Tag Archives: Sears

Consonant uses natural ingredients for growth

Toronto shoppers have a new go-to destination for natural skincare products.

Consonant Skincare has launched its first Canadian store at 2479 Yonge St. – a few blocks north of Eglinton.

The company is known for its all-natural skincare products. Most items are completely vegan and organic, and they’re all made in Canada. They aim to make your skin look firmer, healthier and younger – without the use of synthetic ingredients.

Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream, $54.

Toronto shoppers would recognize the company’s products from such stores as the Outer Layer’s locations on Bloor Street and Queen Street, Pistachio, the Bay, Sears, and various health food stores.

Now, Consonant’s entire product line will be available under one roof at the flagship store.

The collection will include three new products that the company is launching this fall:

1. Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream for Dry Skin ($54)
2. Manacouagen Marine Clay Facial Cleansing & Exfoliating Bar ($18)
3. Antioxidant Superhero Serum ($63), which helps protect and rebuild collagen, smoothes lines and wrinkles, and evens skin tones.

And the store will offer more than just products. Two-hour in-store educational seminars will regularly be held at the boutique. For a fee of $99 each, attendees will receive refreshments, an $80 gift card upon completion, and a take-home package full of information and tips from skincare experts.

Upcoming topics include:
• Skincare for Yummy Mummies – Friday, November 16, 2011
• Healthy Aging – Wednesday, November 23, 2011
• Skincare 101 for Teens and Young Adults – Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Filed under Boutiques, Events

Battle of the department stores…continued

The Bay has stepped up its offense in the battle of Canada’s department stores, announcing on Wednesday that it’s bringing popular U.K.-based retailer Topshop to Canada.

The Bay has earned the Canadian franchise rights for Topshop women’s clothing stores and Topman men’s apparel stores, including the rights for both boutiques within Bay locations and standalone stores.

Topshop, which is known for trendy, affordable fashions, is well known among most Canadians who have been shopping in the U.K. The introduction of this label to Bay stores will certainly attract a slew of young shoppers who likely didn’t previously consider the department store a destination for fashion.

This quest to attract new customers comes about two months after The Bay’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co., announced a deal to sell the store leases of its Zellers chain to U.S.-based retail powerhouse Target Corp. Target’s pending arrival has existing department stores in Canada scrambling to prepare for the new competition.

Walmart, for instance, has since announced plans to beef up its presence in this country. And Sears is working to expand its apparel offerings.

The Bay’s Topshop announcement is the latest in this string of competitive moves, and will definitely help it maintain market share in the apparel business once Target arrives in 2013.

Indeed, Bay president and CEO Bonnie Brooks called the deal a step towards establishing the department store that delivers “the ultimate fashion experience for our savvy clientele.”

Under the deal, as many as 50 Topshop and Topman men’s apparel stores will open in Canada in the years to come.

Toronto shoppers will have the first opportunity to browse Topshop’s offerings, with the first Canadian boutique set to open in a Toronto Bay location this fall. Let the countdown begin!

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Filed under Boutiques, Clothing Lines, Department Stores & Big Boxes, Fashion

Colour springs into the stores

March is one of my favourite times of year to go shopping, as it always means the arrival of spring fashions in the stores. After a long, cold winter, it’s always refreshing to see bright colours begin to fill the racks. Blacks, grays and browns are replaced by pinks, blues and yellows; wool and tweed are replaced by chiffon and linen; and long sleeves are packed away to make room for short sleeves and sleeveless styles.

Even though it’s too early to be wearing these summery styles, seeing them in the stores is a welcome reminder that warmer weather is on the way; that patio season is just around the corner; and that soon enough, I’ll be able to pack away my tired-looking winter jacket for at least six months. Even if I’m not yet buying new spring and summer outfits, browsing the stores when they’re full of these bright-coloured fashions always seems to boost my spirits.

This spring, some of the trends to watch for include lace, florals, sheer fabrics and 70s-inspired styles (think wide-leg pants and flowy floral dresses). Also, prepare to embrace accessories. Silk scarves, statement necklaces, oversized sunglasses and bright, bold bags and shoes complement many of this year’s styles perfectly.

The Marilyn Denis Show featured some spring accessories from Sears this morning, and I was pretty impressed with the department store’s offerings. I particularly like this bright blue boyfriend blazer, and these red patent peep-toe shoes (see above right).

I also liked these gold sandal stilettos paired with this black pencil skirt and purple sleeveless tank (see left).

Another great destination for spring accessories is Nine West, which boasts a range of bright shoes, sandals, handbags and accessories. In particular, check out the label’s Sophie Theallet collection for styles that perfectly capture this spring’s trends.

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Filed under Clothing Lines, Department Stores & Big Boxes, Fashion

Battle of the department stores

Target Corp. hasn’t yet landed in Canada, but its pending arrival is already sending ripples through this country’s retail landscape. Department stores and big box stores are scrambling to step up their game in what’s about to become a much more competitive retail environment.

Shortly after the Target news broke last month, Walmart Canada announced it would open 40 new supercentre stores in Canada over the next year. This expansion will beef up the discount chain’s presence in this country just in time for Target’s arrival in 2013.

Sears Canada is also preparing to get more competitive, and particularly in the apparel department, which happens to be Target’s specialty. Sears is reportedly aiming to attract younger customers by broadening its selection of stylish fashions. The chain is also expanding one of its in-house labels, Attitude, to appeal to a wider range of shoppers.

The Bay, meanwhile, has already been on a quest to improve its apparel offerings for quite some time. Since 2008, when the retail chain hired fashionista and former Flare Magazine editor-in-chief Bonnie Brooks as president and CEO, it seems that the Bay has been trying to set itself apart from its competitors through higher end fashion offerings.

I suspect that the Bay’s strategy will help to limit the extent to which it’s affected by new competition from Target, which is specifically known for its lower priced fashions. But I’m sure it’s still bracing for some sort of impact.

Given how much of an impact Target is already having on the retail industry here, I’m curious to see what happens when it actually arrives. I think the new competition will be good for consumers, forcing all of these retailers to ensure they’re keeping their merchandise fresh and fashionable, and affordable in price.

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Filed under Department Stores & Big Boxes, Fashion

American-style bargain hunting

Every year, the shopping traditions associated with American Thanksgiving weekend seem to spread north of the border in a bigger way. Lots of retailers brought their Black Friday deals into Canada this year, with hefty discounts from such stores as The Source, Apple, Sears, Town Shoes, Jacob, and more.

In some cases, these deals lasted all weekend, as a strategy to entice Canadians to hit the malls and start their Christmas shopping. Based on the massive crowds at the Toronto Eaton Centre yesterday, it seems as though this strategy worked.

Nearly every store I went into had some sort of special discount offer, with some stores offering as much as 40% off all merchandise. And shoppers were more than willing to wait in long lines to cash in on these limited time offers.

Get ready for even more deals tomorrow – Cyber Monday – when tons of retailers will bring their sales to the web.

I’ve personally never been a big online shopper, preferring the experience of browsing boutiques, trying things on and getting my new purchases on the spot, rather than having to wait a few weeks for them to be delivered.

A recent survey by the Bank of Montreal indicates that this is the case for many women. Only about a third of women plan to do some of their Christmas shopping online this year. Not surprisingly, men are more likely to avoid the malls, with 49% planning to make internet purchases this year.

Overall, 41% of Canadians plan to do some Christmas shopping over the internet, and I bet a lot of them will be getting a head start tomorrow. Happy bargain hunting!

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Filed under Events, Retail & the Web, Shopping Hubs