Tag Archives: Vaughan Mills

Watch Station clocks into the GTA

Start counting the hours. A U.S. retailer specializing in fashionable, brand name watches is preparing to open its first Canadian store at Vaughan Mills shopping centre.

Texas-based Watch Station International, which operates about 20 locations throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, is aiming to launch the new store on June 1st.

The Watch Station chain is owned by popular watch brand and retailer Fossil, Inc. In addition to Fossil’s own watches, the stores carry such brands as Michael Kors, Marc By Marc Jacobs, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Burberry and Diesel.

It will be nice to have a new destination for watches in the GTA. Aside from department stores like The Bay – where there are often too few staff members available to assist shoppers – there aren’t too many stores carrying a good selection of watch brands.

The new store at Vaughan Mills will be situated near the mall’s centre court.

Once it’s up and running, other locations could begin to appear in other Canadian cities, as the chain intends on expanding across the country.

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Filed under Boutiques, Fashion

StyleSense shoe stores shut their doors

StyleSense has sold its last pair of shoes.

All three StyleSense stores in the GTA, owned by The TJX Companies, Inc. – the same company that operates Winners, Home Sense and Marshalls – have been shut down.

The stores, located at Vaughan Mills, Oakville Place and Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga, had only been open for about three years. Large and spacious, they carried a huge – and I mean HUGE – selection of brand name shoes and boots, along with bags, hats, scarves and other accessories, at marked down prices.

The stores seemed to be busy whenever I stopped in, so I was suprised to hear this week that the company had decided to close all three locations.

TJX brought its Marshall chain to Canada for the first time last year (More discount fashion for the GTA), and I gather that the closure of StyleSense is part of the company’s effort to focus on beefing up this new brand in Canada. Like Winners, Marshalls stores carry mainly clothing, but they also have a hefty selection of shoes.

Still, the shoe selection in the Marshalls locations that I’ve seen have been disappointingly small, and way less organized than the impressive stock at StyleSense. I’ve found some amazing deals on shoes at StyleSense in the past couple years, and I’m sad to see the stores disappear.

But perhaps I should give Marshalls another chance. It looks like the chain is here to stay, as it’s actively growing its footprint on this side of the border. The chain now has six store in the GTA, and six more Ontario stores are slated to open at the end of March. The new locations in the GTA will  include:

  • Upper James St. in Hamilton
  • Burlington Power Centre in Burlington
  • Taunton and Harmony in Oshawa

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Outdoor superstores ‘SAIL’ into the GTA

A Quebec-based retailer catering to outdoor enthusiasts has arrived in the GTA.

SAIL, a chain of superstores specializing in gear for hunting, camping, fishing, boating and other outdoor activities, recently opened stores in Vaughan and Oshawa.

The big box stores are 70,000 square feet in size, and carry an overwhelming selection of merchandise: more than 500,000 items per store. They feature such popular brands as The North Face, Spyder and Columbia.

If you’re into any sort of outdoor activities – such as hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing – or even if you just want to keep warm as the cold winter months descend upon us, chances are SAIL has something for you.

You can pick up basic items like shoes and jackets, or highly specific types of gear, like gun cases for hunters, compasses for hikers and butane stoves for campers.

Including the two new GTA locations, SAIL now has seven stores, with four in Quebec and one in Ottawa.

The Vaughan location presents new competition for nearby Bass Pro – a huge store at Vaughan Mills shopping centre offering a similar selection of hunting, fishing and camping goods.

Outdoor enthusiasts were thrilled to see the Bass Pro store open a few years ago, which was Ontario’s first location for the major American retailer.

I’m guessing they’ll be happy to have another local retailer providing these kinds of specialized goods, especially in Vaughan – which is conveniently right on the way to cottage country for Torontonians who are looking to escape the city for the weekend.

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Filed under Department Stores & Big Boxes

A fresh new Joe Fresh location

Cheap and trendy apparel line Joe Fresh is continuing to grow as it celebrates its fifth anniversary, with a new store set to open in Vaughan Mills this week.

A grand opening of the new store will take place this Thursday, May 19th, and all day long, shoppers will receive 20% off all purchases.

Since launching in 2006 with lines of men’s and women’s apparel that were sold in grocery stores operated by Joe Fresh’s parent company, Loblaw Companies Ltd., the brand has expanded to include a children’s collection, intimates and sleepwear, swimwear, sunglasses, jewellery, bath products and makeup.

The new Vaughan Mills store is one of four new standalone Joe Fresh locations opening this spring, including one at Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga, one at Bramalea City Centre in Brampton, and one in Alberta.

The brand will also open two new studio stores later this year in Toronto: one on Queen Street West and one in the old Maple Leaf Gardens space. Joe Fresh already operates two studio stores in the city: one in Forest Hill and one on Queens Quay.

In total, Joe Fresh is aiming to open 20 standalone stores in Canada in the months to come. The line is already available in more than 300 other stores across the country, including Loblaw and Superstore locations.

With this kind of reach, it’s no surprise Joe Fresh is thriving.

The stylish clothing collection, designed by Joseph Mimran – a former designer for such successful fashion labels as Alfred Sung and Club Monaco – are conveniently located in grocery stores where men and women are already doing some shopping.

And at amazingly low prices, it’s easy for shoppers to justify throwing a t-shirt, dress or new pair of sweats into the shopping cart. (Almost too easy.)

Having had success within grocery stores, prospects are looking good for Joe Fresh in the boutique business. And not just in Canada.

Just three months ago, Joe Fresh announced that it would expand outside of Canada for the first time, with a new standalone store on Fifth Avenue in New York City this fall.

If you’re itching to visit one of the new stores, this weekend is a good time to do it. Stop by the new Vaughan Mills location for some great deals, including:

Thursday:
• 2 for $30 Sequin Tanks (regular $19)

Friday:
• 2 for $14 Men’s refined tee ( Reg. $12)
• 2 for $19 Women’s Sutash Tee (regular $14)

Saturday:
• 2 for $6 ALL flip flops (regular $4/pair)
• $5 off All women’s dresses

Sunday:
• $5 off ALL Mens and Women’s shorts that are priced $19 and up
• 2 for $15 Women’s slub vee (regular $10)
• Kid Boys Plaid Shorts for $6 (reg $10-$12)
• Toddler Girls 3 for $10 Promo on Rib Tanks
• Kid Girls 2 for $10 Promo on Racer Back Graphic Tank

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Filed under Boutiques, Clothing Lines, Events, Fashion, Sales & Deals, Shopping Hubs

YaYa’s flashy fashions hit Square One

Ladies’ clubwear chain YaYa & Co. continues to expand its footprint across the GTA. The women’s clothing retailer is set to open a location at Square One Shopping Centre in mid-May, and is in talks to open its first downtown Toronto location later this year.

Launched in 2004, YaYa & Co. has kicked off a growth spurt in the past year. In December, the chain opened a boutique in Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket. Two other stores are located at Scarborough Town Centre and Vaughn Mills Shopping Centre.

The chain previously operated a store in Yorkdale Shopping Centre, but the company appears to recently have shut down that location as it shifts its attention to other parts of the GTA.

Trendy jeans, sexy dresses and leopard print heels are among the stores’ bright and bold fashion and accessory offerings, which target a very specific segment of club-going shoppers aged 18 to 35.

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The stores carry such brands as Parasuco, Silver, Mavi, Foxy and Guess.

Business will likely be strong at YaYa’s new location at Square One, where I imagine the store will benefit from the mall’s huge volumes of traffic. The chain would probably thrive in the downtown market as well, where it would be in close proximity to hundreds of nightclubs that draw stylish Torontonians who are always on the lookout for a killer new dress.

At a time when foreign chains are infiltrating this country’s retail scene, it’s great to see a home-grown GTA-based retailer thriving in the local market.

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A Michael Kors fan’s paradise

If you’re a fan of Michael Kors and you haven’t yet checked out the new outlet store at Vaughan Mills, take my word: it’s worth the trip to Vaughan.

I stopped by the store last weekend, and ever since, I’ve been kicking myself for not taking advantage of the great deals that this store has to offer.

Michael Kors handbags are my latest accessory obsession, and so it was no easy task keeping my credit card in check in a store full of these gorgeous bags, all marked down in price. I love the simple yet classy look of the handbags – especially the leather tote bags and the large Edie shoulder bags.

The Michael Kors Large Tote, in black; one of my favourites.

The outlet also has a decent sized selection of clothing, as well as some accessories and small leather goods, also discounted in price.

My only complaint about the outlet store is its location, which is a little too far from the city for me to be stopping by as often as I would like. Based on the crowds of people browsing the store on Sunday, however, it appears that many fashionistas are more than willing to make the trip.

If you appreciate Michael Kors’ designs as much as I do, I definitely recommend checking out this GTA retail gem.

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Vaughan gets bold with Betsey

New York-based designer Betsey Johnson will be bringing more of her bold, eccentric fashions to the GTA this spring, with her label set to open a new location in Vaughan Mills.

It will be the second GTA location for the ladies’ fashion and accessories chain, which launched in New York City more than 30 years ago, and currently operates more than 65 stores throughout North America. The first Toronto location opened in Yorkville in 2003.

Johnson has won awards for her creative collections, which boast bright colours and patterns, plenty of frilly feminine embellishment and some distinct retro inspiration. Johnson’s love of costumes clearly shines through in her designs, some of which look as though they’d fit well in a Broadway number.

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While some of the label’s items may be a bit exuberant for my tastes, I find others adorable. I especially like the handbags and some of the summery-looking dresses currently available at Betsey Johnson.

The new store will be the chain’s fifth in Canada, and it sounds as though more could be on the way. The label has an ambitious growth strategy underway, with plans to have 100 stores by 2012.

It’s a bit surprising that the chain is pursuing such aggressive growth right now, though, given that it’s run into some financial trouble in the past year.

In October, the chain announced that Steven Madden, Ltd. had agreed to take over US$48 million of Betsey Johnson LLC’s outstanding debt, and had made a new loan to the company. Under the restructuring agreement, Steve Madden also acquired the trademarks and intellectual property of the chain, and a 10% stake in the chain.

These drastic measures suggest that perhaps the company’s financial situation was more than a little rocky. But who knows, maybe this new injection of capital was all that was needed to get the chain back on its feet and to get its growth strategy rolling.

Only time will tell. In the meantime, I look forward to checking out the new Vaughan Mills location in the next few months.

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Filed under Boutiques, Clothing Lines, Fashion