Tag Archives: The Bay

Paul Hewitt anchors itself in Canada

European accessories brand Paul Hewitt has secured a bigger presence in the Canadian retail marketplace through a new partnership with Hudson’s Bay Co.

Paul Hewitt, which specializes in nautical-themed watches and bracelets for both men and women, will now offer its products through the TheBay.com.

PH - Phreps Bracelett

Paul Hewitt Phreps Bracelet, US$59.90.

The accessories brand first arrived in Canada approximately a year ago, with distribution through a variety of small watch and jewellery retailers. The new partnership with one of Canada’s most prominent retailers is set to boost the brand’s visibility and sales considerably in the Canadian market.

PH Signature Line Watch

Paul Hewitt Sailor Line Watch, US$199.00.

 

Paul Hewitt was founded in Northern Germany in 2009, and the brand aims to reflect that region’s maritime flair through its styles. The company strives to produce timeless pieces that are handmade with high quality materials.

PH North Bound Bracelet

Paul Hewitt North Bound Bracelet, US$69.90.

The accessories boast simple, minimalist designs, with a variety of colour and material options that allow shoppers to customize items to their individual tastes – a feature that has made the brand popular among millennial consumers.

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Filed under Department Stores & Big Boxes, Fashion, Retail & the Web

Olympic Spirit: In Stores Now

The Olympic Games tend to permeate all aspects of society each time they occur, dominating workplace conversations, media coverage and television airtime for two weeks straight.

This time around, the games also gained a prominent presence in stores and malls, as the retail industry showed its support for the games, and Canada’s athletes in particular.

Whereas we’ve long seen retailers such as Roots and Hudson’s Bay Company embrace the games by providing Team Canada merchandise – including those red mittens that became ubiquitous during the 2010 Vancouver Games – a variety of other retailers got in on the action this year.

Companies such as Sport Chek and Canadian Tire, for example, launched aggressive marketing campaigns demonstrating their support for Team Canada, with floor-to-ceiling advertisements at certain TTC subway stations.

Shopping centres also seemed to get into the Olympic spirit more than ever before. The Toronto Eaton Centre, for example, set up a viewing lounge where people could take a break from shopping to catch up on the latest Olympic action.

Olympic Viewing Lounge at the Toronto Eaton Centre

Olympic Viewing Lounge at the Toronto Eaton Centre

On Family Day, the Eaton Centre showcased the viewing lounge during a special event featuring Jason Burnett, an Olympic silver medalist in trampoline, who took photos with fans and signed autographs. Burnett also made an appearance at Fairview Mall during the long weekend, which had a similar viewing lounge set up for shoppers to enjoy.

It’s a smart strategy from a business perspective, enticing consumers to stick around at the mall longer than they might otherwise in order to see Olympic events they don’t want to miss. The more time shoppers spend at the mall, the more likely they are to make more purchases – even if it’s just a latte to sip on while watching some figure skating or bobsledding.

Support for Team Canada on display at the Toronto Eaton Centre

Support for Team Canada on display at the Toronto Eaton Centre

The Winter Olympics clearly resonate with Canadians, providing an exciting event to rally around during the cold and dark winter months. The games also elicit a strong sense of pride among Canadians, so it’s understandable that retailers would want to find a way of associating themselves with this event.

Although retailers have their business reasons for getting involved, it’s nice to see the industry showing its support. I’m sure the athletes appreciate all the support they can get, and from a fan’s perspective, it’s one more element contributing to the exciting spirit of the games.

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Filed under Events, Shopping Hubs

Bringing bargains closer to home

Outlet shoppers and bargain hunters, brace yourselves: you’ll soon be able to stay far closer to home when shopping your favourite brands.

In a few short months, a shiny new outlet mall will welcome to the GTA a variety of brands that have never before brought their outlet stores to Canada.

Toronto Premium Outlets is slated to open on Aug. 1st in Halton Hills, near Trafalgar Road and the 401.

An artistic rendering of the Toronto Premium Outlets.

An artistic rendering of the Toronto Premium Outlets.

Developed by Simon Property Group and Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust, the new retail hub represents the first Premium Outlet Center to open in Canada.

The upscale outlet mall concept has done well in U.S. markets and abroad, as Simon has continued to expand its roster of more than 300 malls.

Altogether, the mall will boast 85 upscale outlets, with at least eight representing outlet brands that are new to Canada. These include:

  • Cole Haan
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • DKNY
  • Icebreaker
  • Kate Spade New York
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Restoration Hardware
  • Ted Baker London

With easier access to these and other brands, many Toronto-area shoppers may be taking fewer trips to the U.S. once the new shopping hub opens its doors. As a result, outlet malls south of the border may begin to see fewer Canadian shoppers browsing their offerings.

In particular, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls – a popular destination among Canadians given its close proximity to the border – could see its traffic decline given that many of its retailers will now have Canadian locations.

Whether the merchandise offerings and prices are on par with the U.S. stores, however, remains to be seen.

Some of Toronto Premium Outlets’ other retailers include:

  • Banana Republic
  • Bench
  • Bose
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Coach
  • Dynamite
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Gap Outlet
  • Garage
  • Guess
  • J. Crew
  • Lucky Brand Jeans
  • Michael Kors
  • True Religion
  • Zumiez

In addition, the shopping centre will be anchored by the first ever Hudson’s Bay Outlet – something I’m personally curious to check out. Since The Bay has spent the past few years continuously improving the quality of merchandise it carries, an HBC outlet could be a good place to scoop up some high-end brands at affordable prices.

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Filed under Department Stores & Big Boxes, Sales & Deals, Shopping Hubs

Scarborough celebrates chic fashions and charity

Fall fashions will be showcased in the east end of the GTA this weekend, as Scarborough Town Centre hosts a chic event for a good cause.

The shopping centre is hosting its third annual fashion show in support of the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation on Sunday, October 23.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m., taking place in the mall’s Centre Court.

It will feature trendy new designs from such retailers as The Bay, M for Mendocino, ONLY and Melanie Lyne, among others. Lynn Spence, guest fashion expert from CityTv’s Cityline, will act as mistress of ceremonies for the evening.

Guests at the event will have the opportunity to win prizes, and can stick around for a post-show reception sponsored by Canyon Creek Chop House and Moxie’s Grill, featuring cocktails and snacks.

Tickets to the show are $60 or two for $100, with proceeds going towards the foundation – a registered charity that raises funds to support the purchase of leading edge medical equipment for the Rouge Valley Health System, as well as for major capital expansion projects.

This worthy event happens just once a year, fashionistas, so don’t miss it.

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Filed under Events, Fashion

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

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