Tag Archives: Square One Shopping Centre

Links of London lands in Toronto

Trendy jewellery chain Links of London is opening its first Canadian standalone boutique this week in the Toronto Eaton Centre.

LinksofLondon

The British jeweler, which is owned by global fashion powerhouse Folli Follie Group, has more than 100 retail locations around the world. In the Canadian market, it operates a handful of kiosks inside Holt Renfrew stores, as well as one that recently opened in Montreal’s downtown luxury department store Ogilvy.

Although Links of London started out specializing in cufflinks in 1990, it now offers jewellery of all kinds – including watches – and is perhaps best known for its collection of so-called ‘Sweetie’ charm bracelets.

Sweetie Bracelet

Sweetie Charm Bracelet, $295.

Links of London has also become affiliated with Britain’s world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament, offering a collection of playful and sporty jewellery dedicated to the annual event.

The new store, located next to Michael Kors on the third floor of the Toronto Eaton Centre, opens on June 16th.

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A second standalone Canadian Links of London store is set to open soon at Sherway Gardens. Although the jeweller has already been operating a kiosk in Sherway’s Holt Renfrew location, that store is preparing to shut its doors to make way for a new, larger Holt Renfrew location at Square One Shopping Centre.

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Filed under Boutiques, Fashion, Shopping Hubs

Difficulties at Danier

The intense competitive pressures that have wreaked havoc on Canadian retailers in the past few years are showing no signs of slowing down.

The latest victim is Toronto-based Danier Leather Inc., a 44-year old leather-goods retailer that filed for creditor protection in early February. The chain operates more than 80 stores, all of which face the prospect of shutting down unless the company can find a buyer or investor to reverse its grim financial situation.

Danier_Leather

The potential closure would leave vacancies in most major GTA shopping centres, including the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, Square One, Fairview Mall and Scarborough Town Centre, among others.

Danier has carved out a reputation as a destination for leather goods. The brand has certainly had success within that niche, with a wide range of leather outerwear and bags, along with complementary accessories such as scarves, toques and gloves.

As frigid Canadian winters have driven consumers towards parkas and down-filled coats warm enough to get them through days when the temperature struggles to surpass -20 degrees, however, Danier has faced increasing competition from brands such as Canada Goose.

Even if the bulk of Danier’s merchandise is designed for times of year when a lighter jacket is appropriate, consumers who are shelling out hundreds of dollars on winter parkas have likely begun to think twice about spending extra cash on a new spring jacket.

It remains to be seen whether this niche Canadian chain will be rescued, or suffer the same fate as such brands as Mexx Canada and Parasuco Retail Inc.

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A new location for Loft

Women’s clothing retailer Loft has opened its second Canadian location, at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

The sister chain to Ann Taylor, owned by Ann Inc., unveiled its first Canadian store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre towards the end of last year (Ann Taylor reaches for “Lofty” new heights). The new downtown location opened on May 31st, and was warmly welcomed by many keen shoppers.

Loft1

Loft carries trendy fashions for women, with styles that come in a variety of different fits to flatter such body types as petites and tall women, along with a maternity line. Its styles are somewhat comparable to those available at RW & Co. and Banana Republic.

The new shop is located on the top level of the Eaton Centre, across from Michael Kors. It’s a nice sized store, with a comprehensive section at the back devoted to petite sizes.

The retailer is planning to open three other GTA locations in the months to come, including one in Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton in July, one in Markville Shopping Centre in Markham in August, and one in Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga in October.

Loft2

The retailer also recently expanded its e-commerce capabilities to the Canadian market, so that shoppers on this side of the border can buy Loft fashions online.

The opening of the new store comes about six months after Loft’s higher-end sister chain, Ann Taylor, launched its own location in the Toronto Eaton Centre. That chain has been embarking on its own Canadian expansion strategy, having opened two Toronto locations this past fall.

Canadian women appear to be embracing both well-established U.S. brands, as they continue to expand into this country.

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Filed under Clothing Lines, Fashion

Retail Roundup

It’s been a busy fall for Toronto’s retail scene, with plenty of new stores opening in and around the GTA. In case you haven’t been able to keep up, here’s a roundup of some of the newest shopping destinations around the city.

The city's new Ben Sherman boutique, where a launch party took place on Nov. 3rd.

  • Joe Fresh celebrated the opening of its newest domestic standalone store in October, located on Queen Street West near Portland St. in Toronto. Fans of the fashion line owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd. are thrilled with the new boutique, which is the most accessible Joe Fresh location for most downtown dwellers.
  • Also new to Queen Street West is a Ben Sherman boutique. It’s the first free-standing store in Canada for the British-based men’s line. Known for quality button-down shirts, the label also carries pants, outerwear, shoes and accessories.
  • Men’s and women’s apparel chain RW&CO. has opened a new store in Oakville Place. The chain, owned by Reitmans Canada Ltd., now operates 67 stores across Canada that target men and women between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Edmonton-based The Running Room has added two new locations to the GTA: one at Dundas and highway 403 in Oakville; and one at the Bramalea City Centre in Brampton. The chain, which specializes in shoes, apparel and accessories for runners, now has more than 110 locations – and doesn’t appear likely to run out of steam anytime soon.

That’s not all. As the weeks go by and the temperature continues to drop, more stores are set to open around the city. Here’s a couple to watch for.

  • The GTA’s newest Victoria’s Secret store is set to open this Thursday at Scarborough Town Centre. To celebrate the new location, shoppers who spend $75 or more will receive a tote bag filled with goodies. And, shoppers wanting to get in touch with their inner angel can have their photo taken at the mall’s centre court on Thursday and Friday.
  • Later in the month, a new Danier store will open in Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. Specializing in leather apparel and accessories, the chain has more than 90 locations across the country – and the newest one will arrive just in time for the chilliest time of year, when many GTA shoppers will no doubt be in the market for a new jacket.

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Express adds a Toronto address

Another American retailer has made its foray into Toronto’s retail scene.

Apparel chain Express, Inc., which operates nearly 600 stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, launched its first Canadian store at Fairview Mall last week.

With collections of casual, professional and dressy apparel, Express targets fashionable shoppers between the ages of 20 and 30.

The new store boasts the same merchandise as locations south of the border, including both men’s and women’s fashions, accessories, shoes, sleepwear and outerwear. Among the chain’s best-selling products are dress pants for women and button-down shirts for men.

The Fairview location is the first of many Express stores set to open in Canada in the months and years ahead. The company plans to have two more shops up and running in the GTA by the end of the year, including one at Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton and one at Square One in Mississauga, along with three stores in Calgary.

Hockey player Luke Schenn, Express president and CEO Michael Weiss and actress Emmanuelle Chriqui at the launch of Express at Fairview Mall.

And that’s not all. Over the next five years, Express is aiming to open 50 locations across the country.

The retailer celebrated the opening of its newest location in style. A launch party last week featured special guests Emmanuelle Chriqui – the gorgeous actress from the series Entourage, and Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn. Michael Weiss, CEO of Express, was also in attendance.

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Four apps for GTA shoppers

Scarborough Town Centre has become the latest GTA shopping centre to launch a mobile application.

In the past year or two, many malls have launched smart phone “apps” designed to keep shoppers connected.

The apps help you find what you’re looking for when you’re at the mall, and keep you posted on promotions, trends and mall information in between visits.

For example, you can look up operating hours or directions to the shopping centre; check for sales or promotions at your favourite stores; or navigate through the mall with an interactive map that shows you the quickest route to any given store.

Some apps go even further. The new app from Scarborough Town Centre features a fashion album page displaying trends picked out by the mall’s fashion director, and a price comparison tool that lets you find the best deal on the item you want.

It also lets you get your friends’ opinions, virtually, before you make a big purchase: just snap a photo of the item you want to buy, and using the app, share it with friends via Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

Here are four GTA shopping centre apps and some of their key features:

 

Scarborough Town Centre:

  • interactive map
  • sales, events and promotions
  • fashion, trends and photo-sharing
  • price comparison
  • movie listings (for iPhone only)
  • parking info
  • gift card info
  • mall hours, contact info and child care info
  • employment opportunities
  • contests
  • compatible phones: BlackBerry, iPhone

 

Yorkdale Shopping Centre:

  • interactive map and directory
  • store promotions
  • movie listings, ratings and ticket purchases
  • fashion, trends & photo sharing
  • mall hours & contact info
  • parking & valet
  • contests
  • compatible phones: BlackBerry, iPhone, Android

 

Square One Shopping Centre:

  • GPS directions to the mall
  • interactive map and directory
  • store promotions
  • mall hours & contact info
  • employment opportunities
  • newsletter sign-up
  • compatible phones: BlackBerry, iPhone

 

Toronto Eaton Centre:

  • interactive map and directory
  • store promotions
  • mall hours & contact info
  • gift card balance & info
  • user surveys
  • compatible phones: iPhone

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Targeting the GTA

Toronto will be home to three Target stores when the U.S.-based mega-chain arrives in Canada in 2013, and a slew of other Target stores will be scattered across the GTA.

Target Corp. has announced which Zellers locations will be converted into the 105 first Canadian Target stores. On the list are three Toronto locations:

> Cloverdale Mall
> Shoppers World Danforth
> East York Town Centre

Other locations on the outskirts of the city include:

> Centerpoint Mall, North York
> Woodbine Centre, Etobicoke
> Bridlewood Mall, Scarborough

Still more Target locations will cater to Toronto’s suburbs. These include:

> Erin Mills Town Centre, Mississauga
> Square One, Mississauga
> Hillcrest Mall, Richmond Hill

Further outside of the city, you’ll be able to find plenty of other Target stores in such regions as Brampton, Newmarket, Aurora, Ajax, Burlington and Hamilton. Check out the full list here.

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