Tag Archives: Jacob

Jacob abandons another brand

Another Jacob brand is quietly disappearing from the retail landscape.

The women’s clothing chain is phasing out its Jacob Lingerie line of undergarments and sleepwear.

A clearance sale at Jacob Lingerie’s Manulife Centre location in Toronto.

Some Jacob Lingerie stores have already closed their doors, and the ones left have been in clearance mode for several weeks, with bras marked down to $6.99 and nightgowns priced at $12.99. There’s also a limited range of lingerie items left in the online store, and they’re similarly marked down to clearance prices.

The move comes a year and a half after Jacob Connexion, the company’s casual clothing chain, disappeared from its roster of stores (Just one JACOB).

Jacob is apparently phasing out these secondary brands as it places a greater emphasis on its new collection of ‘L’Atelier’ evening dresses, which sell at a higher price point than the rest of the retailer’s merchandise. Cocktail dresses, for instance, are priced at $179 and floor-length gowns cost $199.

The lingerie clearance means it’s a good time to stock up on what’s left of the company’s intimates – but remember that sales are final.

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An urban new look for an uptown retail hub

The Yonge Eglinton Centre in mid-town Toronto will soon be home to a new Urban Outfitters location, and with a major makeover looming, the complex could soon attract more big names in the retail business.

The large new two-level Urban Outfitters store is set to open in December. It will join Jacob, Smart Set, M for Mendocino and several other clothing retailers currently operating in the shopping centre.

Plans for the bright new interior for the soon-to-be-renovated Yonge Eglinton Centre.

The store arrives as RioCan embarks on a $100-million revitalization project of the Yonge-Eglinton Centre – a complex that combines office space and retail.

The project proposes to improve the existing retail space in the mall by making it brighter, more visually appealing and easier to navigate, and by adding more gathering places and seating.

The project will also add a modern new section of retail space, called ‘The Cube’, which will feature three levels of shops in a glass structure offering an abundance of natural light.

Altogether, the renovation will add 40,000 square feet of new space to the complex. The proposal is ambitious, but if RioCan pulls it off as planned, it will freshen up a part of the city that could certainly use a modern new look.

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Tough times at JACOB

Things at JACOB appear to have gone from bad to worse. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about how the women’s clothing chain folded its casual Connexion line into its main JACOB banner, which suggested sales may be sluggish.

The company confirmed this week that it is indeed going through tough times. It has applied to the Quebec Superior Court for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

This means the retailer is facing substantial financial hardships, and will restructure its financial affairs in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Hopefully this period of restructuring will help JACOB get back on its feet so that it can get back to what it does best: selling fabulous clothes. After 30 years in the business, it would be devastating to see this Montreal-based family-run company disappear from the Canadian retail scene.

In the meantime, at least, business at JACOB will carry on as usual. JACOB’s president, Joey Basmaji, said in a press release that all of the chain’s stores will remain open during the restructuring process.

If you happen to visit a JACOB store in the next few weeks, bring in an article of clothing that you no longer wear. The company will donate it to a woman in need, and you’ll get 25% off your purchase.

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Just one JACOB

JACOB Connexion stores have disappeared from the Canadian retail scene. I must have missed this news when it was first announced in early August, but I started noticing last week that window displays in JACOB stores – one of my favourite shopping destinations – flaunt the slogan “Now just one JACOB.”

Rather than having separate stores for the brand’s traditional, dressy line of clothing and its more casual “Connexion” line, the Montreal-based retailer is uniting the two banners. Every store will boast the JACOB name, and will carry both casual and dressy fashions. The stores will be a “one-stop shopping destination” for any occasion, the company says on its website.

A separate chain of JACOB Lingerie stores will continue to operate.

The transformation process began in May, when the company began revamping its 61 JACOB Connexion stores. Fifty-eight of the stores became new JACOB stores, and three became JACOB Lingerie locations, according to the company.

What the press release doesn’t mention, however, is that several Connexion stores closed as part of the process. Many malls used to feature both JACOB and Connexion stores, and it appears that in most of these situations, the Connexion stores have closed their doors.

For example, the JACOB Connexion locations in Square One Shopping Centre and the Toronto Eaton Centre are no longer listed on the malls’ store directories. It’s unclear how many other Connexion stores have similarly vacated their former premises.

The decision to eliminate the Connexion banner suggests that the stores weren’t pulling in enough sales to be profitable. Folding the casual clothing line into the company’s existing JACOB stores could prove to be an effective strategy. It will cut costs significantly for the retailer, while potentially bringing new customers into the stores, and potentially boosting sales among the company’s existing loyal customer base with a wider range of merchandise.

But the extent to which the merchandise in the JACOB stores will change remains unclear. If sales of the more casual fashions continue to falter now that they’re offered in JACOB stores, the Connexion line could eventually disappear altogether.

The retailer is spinning the decision as an effort to appeal to time-strapped shoppers who may not have time to visit multiple stores during a trip to the mall. JACOB conducted research involving more than 25,000 customers, and found that women want to be able to find everything they need in one store.

With a busy schedule myself, I can certainly relate to this. Maybe the new united banner will mean I’ll be able to find even more outfits, more efficiently, from JACOB. My closet is already filled with plenty of skirts, pants, dress shirts and sweaters from the store, many of which I wear regularly to work and dressy social events. I also have a few outfits from the Connexion line, and I’ll definitely miss perusing these stores for casual sweaters and tops.

But if the revamped banner can deliver the best of both worlds in a single store, perhaps I won’t miss the Connexion stores, after all. Perhaps one JACOB will be enough.

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