the boutique lends itself to a curated product offering designed for city dwellers in the surrounding area.
This is a fantastic location for the brand. Earlier this year, Cadillac Fairview, owners of CF Richmond Centre, teamed up with Shape Properties and GBL Architects to redevelop the 27-acre site. Plans are underway to transform it into a mixed-use retail and residential district with more than, 1,800 homes, open-air retail, new public plazas and streets. In the meantime, the existing shopping centre will remain at the centre of the buzz-worthy area.  
CF Richmond Centre is Le Creuset’s second store in British Columbia – the other opened in June 2016 on South Granville at 2997 Granville St.
“Le Creuset is exited to add a second location to best serve our customers in the Metro Vancouver area with our new boutique in Richmond’s most visited shopping centres,” says Raffi Kouyoumdjian, Le Creuset’s managing director for Canada. “Customers will be able to discover everything from our iconic French Oven in our full host of colours to specialty pieces to suit every cook’s wishes.”
In 2017, the premium French cookware manufacturer opened two new locations. It made its Atlantic Canada debut in Q2, with a 750 sq. ft. store at the Halifax Shopping Centre. As the only Le Creuset in the region, it’s proving a huge draw and an ideal tenant for the mall. With more than 170 retailers, the Halifax Shopping Centre attracts visitors from across Atlantic Canada. An, brought its signature splash of colour to Polo Park in Winnipeg.
These latest opening brings Le Creuset’s store count to 12 in Canada and the company continues to target select markets, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. With plans to open one or two new boutiques in 2019, ideal spaces are 750 to 1,250 sq. ft. along high streets and in super regional malls.
Think Retail is honoured to work with this iconic brand, which was founded in Northern France in 1925 and has built a loyal following for its colourful quality enamel cookware: Its round French oven is an heirloom piece.
Le Creuset continues to build a global network of name-brand boutiques that reflect its modern aesthetic and offer an enhanced selection of products unavailable via its other retail partners.
For more information, visit or contact the Think Retail Team.

Change Lingerie aims to open 10 boutiques in 2019

September 19, 2018

Change Lingerie is breathing new life into Canada’s lingerie sector, as it continues expansion across the country.
The company recently reopened in a new strategic location—close to Sephora and Victoria’s Secret—in Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C. Earlier this year, Change set up shop at CF Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton, Ont.
Next up, the company plans to open 10 stores in 2019, with a continued focus on British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Change Lingerie is a global concept that launched in Denmark 1997, first as a private label brand before opening its first stand-alone retail store in Denmark in 2001.
Then known as Change of Scandinavia, the company quickly earned a loyal following due to its quality garments and a vast selection of more than 110 different sizes from A-M cup in a variety of styles.  Its mission is simple: “To provide the perfect bra to as many women around the world as possible.”
Today, it has more than 250 franchise and corporate stores in 15 countries across three continents (in Europe, Asia and North America), as well as an international online store.
Canadian woman love it! Change debuted in Canada in 2006 and now has 20 locations spanning British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. It is an ideal tenant that draws repeat traffic to its well-designed boutiques and loyal customers, who appreciate its unique collections.
Change continues to break new ground and Think Retail is honoured to work with team on this growth in Canada. Ideal spaces are 600 to 1,000 sq. ft.
For more about this dynamic brand, visit its website or contact the Think Retail Team.

Sherwin-Williams is the great retail growth story nobody is talking about

August 21, 2018

Powerhouse paint company Sherwin-Williams is a stealth retail success story worth celebrating, as the company continues its aggressive expansion across Canada.  
A household name in quality paints, Sherwin-Williams is the largest coatings company in the world and its products are sold at wholesale branches, home centres, independent retailers, mass merchandisers, and through a network of more than 4,624 company-operated paint stores around the globe.
The Fortune 500 Company recently released its latest earnings report, which shows it generated US$15 billion in sales in 2017 and opened 101 stores during its most recent fiscal year. With 34.4 % total revenue growth , Sherwin-Williams earned a very impressive third place on the list of fastest-growing U.S. retailers, as compiled by eMarketerRetail—Wayfair took the number one spot (43.7% growth) and Amazon was number two (35.5% revenue growth).  Wow!
Not bad for a company with roots that go back more than 150 years: It was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1866 as Sherwin-Williams Paints and has gone from strength to strength. And, there’s even a strong Canadian connection, with Ontario-born Walter H. Cottingham becoming Sherwin-Williams’ second president in 1909: He is credited with helping grow the brand through innovation and acquisition.
While this heritage company has proven its staying power, with enviable growth stats that give the upstarts a run for their money, Sherwin-Williams isn’t slowing down and continues to expand its store footprint around the globe and here in Canada. The plan to open numerous retail stores across the country, with a strong focus on British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Think Retail is thrilled to work with this dynamic company, which boasts a Canadian annual growth rate of about 10%. Sherwin-Williams already operates more than 240 stores in communities coast to coast—48 in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, seven in Saskatchewan, nine in Manitoba, 90 in Ontario (two opened in the last six months), 37 in Quebec (two more stores in the last six months), four in New Brunswick, two in Newfoundland, six in Nova Scotia and one in PEI.
Moving forward, ideal stores are 2,800 to 4,000 sq. ft. along high streets and in open-air centres.
For more about this iconic brand and its plans for growth in Quebec, visit the Sherwin-Williams website or contact the Think Retail team. Sherwin-Williams works with Webster Retail in Ontario and Greenwood Realty in British Columbia.

Copper Branch puts vegan on the map with plans for 15 new restaurants

August 02, 2018

Copper Branch is taking its plant-based menu across Canada and beyond, with 15 additional restaurants opening soon.
Established in Montreal in 2014, the vegan eatery has tapped into a major food movement, offering a fresh alternative to the usual fast-casual fare, serving 100% plant-based power foods designed for health-conscious time-strapped consumers.  
Today, Copper Branch has 28 locations in Quebec and Ontario. With 15 more opening in the coming weeks, the company is posed to make its market debut this fall in Alberta and its international debut in France.
QuebecMontreal: Complexe Desjardins (opening summer)Montreal: 5520 Chemin Cote Des Neiges Park Avenue (opening Sept 2018)Rosemere: 212 Cure Labelle (Fall 2018)Boucherville: 2020 de Montagne (Fall 2018)St. Jean Sur Richelieu
Hamilton: Lime Ridge Mall (Fall 2018)Brampton (Fall 2018)
AlbertaCalgary: Intact Place, 21 6 Ave. SW (Fall 2018)Calgary: Bankers Hall, 315 8 Ave. SW Calgary: Suncor Energy Tower, 111 5 Ave. SWSouth Calgary: 19489 Seton Cres. SEEdmonton: 10310 Jasper Ave (Fall 2018)Edmonton: South Edmonton Commons 10008 - 22 Ave. NW 
FranceBrest (Fall 2018)Annecy (Winter 2019)
Copper Branch is already looking ahead and aims to have a presence coast to coast. Its immediate interest is to open in Vancouver and to continue to expand in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Ideal spaces are 1,250 to 2,000 sq. ft. in open-air centres and office towers and 450 to 1,500 sq. ft. in enclosed malls.  
The plant-based concept is shaking up the QSR experience, thanks to a strong vision, market insight and experienced team. Entrepreneur Rio Infantino spent 25 years is the traditional fast-food franchise business before setting out to turn “real” food (nourishing gourmet power foods) into fast food designed to appeal to an audience hungry for clean healthy meal options.
Think Retail is thrilled to work with this forward-thinking company as it fast food in Canada and beyond. For information, visit or contact the Think Retail Team.

International Currency Exchange to open 5 new locations

July 04, 2018

International Currency Exchange (ICE) is hot for growth in Canada, with plans to open two stores in 2018 and up to three more in 2019.
This major global brand continues to go from strength to strength and Think Retail is thrilled to be part of its growth here in Canada. We have worked with ICE since 2008, helping navigate its expansion coast to coast, in shopping centres, retail hubs and major airports, including Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City.
In 2016 ICE won a major RFP to open 15 locations at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Today, ICE operates 88 branches in Canada and the company is prepared to open a couple more this year, with an additional two to three in 2019. Ideal spaces include mall kiosks or in-line units of 300 to 500 sq. ft. Also, the company is interested in 500 to 1,000 sq. ft. in open-air centres located adjacent to regional malls. Areas of interest include, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Founded in the UK in 1973, ICE now has more than 400 locations in 16 countries and this exciting organization keeps growing. In 2016, Chinese conglomerate HNA Group acquired ICE as part of a strategic effort to expand outside of Asia. Founded in 1993, privately-owned HNA is a major conglomerate with several core divisions, including aviation, real estate, capital, tourism, hospitality, technology and logistics: ICE is as a valued part of HNA Tourism, which specializes in air travel, hospitality management, tourism, finance, investment and e-commerce.
As a result, the ICE brand now boasts an even stronger mandate and global presence, as it continues to build on its strong reputation for customer-friendly foreign exchange and related services, including a popular Click & Collect service, whereby individuals or their travel agents can place currency orders by phone or online, to be picked up at the retail location of the customer’s choice.
The international brand 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. ICE’s award-winning retail stores are a popular destination for Canada’s multi-national population, particularly in major urban centres, such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
For more about ICE and its Canadian expansion plans, visit or contact the Think Retail Team.

Berso lays the foundation for innovative experiential retail concept

June 27, 2018

Berso is giving birth to a fresh new immersive retail concept designed for tech-savvy new parents.
The modern brand will sell everything for babies, from newborn to 2 years, but it is more than a storefront. Berso offers a highly experiential space that is also designed to serve as a gathering place, with a coffee bar and tables fitted with tablets so visitors can browse the company’s website and shop at their leisure.
The concept is the brainchild of Martin Lamarche and Cynthia Chevalier, who both have deep experience in the child/baby space, from research and development to marketing and fashion with major brands, including Trois Moutons and Gagou Tagou, respectively.
The stores will carry everything baby-related and about 70% of the product assortment is to be Berso-branded, while 30% comprises major brands. The vast lineup includes maternity gear, baby clothing, strollers, furniture, toys, accessories and more.
The concept is designed to meet the needs of Generation Y and Millennials, who expect more from the retail experience. In addition to the café, customers can avail of a number of unique in-store services, from a personal shopping guide to help provide insights and advice on purchases, a stroller testing area, a car on site so they can experiment with car seats, gift-box subscriptions and more.
In keeping with the ethos of its target audience, the brand is high-tech, eco-conscious (its delivery trucks are Teslas) and operates with strong social pillars. Overall, the brand design is fresh and simple with a modern edge, while the stores are laid out like shops-in-shops, with sections defined by their esthetics and catering to different audiences. As well, there are no cash counters and instead transactions are done via iPad.
This is a completely new take on retail and it’s extraordinarily exciting. Think Retail is delighted to partner with Berso on its market entry.
The initial plan is to open five stores in the Province of Quebec in the next three years and then expand nationally. The ideal store footprint is about 15,000 sq. ft. Berso is well positioned to become a major player in the baby and maternity retail space, catering to a high-end market with an experiential hybrid retail experience that marries bricks and mortar, with online shopping. For more, contact the Think Retail team.