Le Creuset on fire with plans for two market debuts in Canada

September 15, 2017

Le Creuset is prepping to bring its colourful enamel cast-iron cookware to two new markets, with deals reached to open at Halifax Shopping Centre and Polo Park in Winnipeg.
The premium French cookware manufacturer will make its Atlantic Canada debut in Q2 2018. The 750 sq. ft. store at the Halifax Shopping Centre will be the only store in the region, making Le Creuset a huge draw and an ideal tenant for the mall, which is home to an impressive selection of unique-to-the-region brands, including Apple, Aritzia, Banana Republic, Browns, Club Monaco, Coach, Fossil, Hollister, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret and more. With more than 170 retailers, the Halifax Shopping Centre attracts visitors from across Atlantic Canada and no doubt many will make the trip to Le Creuset’s beautiful brand store. 
The company is also making its debut in Manitoba, having recently reached an agreement to lease a 950 sq. ft. space in Winnipeg’s prestigious CF Polo Park. Again, an ideal first-to-market location for the sophisticated brand, which will be right at home in the province’s largest shopping centre, which boasts 200 of the finest shops and services, with several brands exclusive to CF Polo Park.
These two new locations with bring Le Creuset’s store count to 11 in Canada and the company continues to target select markets, including downtown Vancouver and Montreal, as well as the GTA—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 and help plot its growth across the country. Le Creuset continues to innovate, with several market entries in recent years, the introduction of high street locations and, last fall, the unveiling of its show-stopping 800 sq. ft. Montreal flagship at 2121 Crescent Street.
The Le Creuset brand has an incredible story. Founded in Northern France in 1925, Le Creuset built a loyal following for cookware that combines functionality and fresh playful aesthetics: Is round French oven is a classic that spans generations. 
Today, products are distributed in more than 30 countries via partnerships with specialty retailers and high-end department stores, however Le Creuset continues to build a global network of name-brand boutiques that carry an enhanced selection of products unavailable elsewhere. The stores embrace the brand’s pedigree in a modern aesthetic, resulting in a unique destination for those with discerning taste. 
For more about this iconic brand visit or contact the Think Retail Team.

Toronto feels the love from Adore Cosmetics

July 24, 2017

Boutique to open at Holt Renfrew Centre this fall as part of steady expansion

As Adore Cosmetics continues to win accolades for its organic innovations in skincare, we are pleased to announce that those in Toronto’s downtown core will now have access to the ground-breaking collection, with the opening this fall of a much-anticipated boutique at Holt Renfrew Centre. 
The Miami-based company will open an 800 sq. ft. store to showcase its celebrated Organic Innovation line—based on organic extracts combined with age-defying Plant Stem Cell Technology—that continues to build an avid fanbase around the globe and is a mainstay on the best-of lists of major beauty and fashion magazines.
Located on Bloor Street, just steps from Yonge, Holt Renfrew Centre is an ideal location for Adore. As the unofficial anchor of the Mink Mile, the centre attracts more than 8-million visits a year and is close to the city’s busiest subway stop. It’s a marquee shopping district that’s easily accessible—traits inline with the Adore brand.
Launched in 2001, Adore’s parent company UHI Cosmetics is among the worlds leading manufacturers of luxury innovative skincare. Based on strong research and innovation, they use creative technology and high-end ingredients to produce unique products that feature a specially calibrated concentration of plant stem cells to defend against the effects of aging and promote healthy-looking skin.
Adore has more than 75 boutiques around the globe, including Canada, where it operates ten locations  —Fairview Pointe Claire (Quebec); Rideau Centre and Oshawa Centre  (Ontario); Southland Mall (Saskatchewan); Tsawwassen Mills and  Robson Street in downtown Vancouver (British Columbia); Southgate (Calgary) . 
Think Retail is delighted to work with the Adore team, which is keen to expand across the country. Adore will open an aforementioned 922 sq. ft. store at the new Outlet Collection Winnipeg this fall and seeks 500 to 900 sq. ft. opportunities to open full-price and outlet boutiques in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton and Quebec City.In addition to shopping centres, they will also consider non-conventional locations such as, airports, train stations and office buildings. 
This is a wonderful tenant with beautiful spa-like boutiques that delivers repeat foot-traffic and among the highest industry averages of sales per square foot. 
For more about Adore and its expansion plans for Canada, visit its website or contact the Think Retail Team.

Change Lingerie Opens at CF Carrefour Laval and unveil major plans for 25 new stores in Canada

July 21, 2017

Change Lingerie is hot in Canada with a new store at Carrefour Laval and plans for at least 25 more locations. 
The exciting international retailer opened a 550 sq. ft. store at the prestigious CF Carrefour Laval this week (July 20). Think Retail is delighted to have worked on the deal, which sees Change taking over part of the space formerly occupied by Bentleys (the original space was demised to accommodate Change and Spanish accessories retailer Uno de 50—perfect co-tenants!). 
Known as a fashionable destination filled with trendy retailers, Carrefour Laval is a super regional centre, offering a premiere shopping experience to those living on the North Shore of Montreal and surrounding area. It’s a perfect fit for the Change Lingerie brand, which is making huge inroads in major centres across Canada and building a strong consumer fanbase for its innovative collections that appeal to a wide array of women looking for the perfect fit. 
Next up, Change Lingerie is to open a 650 sq. ft. boutique (now under construction) at CF Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., and another store of 750 sq. ft. is in the works for Oshawa, Ont.’s recently renovated Oshawa Centre. 
At Think Retail, we are thrilled to work with this ambitious retailer as it readies for aggressive expansion into 2018 and 2019, with plans for at least 25 more stores. Ideal spaces are 500 to 850 sq. ft. and markets of interest include, the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.
Change Lingerie is positioned to redefine Canada’s lingerie sector and they are just getting started. As a bit of background, the concept launched in Denmark 1997, first as a private label brand before opening its first stand-alone retail store in Denmark in 2001. Change of Scandinavia quickly gained a huge following because of its vast selection of more than 110 different sizes from A-M cup in a variety of styles. 
Today, the retailer attracts a wide consumer base because of its high-quality garments and a straightforward mission: “To provide the perfect bra to as many women around the world as possible.”
Now operating as Change Lingerie, the hugely popular retailer has more than 240 franchise and corporate stores in 15 countries across three continents (in Europe, Asia and North America), as well as an international online store.

Change debuted in Canada in 2006 and has 16 locations—five stores in British Columbia, one in Saskatchewan, five in Ontario and five in Quebec. 
Change is a wonderful cotenant, with modern and beautifully designed stores that feature a crisp black and white palate. About 75% of revenue is derived from the sale of underwear and bras, however the company also offers a growing selection of loungewear, swimwear, nightwear, stockings and a men’s underwear collection. 
This summer marks two years since Think Retail partnered with Change to facilitate its growth in Canada. We look forward to working with this strong international brand as it builds its footprint and garners fans across the country. For more about Change and its ambitious plans, visit its website or contact the Think Retail Team.

Copper Branch kicks off national expansion with new Toronto restaurant

July 20, 2017

Offering a fresh take on the QSR experience, Copper Branch is bringing its signature power foods to Toronto’s power set, with its first restaurant in the city.
The 675 sq. ft. vegan eatery opened at Commerce Court’s revamped food court July 19. The newly renovated space features fresh lighting and new furniture, along with bright finishes. It’s an impressive area and a wonderful fit for Copper Branch’s Toronto debut. 
At Think Retail, we believe the heart of the Toronto’s financial district is an ideal location to introduce movers and shakers to Copper Branch’s innovative plant-based menu, which is designed to ‘Empower, Energize and make people feel their Best.” 
Established in Montreal in 2014, Copper Branch is a fast growing company with a clear mandate—to be the undisputed leader in healthy fast-casual foods. 
After owning several traditional fast food franchises over a period of 25 years, entrepreneur Rio Infantino wanted to revamp the QSR experience with nourishing gourmet power foods. It’s not about simply catering to vegetarians (although they love it) but rather a wider audience seeking clean healthy meal options. 
We are delighted to work with Copper Branch as it expands across the country. The concept recently opened a 1,500 sq. ft. restaurant in Quebec at First Capital’s Carre Lucerne in Mont-Royal and we are pleased to announce a new deal to open on Sherbrooke Street in the Westmount Village and thereafter in Place Laurier. In early 2018, the concept will open another Ontario location, at Downtown Markham, and we expect to announce several more deals soon. 
Copper Branch is at the helm of a powerful trend in clean, healthy eating and is strategically positioned to open at least 20 restaurants next year. 
They will continue its growth in the Greater Montreal and Toronto area, however we are also looking to secure debut sites in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Ideal spaces are 500 to 2,300 sq. ft. along high streets, as well as in open-air centres and regional malls—this is a marquee tenant with a lot of flexibility and strong branding.
Copper Branch is taking plant-based foods to the mainstream market with “real” fast food designed for health-conscious time-strapped consumers.  For more about this unique brand and its expansion plans, visit or contact the Think Retail Team. 

Five Guys sizzling with plans for 16 new restaurants

June 30, 2017

As Five Guys Burgers and Fries continues to shake up the burger market with hotly-anticipated openings around the globe, we are thrilled to announced that Think Retail is partnering with NY-based Bantam Restaurants LLC to open more locations here in eastern Canada. 
Bantam Restaurants LLC has the rights to Ontario (east of Kingston), Ottawa, Quebec and the East Coast provinces. We will be their exclusive broker as they open a minimum of 16 new Five Guys restaurants in these markets in the next five years. 
This is great news for burger lovers! Five Guys is a leader in the burger wars and has cultivated a loyal fanbase for its hand-formed burgers, hotdogs and fresh-cut fries. In fact, People magazine just named Five Guys to their annual 100 Reasons to Love America list. And, in a recent Harris poll, Five Guts unseated In-N-Out as the BEST burger chaini the United States. Five Guys is sizzling and just added milk shakes to its repertoire. 
Founded in Arlington Virginia in 1986, Five Guys started as a family-owned carry out burger joint. It soon developed a cult-like following and the Murell family kept up with demand by opening four more restaurants. 
They began franchising in 2003 and in the first 18 months, Five Guys Enterprises sold options more than 300 units, creating a national stir and garnering media coverage coast to coast. Everybody wanted a Five Guys in their community and they soon became the fastest growing franchise in the U.S., according to QSR Magazine. 
Today Five Guys has more than 1,500 locations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East, with another 1,500 in development. 
In Canada, Five Guys is focusing its expansion on 2,500 sq. ft. opportunities in open-air centres (with patio), high streets and super regional malls. Ideal co-tenants include, Cineplex, GoodLife Fitness, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Best Buy, SAQ/LCBO, PetSmart, Golf Town and Chipotle to name a few. 
The fast-casual restaurant chain is a premium tenant and its restaurants feature a fresh décor accented with red and white checks. Five Guys boasts remarkable brand loyalty—even Barack Obama is a fan and was often pictured treating White House staffers—and they are proven branding geniuses, always garnering attention-grabbing headlines that drive sales. 
With their promise of 250,000 ways to enjoy a Five Guys burger, customers are always coming back for more. For more about this growing brand and their plans in Canada, visit the Five Guys website or contact the Think Retail Team.

KidZania is the next big thing for North American shopping centres

June 19, 2017

KidZania is a fascinating concept that is garnering headlines around the globe and now it’s coming to North America, with plans to open in New York, Dallas and Chicago. It’s a theme park of sorts, but instead of rides and characters, it’s a downsized version of the real world, where kids try out professions in a fun interactive environment.
As The New Yorker puts it: “From a child’s perspective, KidZania is an enclosed, enticing world—resembling the outside one but oriented to children’s capacities and interests.”
The first KidZania family entertainment centre opened in Santa Fe Shopping Mall in Mexico City in 1999 and today there are 24 locations in major cities around the world, targetting children ages 4 through 14. Another nine are under development and the company continues to seek franchisees as it moves into new markets. 
At Think Retail, we have been watching this company for a while and eager to hear about their plans to expand further afield. This spring, the company finally announced its North American debut. The inaugural U.S. locations, developed by Chicago-based real estate firm GGP Inc. are expected to open in 2018 and 2019. According to the company, they will join the rapid expansion of locations in Paris, Doha, Johannesburg, Guadalajara, Abu Dhabi, Surabaya and Toronto!
It’s a groundbreaking idea that takes role-playing and dress up to new heights. Each location is a child-sized replica of a city, complete with buildings, shops, vehicles and other features. Kids can choose from more than 60 roles—jobs vary according to country and custom—and each takes about 25 minutes to complete: They can try their hand at everything from pizza making to surgery and in doing so work to earn KidZos, a special currency, which they can spend on in-house activities or at the gift shop. There’s a lesson on finance in there, too. 
Corporate sponsors, from Coco-Cola (work in an onsite bottling plant) to Crest (who wants to be a dentist?), McDonalds (would you like fries with that?) and British Airways (for budding pilots), feature prominently—there are more than 800 sponsors in the sites around the world—and, while this is a privately owned company, their investments help fund the business model. 
The award winning global theme park is a game-changer in terms of children’s entertainment. 
It’s also a massive opportunity for shopping centres, which are increasingly offering entertainment and experiences as a means to attract consumers and fill space with dynamic and engaging tenants. 
This new world of edutainment is more than child’s play. Parents can track their children on devices, while taking advantage of the opportunity to run errands, shop and dine. 
The  North American market is ripe for this fresh ideas and no doubt kids, parents, landlords and developers would welcome what’s being dubbed as the one of the fastest growing kid’s hands-on entertainment brands in the world.
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