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Found 33 results

  1. Trouble on The Main The former home of American Apparel on St. Laurent Blvd. now carries a For Rent sign. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic,” says Dan Abenhaim, the chain’s Canadian regional director. Other shop owners say the recession and high rents have hurt business on along the strip. Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette By Irwin Block, The GazetteApril 24, 2009 The former home of American Apparel on St. Laurent Blvd. now carries a For Rent sign. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic,” says Dan Abenhaim, the chain’s Canadian regional director. Other shop owners say the recession and high rents have hurt business on along the strip. It’s known to generations as The Main and it’s as Montreal as smoked meat and the Habs. St. Laurent Blvd. is us, and in tribute to its Portuguese component, city officials on Friday inaugurated a dozen marble-topped benches between Bagg and Marie Anne Sts. But things are not going that well for some merchants, especially on the trendiest part of the street between Sherbrooke St. and Pine Ave. It’s still home to such fancy eateries as Buona Notte and Primadonna, but in the past months several major tenants have closed. They include an American Apparel store and a Mac Cosmetics outlet; the space formerly occupied by Sofia Grill at the northwest corner of Prince Arthur St. and St. Laurent is for rent, as are several other shops farther north. Dan Abenhaim, American Apparel’s Canadian regional director, said that after five years the firm decided not to renew the lease. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic and we decided we want to open in another location.” He also said that over five years “the street has changed and the traffic is more north of Pine Ave.” However, clothing shops are also hurting north of Pine, where Adam & Lilith has closed one of two adjoining shops on St. Laurent. According to assistant manager Carmel Pacaud, people are still attracted to the street but they are not buying as they used to. Other shop owners blame almost two years of disruptive road repairs that ended last year, as well as the recession and high rents. “The city has murdered the street,” said one real estate agent, who spoke on the condition his name not be used. People who were put off by the construction are not coming back and there is a moratorium on new restaurants and bars between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal Ave., he added. Rent at the former Mac Cosmetics store is about $7,500 a month for 1,600 square feet. Rents tend to decrease north of Pine. “It’s a little distressing, slower than usual” remarked Marnie Blanshay, who owns Lola & Emily ladies wear just south of the abandoned American Apparel. Many who were discouraged from shopping there by the ripping up and repaving of the strip have not returned, she observed. And because few retail clothing shops remain, hers is more of a “destination store” with fewer shoppers coming by to go from store to store checking out and comparing. “It reminds me of Crescent St. in the 1990s,” she said, adding that “the landlords believe it’s better than it is and need to reduce rents.” When rents go down, the creative people will return to reinject the street’s normal vitality, she said. “St. Laurent Blvd. is not a street where chains succeed.” Apart from Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix, American Apparel was the only chain outlet on the street, noted André Beauséjour, executive director of the Société de développment du Boulevard St. Laurent. He said the vacancy rate between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal is a “normal” two per cent. A stroll up the boulevard yesterday indicated that many stores that have become institutions – Bar Bifteck, Salaison Slovenia, Schreter’s, Coco Rico, Moishe’s, Segal’s grocery, Berson Monuments – are still going concerns. And there was the proverbial lunchtime lineup inside Schwartz’s. But if you have a concept, there is lots of space for rent, including the former Laurentian Bank at St. Laurent and Pine. – all 5,400 square feet. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  2. I started to work at this small company here in Montreal called "Dolbeau" we make ties, bow ties and pocket squares. Later on will be expanding to other products also. Plus all the ties are made here in Montreal, only thing not from here is the fabrics and those will mostly come from Europe or Japan. Here is the previous ties.. The website not up yet, it should be up by November 15th. All I can say is, it will be an interesting experience for people looking to buy accessories. Plus the price point for the ties / bow ties might be around $100. There will be a pop-up store at Rooney in Old Montreal, coming up in a few months. Also if you sign up to the company newsletter, you get $10 off. Old Packaging (will be quite different most likely)... Interesting thing about the packaging, you will get a card to show you how to tie a tie (just in case you forget). Plus you will get a small letter saying thank you for purchasing a product from Dolbeau (it will be signed probably by all 4 of us). Website
  3. pour les intéressés allez faire un tour dans le groupe facebook :Montreal - The Best City in The World description: "Montreal: The greatest city in the world. From St. Anne's to Pointe-Aux-Trembles the city is filled with culture, and European style. The only place in North America with such a vibe. Sure the French and English don't always get along, mais 'sti that's the way we like it. And yeah the poutine might be the most unhealthy meal ever made, ma putain it tastes good! We love the Habs, and we hate the Leafs. Hockey isn't a sport, it is a religion. We like our beer cold and strong, and preferably with a slice of 99cent pizza. We party on St. Laurent and every once in a while on crescent. We study in coffee shops on Park Ave. and Paramount or AMC are our theaters of choice. We know what Red Onions are, and fucking hate them. We consider ourselves bilingual but only when we aren't in Montreal. Guys smoke Du Maurier and the girls smoke Benson and Hedges. We go to the Dep, not the corner store. We've all had a good smoked meat sandwhich, and been to the many strip clubs. We kiss eachother on both cheeks when we meet and when we say goodbye. The bagels are the best in the world. The women are beautiful. The streets are often crowded with drunk 18 year old americans, who deem it necessary to sing the American national anthem quite loudly at two in the morning. Most importantly though: We all live in the only city we would ever want to, Montreal!"
  4. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) WOW I am happy I don`t live on St Pierre anymore. This city has gone to the dogs. I guess its time to really go out and buy a bulletproof vest and armour up my car.
  5. (Courtesy of Wings Magazine) --- (Courtesy of Auto123) Both articles are pretty old, but they are still interesting too say the least. For the ICAR, thats pretty awesome to see they actually were able to get part of the mirabel airport Now people from Montreal do not have too really go to Tremblant for a track meet day
  6. St. Catherine Street: the changing of the guard Remember that little boutique where you bought the leather jacket 15 years ago? It’s gone. If you have not visited St.Catherine Street in Montreal since the early 1990s, you would not recognize it. Of the stores that were located in the prime area between Bishop and University, not more than fi ve are still in existence. The locallyowned stores are gone, replaced at first by national retail chains, which in turn are giving way to international chains. Storefront retail throughout North America has been in decline for many years. St. Catherine Street is the exception. Rental rates have quadrupled. Vacancies are nonexistent. It is not just any street. Fifteen kilometres long, St. Catherine comprises 1,200 stores, making it the largest concentration of retail outlets in Canada. The street is witness to 3,500 pedestrians per hour, 250,000 offi ce workers at lunchtime, and 100,000 students per day, keeping the street alive at all hours. Furthermore, eight subway stations, 30 kilometres of underground walkways with 178 entrances, and 2,000 underground stores totalling 36 million square feet (sq. ft.) of floor space are used by 500,000 people on a daily basis. In street front retail, if you don’t have a store on St. Catherine Street, you have not made it. There are two strategies for retail chains entering Quebec: 1) open a fl agship store on St. Catherine Street; or 2) open four or five stores in major malls around Montreal, and a flagship store on St. Catherine Street. At the corner of Peel and St. Catherine, three of the four corner stores have changed in the past year. The newcomers are H&M (Hennes & Mauritz of Sweden) with 20,000 sq. ft; Guess with 13,000 sq. ft; and American Eagle, with 17,000 sq. ft and Apple Store. In the last five years, more than 20 flagship stores have opened here, mostly multinationals, such as: Lululemon, Oakley, American Eagle, Esprit, Garage, Guess, Khiels, Geox, GNC, Ecco Shoes, H&M, Mango, French Connection, Quicksilver, Marciano and Adidas. The shortage of space forces stores to take minimal frontage on the ground floor, and more space on the second and third fl oors. Ground fl oor space that leased in the early 1990s for $50 net per sq. ft. (psf ), with the landlord offering $25 per sq. ft. for leasehold improvements, now leases for $200 net psf and up, plus $30 psf for operating costs and taxes. And some of the stores spend $5 million renovating the space. But as they say in Rolls Royce dealerships, if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. Some of these stores are not making money, but they are here for image and marketing purposes. All the other banners are here, so they have to be here too. Whereas the mixture of stores constantly evolves, most of the landlords have been here for 30 or 40 years. They have seen the market go up and down. In this market, they will turn down all but the best. For one vacancy last year, there were four multinational chains trying to outbid each other for the space. http://www.avisonyoung.com/library/pdf/National/Fall-Winter_2008_AY_National_Newsletter.pdf
  7. FINANCIAL POST http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpposted/archive/2007/11/15/the-rebirth-of-downtown-montreal.aspx Posted: November 15, 2007, 2:46 AM by DrewHasselback Montreal Downtown Montreal is going through a rapid revitalization that has seen the rise of condo towers, university buildings, hotels -- and major international retailers. Nowhere is this more apparent than the corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine, one of the city's busiest spots. "The corner has always had a certain amount of vibrancy," says Sam Sheraton, senior administrator for Montreal's Drazin family, which owns property near Peel and Ste-Catherine. "Now, it has become the central core of downtown Montreal." One-level retailers who once occupied 1,500-to 2,000-square-foot spaces and generated sales of about $400 to $600 per square foot are making way for bigger, multi-level stores that bring in twice as much. A large Roots store on the northeast corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine recently downsized and hot U.S. retailer American Eagle Outfitters moved in. On the northwest corner, a Guess store opens next month. Next door on Ste-Catherine is the year-old flagship store of Montreal's own Garage chain, one of Canada's top fashion retailers. And on the southwest side, several retailers, including a Rogers phone store and SAQ liquor outlet, are being relocated by the owner, to make way for a multilevel H& M store, industry sources say. (On the remaining southeast corner is an HMV store, in the same building as the Montreal Gazette and National Post bureau). Rumour has it Pottery Barn is looking for a location nearby. A few blocks to the west on Ste-Catherine, next to Ogilvy's, Apple is taking a space formerly occupied by a menswear store. Sean Silcoff
  8. http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/montreal/toys-r-us-in-quebec-refuses-to-sell-english-only-daniel-tiger-doll-1.3031253 Toys "R" Us in Quebec refuses to sell English-only Daniel Tiger doll Montreal father says it should be up to parents, not province to determine what toys kids play with Apr 13, 2015 8:13 PM ET Kate McKenna, CBC News A Montreal man is criticizing Quebec language laws after trying to buy a toy from a local Toys "R" Us — and being told by a clerk he wasn't allowed to purchase it. Chez Geeks board-game store gets OQLF complaint Quebec government stance dismays francophone school supporters Looking back at 40 years of French as Quebec's official language Blue Dog Motel bar no longer in hot water with OQLF Nick Messina tried to purchase a "Daniel Tiger" plush toy for his infant daughter Carina after noticing her eyes "lit up" while watching the popular children's TV show Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood. Hoping to buy it as an Easter gift, he drove to his nearest Toys "R" Us, which didn't have the toy in stock. Then he called another Toys "R" Us in Montreal where clerk informed Messina there were two of the toys in stock. However, the clerk told Messina that he couldn't buy a Daniel Tiger because the toy is unilingual. "It's kind of saddening."- Nick Messina, father Daniel Tiger talks and sings 14 different phrases — but they're all in English. Messina said the clerk thanked him for letting them know the toy only spoke English, and said it would be shipped back to Ontario. "I kind of felt a little bit turned off. I felt it was discriminatory against the English-speaking community in Montreal. After all, Montreal is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural," he said. Not giving up, the father tried to purchase the doll online — only to discover the Toys "R" Us website wouldn't ship the product to Quebec. English-speaking toys illegal Messina didn't know until a few weeks ago, but because of Quebec's language laws, it's illegal to sell a unilingual toy unless the toy has a French-speaking counterpart. He says it should be up to parents to decide what toys they can buy for their kids, not the province. "I don't understand why, when it comes to the choice of purchasing a toy for our children, that we have to be subjected to these kinds of rules and regulations," he said. "It's kind of saddening." Toys "R" Us admits mistake In a statement to CBC News, a spokeswoman from Toys "R" Us apologized for the inconvenience, but said the toy shouldn't have been on the shelves. "Toys 'R' Us shipped in error the English-speaking product to one of our Quebec stores and a customer tried to purchase it. Our store did not sell the product to the customer and we apologized for the inconvenience that this caused our customer. We immediately communicated to our store that this product cannot be sold," said the statement. Happy ending for family Messina's perseverance paid off. He did manage to buy the doll eventually; he bought it on Amazon for about $50 more than what Toys "R" Us was asking. Though it was more than he planned to pay for the doll, Carina adores her new toy. For Carina Messina, it was love at first sight for this Daniel Tiger doll. (CBC) sent via Tapatalk
  9. 539 Sainte-Catherine Street Montreal, QC This building is situated at the northeast corner of Sainte-Catherine and Aylmer, across the street from The Bay's 640,000 sq. ft. main store. The property can accommodate a tenant of up to 5,000 sq. ft. on the ground floor, with potential for a mezzanine if required. The 40 foot facade on Sainte-Catherine Street, ceiling heights above 14 ft., excellent visibility, and the presence of many national retailers in the immediate vicinity create an ideal location for a flagship retail store in downtown Montreal. The building is undergoing a retrofit with completion expected in spring, 2012. http://www.canderel.com/news-communication/539-sainte-catherine-street
  10. Historic Ogilvy's building could fetch $100M Groupe Devimco in negotiations to purchase Montreal landmark By Robert Gibbens, The GazetteJanuary 26, 2010 7:29 "Spoonman" Cyrille Esteve performs outside the landmark Ogilvy's building in Montreal. Le Groupe Devimco is reportedly in talks to buy the building for about $100 million.Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, The GazetteMONTREAL – The landmark Ogilvy's building on Ste. Catherine St. will probably be sold for about $100 million to Le Groupe Devimco, one of the backers of the big Quartier Dix30 lifestyle centre in Brossard, and partners. Toronto property developer David Jubb, owner of Pyxis Real Estate Equities, bought the Ogilvy's building from the Standard Life Assurance Co. of Canada in May 2000 for $50 million. His office said he was "out of the country" and unavailable for comment. Devimco president Jean-Francoisn Breton also was not available for comment. But Ogilvy's president Bernard Pare confirmed that sale negotiations are well advanced and in the due diligence stage, though "it's not yet a done deal." Some reports said a trust controlled by the Beaudoin and Bombardier families may be a partner in the Ogilvy's deal. It was one of the original investors in Quartier Dix30 along with a large Toronto-based property trust and two pension funds. Founded in 1866 by James A. Ogilvy at the northwest corner of St. Catherine and de la Montagne, the store was acquired in 1927 for the "modest sum" of $38,500 by James Aird Nesbitt, whose father had founded the brokerage firm of Nesbitt Thompson in Montreal, and was expanded into a full-size department store. A major overhaul in 1986 moved it upscale with 60 individual boutiques, including several leading luxury brands. It kept the famed bohemian crystal chandelier on the ground floor and the bagpiper. Jubb, who owns other commercial properties in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, made further improvements, including a new air-conditioning system.
  11. Microsoft to Open Stores, Hires Retail Hand By NICK WINGFIELD Microsoft Corp. said it hired a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive to help the company open its own retail stores, a strategy shift that borrows from the playbook of rival Apple Inc. The Redmond, Wash., company said it hired David Porter, most recently the head of world-wide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation SKG, as corporate vice president of retail stores for Microsoft. In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them. A Microsoft spokesman said the company's current plans are for a "small number" of stores. [microsoft store and retail concept] Microsoft In a warehouse near its Redmond, Wash., campus, Microsoft created mockups for how Microsoft products might be displayed either in its own stores or in a retailer's. [microsoft store or retail concept] Microsoft It remains to be seen whether the effort can add some pizzazz to Microsoft's unfashionable image, which Apple has sought to reinforce with ads that mock its competitor. Mr. Porter, in a statement, said there are "tremendous opportunities" for Microsoft to create a "world-class shopping experience" for the company's customers. "The purpose of opening these stores is to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn firsthand about what they want and how they buy," Microsoft said in a statement. The move is a sign of the deeper role consumer-technology companies are playing in the retail business, despite the many risks of straying from their traditional businesses of making hardware and software. Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., encountered widespread skepticism when it first began opening its own retail stores in 2001. Eight years later, though, Apple's chain of more than 200 stores around the world are widely credited with helping the company boost sales of its Mac, iPod and iPhone product lines. The Apple stores, with their eye-catching architecture, highly-trained sales staff and "genius bars" that provide technical support, gave Apple a way to showcase its products in an environment where they weren't lumped in with a gamut of other electronics items. Sony Corp. and Bose Corp. also operate their own stores. At the same time, some large electronics retailers have fallen on hard times amidst the weakening economy. CompUSA Inc. last year closed most of its retail stores, while Circuit City Stores Inc. is in the process of shutting down all of its stores and laying off more than 30,000 employees. Microsoft has long flirted with the idea of doing its own store, even as it has tested ways that retail partners can better sell Microsoft products. In a 20,000-square-foot warehouse near its campus in the suburbs of Seattle, Microsoft has tested various retail concepts, complete with shelves displaying Xbox games and big computer monitors with touch-sensitive screens. Key details about Microsoft's retail plans still need to be worked out, though. Microsoft said the stores could feature a range of products from personal computers running its Windows operating system to cellphones running the company's Windows Mobile operating system to its Xbox videogame console. One of Mr. Porter's tasks will be to figure out whether to actually sell computers rather than merely show off their features. Any decision that favored some PC makers and left others off store shelves could anger some hardware partners. Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Group Inc., which tracks retailers, said Apple doesn't face the dilemmas Microsoft will in the retail business because Apple makes the hardware and software for its products. "That's going to be a big challenge for Microsoft," Mr. Baker said. A spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard Co., one of Microsoft's biggest hardware partners in the PC business, declined to comment on Microsoft's retail strategy. Spokesmen for Dell Inc. didn't respond to requests for comment. Microsoft's store plans could also irk existing retail partners like Best Buy Co., on whom Microsoft is especially dependent for sales to consumers. Best Buy representatives didn't return calls requesting comment. Microsoft said it will share the lessons it learns from its own stores with other retailers. The failures of other stores opened by technology companies will loom over Microsoft as it launches its stores. In 2004, computer maker Gateway Inc. shuttered a network of more than 188 company-owned retail stores after weak sales. Microsoft itself operated a Microsoft store inside a movie-theater complex in San Francisco beginning in 1999, but two years later shut down the store -- which showcased, but didn't sell, Microsoft products.
  12. January 15, 2009 By PATRICK McGEEHAN The retailing of recorded music will take another step toward extinction in early April, when the Virgin Megastore in Times Square closes to make room for Forever 21, a popular chain that sells moderately priced clothing. The closing, which was announced to the store’s 200 employees this week, will leave the Virgin store on Union Square as the last Manhattan outpost of a large music chain. The future of that store has not been decided, Simon Wright, the chief executive of Virgin Entertainment Group, said on Wednesday. Stores that sell prerecorded CDs and DVDs have been done in by the popularity of digitized music that can be downloaded from the Internet onto iPods and MP3 players. But Mr. Wright said that the Times Square store, which has about 60,000 square feet of selling space, is not simply a victim of technological progress. It has remained “very, very profitable” by shifting its merchandise toward apparel and electronics, including iPods, he said, adding that those two categories accounted for about 25 percent of sales during the holiday shopping season. “Stores that rely completely on recorded music have a difficult future,” he said, “but we’ve been changing our business quite dramatically.” But the chain’s owners, two big New York-based real estate development companies, saw greater potential in leasing the prime space to Forever 21. The Virgin chain, once part of Sir Richard Branson’s business empire, has been owned since 2007 by the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust. It comprised 11 stores when it was acquired, but now will be down to just five, two of them in California. Virgin closed other stores late last year. The Times Square space, on the east side of Broadway near 46th Street, will be closed for at least a year before it reopens as Forever 21’s largest location. It will be combined with some adjoining space to create a 90,000-square-foot store that will be triple the size of any of Forever 21’s three current stores in Manhattan, said Lawrence Meyer, a senior vice president of Forever 21. Forever 21 is a Los Angeles-based chain that sells trendy clothing for young women and men. It competes with other moderately priced retailers like H & M and Gap stores. “This is a bigger format,” Mr. Meyer said. “It’s going to be a fashion department store. It’s going to offer a deeper assortment of women’s apparel and men’s apparel.” Mr. Meyer said the recession had not diluted his company’s enthusiasm for making a big splash in an expensive area like Times Square. He declined to specify the rent Forever 21 will pay. “We have been doing O.K. in this environment because we have always given great value to our customers,” Mr. Meyer said. “Our stores are exciting and we want to create an exciting environment in Times Square.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/nyregion/15virgin.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=virgin&st=cse
  13. Toronto : The downside of up TENILLE BONOGUORE Globe and mail Old Toronto is booming, thanks to a flood of new condo dwellers. So why are prime retail strips awash in 'for lease' signs? Tenille Bonoguore recently counted 54 empty storefronts on one stretch of Queen alone. With rents soaring, is it only cashed-up chains that can survive? The garlands were up, the Christmas songs were playing, but inside the Danforth Avenue store Paper and Presents, the mood was anything but merry. It was December, 2007, and instead of spreading good cheer, customers were hurling abuse about cross-border price discrepancies. Store owner Grace Wong was facing her second year without drawing a paycheque, and she was fed up with skyrocketing business costs. After 15 years as an independent retailer, she finally realized that it was time to go. "The Danforth has really changed. It's not as vibrant," Ms. Wong said this week from the store that will close this summer. "Stores are flipping, and nobody wants to take a chance. I wouldn't choose a place where stores keep flipping over. ... That's not a good sign." Like many tenant retailers, Ms. Wong pays both rent and part of the property taxes. The combination had reached $5,500 a month for her 800-square-foot storefront, a hike of 40 per cent in five years. Meanwhile, insurance had risen to $1,800 a year, up 50 per cent in 10 years, and other costs were soaring. She was caught in the unprecedented blaze of interest in downtown retailing that is reshaping Toronto's shopping strips, and threatens to turn the city into a whitewash of chain stores. Ms. Wong's is one of seven stores that have closed, or are preparing to close, this year in the Danforth Business Improvement Area. Thirty shut up shop last year, 10 of which had been open for less than two years. The empty storefronts don't reflect a lack of demand - just the opposite. Demand for downtown retail on hot strips like Queen Street, Bloor Street, Yonge at Dundas, and now Yonge at College, has driven up rents, speeding up turnover and forcing out the independent shops that made the strips vibrant in the first place. "A lot of landlords are making the rent so high because they're hoping for a Starbucks or a major chain to come in. They're waiting for the big guys," said Ms. Wong, who is opening an online Japanese paper store. Or storefronts turn into what Charlie Huisken, of This Ain't the Rosedale Library, calls "retail hotels" - a building that hosts a continuing rotation of short-lived ventures. "I don't know if that's a problem of [the retailers] lacking capital, or whether it's because the rents are too high. It might be a combination of the two. They pop up and just disappear," said Mr. Huisken, who recently moved his bookstore from Church and Wellesley to Kensington Market, partly because of escalating rent. Mr. Huisken believes that independent business can survive in the city centre only if retailers are given a mandatory option to buy property. Others wonder if the independents can survive at all. BIG BOX, BRAND OR BUST All of the factors that appear to help business - an influx of residents, increasing demand for downtown property - are sending independents running for shelter. John Crombie, senior managing director and national retail director for Cushman & Wakefield LePage, said he has never seen such demand for downtown retail space. Yorkville now commands rents of $300 per square foot, making it the third-priciest retail space in North America. Storefronts at Queen West and Spadina now cost $125 to $150 a square foot, and a ripple effect is washing across the city. The hot residential market of the past few years has had an impact too: Mushrooming condo developments seem poised to produce ready-made customer bases, which landlords can use as a basis for rent hikes. The condos can increase competition too, because of the retail spaces included in such developments. Meanwhile, Toronto businesses are paying some of the highest property-tax rates in North America, and subsidizing relatively lightly taxed residents. The City of Toronto has pledged to even that out over the next 15 years by shifting more of the tax burden from businesses to homeowners. But that could prove little comfort when new property valuations are issued this fall for the 2009 tax year, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business's Ontario vice-president, Judith Andrew. "If there are really trendy spots that are seeing values go way up ... their share of the total assessment pie goes up and their share of the tax bill goes up too. That's bad news for retailers, even if they're renting," Ms. Andrew said. As independents are being priced out of hot neighbourhoods, cashed-up chains and luxury or trendy brands are moving in, Mr. Crombie said. "There's no question that there's a [residential] filling-in, and they're saying it's more of an affluent consumer coming down," he said. That's an irresistible prospect for big-brand players Queen Street West is a perfect example of the cycle. The city's best-known shopping strip is full of chains, such as Gap, H&M, Zara, Billabong and HMV, that use cheaper, globally homogeneous product to nab the city's disposable income. Brand flagships are getting in on the action too, with Mexx opening its own storefront and Crocs about to do the same. As they move in, the displaced stores seek cheaper locations. Historically, that has meant moving farther west. Now, Queen Street is threatening to run out of western succour. Just look to Parkdale's speedy transformation from blighted hovel to boho-chic haven. "I think there's a frustration for the smaller ma-and-pa regional players, but what can you do? It's really only following consumer behaviour," Mr. Crombie said. "... I've never seen such an interest in downtown street properties." At the start of last year, the Greater Toronto Area had almost 185 million square feet of retail real estate, more than two-thirds of which was in shopping centres and big-box stores. Until now, suburban malls held the most appeal to retailers. But that changed for Toronto in 2007, according to Cushman & Wakefield LePage's annual report. Vacancies on retail strips dipped to 8.4 per cent in 2007, down from 8.5 per cent the previous year and 9.7 per cent five years previous. Meanwhile, vacancies in shopping centres rose to 7.4 per cent, up from 6.7 per cent in 2006. Danforth BIA president Glyn Laverick said it's essential that small businesses be given a helping hand if they are to survive. "There's not an awful lot of support from an institutional or governmental level for small business. There's really not a plethora of grants available if you're not opening a manufacturing company," Mr. Laverick said. One hopeful note is that there are still plenty of people bellying up for the challenge. While the Danforth BIA has lost 37 businesses since January, 2007, 29 others have opened up. NICHE IS THE WORD Studio Brillantine owner Ferdinand Suzara spent last Christmas doing a bit of shopping of his own. Eleven years after establishing the retail beachhead on West Queen West, the design boutique owner was on the hunt for a new 'hood. Not that there was anything wrong with his spot just west of Ossington: He had hoped to buy the building from his landlord, as they had discussed, but his landlord was in no rush to sell. And who could blame him? That part of town will soon welcome hundreds of new residents as part of the City of Toronto's Queen West Triangle densification plan. Mr. Suzara started looking elsewhere, snapping up a more affordable building in Parkdale instead. Studio Brillantine and its inventory of leading-edge design products had opened long before Ossington's hipster influx. So the posters announcing the move shocked the neighbourhood. "Our whole block is up for sale. It's just in the air for this block," Mr. Suzara said as he started preparing for the August move. The south-Roncesvalles area his store is moving to still holds the edgy appeal of Queen West's earlier days, he said, but the clock is ticking. By his reckoning, the chain stores will start arriving in five or 10 years. As the cycle gains speed, independents scramble to seek out the last shrinking oases of affordability. The Danforth's Carrot Common is one such hub. Roncesvalles Avenue where it meets Queen West is quickly becoming another. Shannon Doyle moved her gourmet nook The Mercantile to "Roncy" in May, despite having a legion of loyal customers on College Street. But the rental of her tiny College storefront was about to jump 45 per cent, by her calculations (a figure with which her landlord disagrees), and there was no way she could keep up. Plus, the College strip she had entered in 1999 had disappeared in a slew of bars. It was time to go. "You're really watching businesses move or close," said the diminutive Ms. Doyle, now happily serving her new regulars. " ... They're just flipping every year. You want to say to a landlord, 'Why not just have a good tenant and work with them?' "It has to stop eventually, or everything's a Gap." Space: the final frontier Source: Cushman & Wakefield LePage Toronto Retail Strips: Average Overall Vacancy 2002 - 9.7% 2006 - 8.5% 2007- 8.4% Retail Strip Examples: Vacancy Over 5 Years Yorkville 2002 - 10% 2007 - 7.7% Chinatown 2002 - 8.6% 2007 - 8.2% Pape & Danforth 2002 - 15% 2007 - 9% Yonge & Wellesley 2002 - 8.3% 2007 - 9.1% Dundas & Dufferin 2002 - 13.7% 2007 - 12.9% Source: Cushman and Wakefield LePage
  14. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/dollarama-invests-in-new-warehouse-in-montreal-and-revises-capex-guidance-for-fiscal-2017-567425461.html MONTRÉAL, Feb. 2, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Dollarama Inc. (TSX: DOL) ("Dollarama" or the "Corporation") announced today that its Board of Directors approved an investment of approximately $60 million in the construction of a new warehouse in Montreal, Quebec. The new 500,000 square-foot warehouse will be located in the Lachine borough near the intersection of highways 13 and 520, in close proximity to Dollarama's existing, centralized warehousing and distribution operations. The new facility will increase Dollarama's total warehousing capacity by approximately 40% on a square footage basis, thereby accommodating capacity requirements as the Corporation continues to expand its store network.
  15. plannersweb.com/2014/02/walmart-stores-go-small-urban/ <header style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Minion W01 Regular', Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 21px;"> Taking a Closer Look Walmart Stores Go Small and Urban by Edward McMahon </header>Can big box retailers think outside the box? A few years ago the idea of a pedestrian friendly big box store would have been laughable, but as urban living has become more popular the major chain retailers are paying attention and beginning to build urban format stores. On December 4, 2013 Walmart opened its first two stores in Washington, DC and the new stores illustrate the lengths to which brick and mortar retailers will go to get into rapidly growing urban markets. Compared to the old “grey-blue battleship box” that has saturated suburban and small town America, the new urban Walmart on H Street, NW in Washington is a remarkable departure. <figure id="attachment_13030" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">View of Walmart on H Street, NW in Washington, DC. Photo by Edward McMahon.</figcaption></figure> Whether you love them or loathe them, this building proves that Walmart — one of the most recognizable symbols of modern suburbia — is going urban. Who ever thought that Walmart shoppers could sleep upstairs and shop downstairs, but that is exactly what residents of the new Walmart near downtown Washington will be able to do. The 83,000 square ft. store built in partnership with JBG Rosenfeld is in a mixed use building topped by four stories of apartments. Instead of acres of asphalt, the parking is underground. In addition to the Walmart, there is another 10,000 square ft. of retail space wrapped around the outside of the retail giant. Retail tenants currently include a Starbucks and a bank, with more to follow. The residential portion of the building contains 303 apartments, a fitness center, a lounge area, a roof deck, and a swimming pool. <figure id="attachment_13034" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">View of roof deck and pool on top of the H Street Walmart in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of JBG Companies.</figcaption></figure>The main store entrance sits right on the sidewalk and shoppers will use an escalator to reach the store level. The store itself offers more groceries than a typical Walmart and the shopping floor is day lighted by real windows. Designed by MV+A Architects and the Preston Partnership, the H Street Walmart is a handsome urban building with traditional human scale details. It includes cornices, individual multi-pane windows, an interesting corner feature at the main entrance, and a separate entrance for residents. It is a fully urban, pedestrian friendly building. Whether you love them or loathe them, this building proves that Walmart — one of the most recognizable symbols of modern suburbia — is going urban. While the H Street store is by far the better of the two new urban Walmart’s in Washington, the other new store on Georgia Avenue, NW is also a significant departure from the typical suburban store design. Built on the site of an abandoned car dealership, the Georgia Avenue Walmart is a 102,000 square foot store on a four acre site. <figure id="attachment_13036" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">View of the new Walmart on Georgia Avenue in Washington, DC. Photo by Edward McMahon.</figcaption></figure>Given the small size of the property, the only way to build a large store was to eliminate surface parking and bring the store right up to the sidewalk. The parking is located in a garage located directly below the store. While the building is not mixed use, it does greet the street and represent a real evolution for Walmart. The lesson here is that cities that want good design are going to have to demand it. In addition to the two stores that opened in December, 2013, Walmart has announced plans for four additional stores in Washington. Based on a review of their plans, some will be walkable, urban format stores, others will not. Dan Malouff, a design critic with the Greater Greater Washington blog, says that one will be unquestionably urban, one will be a hybrid, and two will be almost completely suburban. 1 The lesson here is that cities that want good design are going to have to demand it. <figure id="attachment_13042" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">Design rendering of Walmart now under construction in Washington’s Fort Totten neighborhood. Graphic courtesy of JBG Companies.</figcaption></figure>Building an Urban Format Store Can Walmart build an urban format store? The answer appears to be yes, but it also appears that the only thing standard in an urban format big box store is its lack of standardization. Building suburban big box stores is simple. Buy a 20 acre suburban greenfield site. Build a large, free standing rectangular single floor building on a concrete slab. Plop the building in a sea of parking. A Walmart Supercenter in the suburbs of Atlanta, for example, is essentially identical to one in the suburbs of Chicago or Cincinnati. This model simply won’t work in a dense urban area. The two things that have kept Walmart out of cities were its inflexibility on design issues and opposition from labor unions and civic activists who oppose the company because of its low wages and negative impact on existing local businesses. Now that it appears that Walmart is willing (when pushed by local government) to adapt its stores to the urban environment, it is likely only a matter of time before the retail giant moves into cities all over the country. <figure id="attachment_13043" class="thumbnail wp-caption alignleft" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px; width: 320px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago’s Loop. photo by Eric Allix Rogers, Flickr Creative Commons license.</figcaption></figure>Big Boxes are Getting Smaller Another thing that is clear is that big boxes are getting smaller. The new 80,000 square ft. Walmart in Washington is half the size of many suburban Supercenters. What’s more, Walmart is creating new formats uniquely designed for cities. The new Walmart Neighborhood Market, for example, is only 40,000 square feet while the so-called Walmart Express stores are only 15,000 square feet. Walmart has even opened two college stores, at Georgia Tech in Atlanta 2 and at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 3 Each of these stores is less than 5000 square feet in size. [TABLE=class: tg, width: 475] <tbody>[TR] [TH=class: tg-acmm, bgcolor: #F1C40F]Store Type[/TH] [TH=class: tg-acmm, bgcolor: #F1C40F]Square Footage[/TH] [TH=class: tg-acmm, bgcolor: #F1C40F]Date Initiated[/TH] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Discount Store[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]106,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]1962[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Supercenter[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]182,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]1982[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Neighborhood Market[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]38,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]1998[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Express Store[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]15,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]2011[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]College Store[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]Under 5,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]2013[/TD] [/TR] </tbody>[/TABLE] Times have changed. The country’s largest retailers have oversaturated rural and suburban communities. The only place left with more spending power than stores is in our cities. Walmart has made its urban debut. The outstanding question remaining is: what impact will Walmart have on local economies and wages? Washington, DC, City Councilman Phil Mendelson, a co-sponsor of unsuccessful legislation that would have required big box retailers to pay a living wage and benefits, expressed skepticism about the impact of Walmart on the local economy. “I would say, having the world’s largest retailer interested in locating in the city where we’ve lost almost every other department store over the last four decades — that’s a good thing. Having an economic competitor who underprices the market and causes a descent to the bottom, in terms of wages — that is not a good thing.”4 While Walmart is clearly evolving to fit into cities, there is also evidence that the retail giant is willing to break the mold in smaller towns and suburbs. What About Smaller Towns & Suburbs? While Walmart is clearly evolving to fit into cities, there is also evidence that the retail giant is willing to break the mold in smaller towns and suburbs. This is because retail store size is shrinking due to the growth of internet shopping and also because suburbs are changing to stay competitive. Target, Whole Foods, Safeway, Giant, and other chains are already breaking the rules by building smaller footprint stores in multi-story buildings and mixed use developments. Walmart has recently opened several small town stores with parking under the building or with solar installations on the roof. What impact Walmart and other big box retailers will have on cities and the neighborhoods where they locate remains to be seen. Harriet Tregoning, the planning Director in Washington, DC, says that “Walmart does not offer any meaningful shopping experience. It competes solely on price and convenience.” 5Her message to small businesses is that “if you are in direct competition with Walmart you are in the wrong business to begin with.” Instead she says “businesses that offer something Walmart can’t like bars, restaurants and stores selling specialty goods or offering personalized levels of service — will continue to thrive.” In some ways, the idea of national chains opening big new urban stores is a return to the way things once were. In 1960, we called it department store. Today we call it a Walmart. Ed McMahon is one of the country’s most incisive analysts of planning and land use issues and trends. He holds the Charles Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development and is a Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC. McMahon is a frequent speaker at conferences on planning and land development. Over the past 21 years, we’ve been pleased to have published more than two dozen articles by McMahon in the Planning Commissioners Journal, and now on PlannersWeb.com. Notes: Dan Maloutt, “Walmart’s 6 DC stores: Some will be urban, some won’t” (Greater Greater Washington blog, April 26, 2012) ↩ Allison Brooks, “The world’s tiniest Walmart opens in Atlanta” (Atlanta Magazine, Aug. 14, 2013 ↩ Todd Gill, “Now open: Walmart on Campus” (Fayetteville Flyer, Jan. 14, 2011).↩ Ryan Holeywell, “Walmart Makes Its Urban Debut” (Governing Magazine, June 2012) ↩ Id. ↩
  16. MONTREAL - It’s the talk of downtown: big changes are said to be coming to Ogilvy’s and Holt Renfrew. The buzz is that Holt’s will close in its current location, move into Ogilvy’s, and the Art Deco Holt building will become condos. Sales staff in the area worry about their jobs, while merchants wonder what effect the loss of a retail anchor on Sherbrooke St. W. would have on the foot traffic for boutiques on Crescent and de la Montagne Sts. The rumours come after Selfridges Group Ltd., owners of Holt Renfrew, acquired Ogilvy’s this summer. Terms for the sale, which closed on Sept. 8, were not disclosed. The sale came just a year after a consortium of Quebec real estate investors bought the historic department store. “As of now, it’s business as usual for both,’’ said Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, a spokesman for SGL, part of the billionaire Weston family’s empire. The Toronto family also owns Selfridges department store in the United Kingdom, stores in Ireland and the Netherlands, and controls Canada’s Loblaw grocery chain. An Ogilvy’s branch at Quartier Dix30 had been set to open next August. SGL still plans to open a store in Phase 3 of the South Shore mall, but no date for the opening has been set, said Lamoureux of National Public Relations. “Rumour is rumour,’’ said Ogilvy president Michel Théroux. “There’s no way to kill a rumour.” “The owners are studying a lot of scenarios,’’ Théroux said, emphasizing he has no information on any changes. He, too, tells employees it’s business as usual. A retail analyst, as well as executives speaking off the record, say that merging Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy’s stores is logical. The big question, said one source, is the future of Ogilvy’s as a heritage brand. “They’re not looking to walk away from it as brand, but it won’t be the name on the door,’’ the source said, adding that Ogilvy’s has great recognition and appeals to many people who don’t shop at Holt’s. “Heritage and tradition is worth something, but at the end of the day – I don’t know. We’re all waiting.” Holt’s has about 64,000 square feet of selling space compared with Ogilvy’s 120,000 square feet. About 80 per cent of Ogilvy’s is leased to boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Ports, Les Chaussures Ogilvy (actually run by Jean-Paul Fortin shoes) and the large Design Louis George boutique on the fourth floor. Holt’s, with 11 stores across Canada, leases space to Hermès, Chanel, Links, Max Mara and the fur boutique. The future of many of those leased boutiques is at risk, a source said, wondering how the brands from the two stores will be merged. The source said Holt Renfrew has to face up to competition across Canada and in Montreal, with U.S. chains moving in and with the online shopping onslaught . “It’s time for a wow store in Montreal,’’ the source said. “I don’t know where the bagpipes will be.” Whatever is in store is years away, observers say. Asked whether Montreal can afford two high-end department stores, consumer analyst Neil Linsdell said there is definitely enough money here. “But when you get on that very high end, you’re not competing with everyone else in Montreal, because you probably have more travelled customers,’’ said Linsdell, of investment bank Versant Partners. “To a certain extent, you’re probably competing with London, New York.” In every sector, the selection is greater in the U.S., he added. “You can be very successful at either end of the market, high end or low end. Everybody is being squeezed in the middle,’’ Linsdell said. “High end is probably a better place to be.’’ To Théroux, Montreal has had room for the two high-end stores in the past, so he sees no reason that should not be in the case in the future. That said, Montreal is a small market and not a shopping destination for well-heeled tourists. “It’s not Toronto, it’s not New York. So you have to be a little bit different – offer things that people enjoy and like. We have to be humble,’’ he said. “Let’s address quality for the Montreal market.’’ He said the Louis Vuitton boutique at Ogilvy’s does very well; its accessories are affordable for many people. “But can we have a Prada boutique (with a) full assortment, etc., etc.? I’m not sure.” Real estate agent Liza Kaufman, who sells the adjacent Ritz condos, had heard the rumours, too. She said she thinks nobody really knows the plan. “There is going to be a Holt Renfrew,’’ she said. “Holt’s is a national brand. Ogilvy’s is only local. I do love Holt Renfrew. I love the location, obviously. Having said that, the store is small.’’ She and her clients travel and do a lot of their shopping elsewhere, she said, for the greater selection and the better prices. Kaufman said she thinks it’s business as usual for five years. As for possible changes to the real estate on Sherbrooke St. W., she suggested storefronts could remain on Sherbrooke St. W. even if the building becomes condos. “I would hope that other retailers take over that space if Holt’s does move,’’ Kaufman said. Linsdell noted that the demographics of an aging population favour the construction of more condos in the downtown area. And on the city council side: “There seems to be a war on the commuter.” Linsdell does not predict a major backlash from Montrealers by a move to Ogilvy’s by Holt Renfrew. It could be considered just a real estate play, he said, with Holt’s moving to the much roomier Ogilvy quarters and not losing that much in the availability of product.“There’s the immediate payoff on the real estate, selling it to a condo developer,’’ he said. Last week, the Quartier du Musée association staged a fashion show featuring designers in the area. Marie Rouzaud, coordinator of the group, said the goal is to keep designers and artisans – be it fashion or chocolate – and small businesses in the area. “We suffered because of the construction. Everywhere downtown is difficult, because parking is expensive, taxes are high,’’ Rouzaud said. “It’s hard to survive. Boutiques close, and big chains come in. Downtown must keep its authenticity,’’ she said. “If Holt Renfrew moves, it will be sad for the quartier.’’ The arrival of Montreal’s first Anthropologie, a U.S. chain store with a devoted following, and Tiffany’s jewellers is seen as good news in the short term. Both are expected to open early next year, Anthropologie next to Holt’s on de la Montagne, Tiffany’s in the new Ritz condo project on Sherbrooke. Designer Michel Desjardins, who opened a bright atelier-boutique on Crescent St. two years ago, said he likes the shopping corridor created by Holt’s and Ogilvy’s from Sherbrooke to Ste. Catherine St. “The circuit would be broken,’’ he said, if Holt’s were to wind up on Ste. Catherine, which he characterizes as less luxe than Sherbrooke. For Sally Yep, a boutique owner on de la Montagne, it’s difficult to imagine the merging of the two stores. “You always think of them as being separate fashion visions. I have the impression that Holt’s is going to stay strong,’’ she said. “Holt is the dominant brand. Ogilvy has more tradition.” Another merchant, not wishing to be named, also spoke of the different characters of the two stores. “It would be terrible without a free-standing Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy,’’ she said. “There is a clientele that is loyal to these stores.’’ http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/changes+predicted+Ogilvy+Holt+Renfrew/5756714/story.html
  17. jesseps

    Shoes

    I know this is a weird topic but hey, it was bound to happen. At Cours Mont Royal, there is a new shoe store that opened up called Minelli from France. Its their first North American store, but it seems like its their first store in the Americas. If your looking for shoes, go check it out. The prices are reasonable (by my standards). I got a pair good quality leather shoes, that also have a leather sole and that are made in Portugal. Some other ones are made in Spain, Italy and maybe in France. The size range is from 40 to 45 (no half sizes). If I heard the sales person correctly, each size only gets 6 pairs. Honestly we finally have a middle market. No more looking at Aldo or Harry Rosen for shoes. :goodvibes:
  18. Metro name to be largest in Canada with consolidation of five banners in Ontario 48 minutes ago MONTREAL — Venerable grocery banners Dominion and A&P will soon disappear as Canada's third-largest surpermarket chain, Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU.A), plans to consolidate five store names in Ontario under the Metro moniker, born 47 years ago in Quebec. Metro will become the most common supermarket name in Canada, boasting 376 stores in Quebec and Ontario, after 158 stores in Canada's largest province are converted over the next 15 months. Metro will have 376 stores in Quebec and Ontario, after 158 stores in Canada's largest province are converted over the next 15 months. The move supplants IGA as the most common grocery banner, although that chain's stores are owned and operated by different companies across the country. Metro announced Thursday it will spend $200 million to rebrand its stores in Ontario, where the company had been operating under the A&P, Dominion, Loeb, The Barn and Ultra banners. "For Quebecers, it's good news to see a banner that we know well establish itself in Ontario to become the largest banner in Ontario," CEO Eric La Fleche said in an interview. The change will see the disappearance from Canada's retail landscape two venerable grocery names: Dominion and A&P. The conversion will start next month with the rebranding of 49 Dominion stores in Toronto. Hamilton will then lose The Barn, followed by the removal of Ultra in Guelph and Burlington. By the end of 2008, 60 stores will be converted. Loeb will disappear early next year before A&P is converted by the end of 2009. The long-awaited change comes as the Ontario grocery market is in the midst of intense competition, which has driven down profits as chains have been forced to lower their prices to win or keep customers. Besides pressure from the two biggest national grocers, Loblaws (TSX:L) and Sobey's (TSX:EMP.A), Metro faces challenges from U.S.-based department store operator Wal-Mart and Toronto-based Shoppers Drug Mart (TSX:SC), which have both increased their grocery sales. "We think that in Ontario we will be stronger with one banner than with five and we think that the $200 million that we will invest in our stores will help us to better compete in that market," said La Fleche, who recently took over from longtime CEO Pierre Lessard. The only banner not included in the change is Food Basics, which competes in the discount food segment of the grocery market. There are also no immediate plans to open the Metro Plus banner or Brunet in-store pharmacies in larger Ontario stores. No store closures are forecast. The banner consolidation will produce savings by allowing the company to publish one flyer and market one store name. "I think you get more bang for your buck under one name. You can build better equity and more brand awareness across the province and have a more consistent shopping experience across the province," he said. While some stores will only be "refreshed," others will receive major upgrades. Metro's private label brands Selection and Irresistibles will continue to be added to store shelves. Newly stylized Metro signs will be added to Quebec locations over the next two to three years. La Fleche said the name on the store is secondary for consumers than the entire shopping experience. "They want to buy from people they know and trust. They want to buy good product and they want fair price. That's what we're all about and this move is about making that even better." The banner consolidation comes nearly three years after Metro purchased A&P Canada. It recently conducted extensive consumer research and considered maintaining two banner names. The decision was delayed a few months as the company tackled internal IT systems conversions and intense market pressures in Ontario. "We had a lot of work to do to set the foundation and be in a position to do these kinds of moves," La Fleche said. Operating under one banner could make it easier for Metro to eventually expand operations but the company said there are no immediate plans for acquisitions in Western Canada. Metro hopes the changes will improve its financial results, but wouldn't disclose targets. In its financial statement Thursday, the chain reported it earned $92.6 million for the latest quarter, up 3.7 per cent from $89.3 million for the corresponding 2007 period. Sales jumped just under one per cent to $3.37 billion from $3.34 billion for the corresponding quarter last year. Excluding decreased sales of tobacco products, sales were up 1.5 per cent over last year. Earnings per share rose to 82 cents compared with 77 cents last year, an increase of 6.5 per cent. "We resolved the issues associated with our new information systems in Ontario and achieved good performance in our Quebec operations," said La Fleche. With annual sales of nearly $11 billion and a workforce exceeding 65,000, Metro is Quebec's second biggest grocer and a growing food retailer in Ontario. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Metro shares rose $1.33 to $26.77, a gain of 5.23 per cent. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ METRO deviendra la plus importante bannière alimentaire en Ontario Un investissement de 200 millions $ pour regrouper les supermarchés de la compagnie sous la bannière Metro Toronto, le 7 août 2008 : METRO Inc. (TSX :MRU.A) a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’à partir de septembre 2008, elle regrouperait ses cinq bannières de supermarchés conventionnels en Ontario sous la bannière Metro. Le lancement de la bannière Metro en Ontario sera soutenu par un investissement de 200 millions $, dédié à la rénovation des magasins, à l’amélioration de l’offre alimentaire, ainsi qu’à la réalisation d’une campagne de marketing pour créer, avec ses 158 épiceries, la bannière alimentaire la plus importante de la province. La conversion des bannières Dominion, A&P, Loeb, The Barn et Ultra sous la bannière Metro sera effectuée d’ici les quinze prochains mois. Les magasins Food Basics ne sont pas touchés par ce changement, puisqu’ils œuvrent dans le secteur des magasins d’escompte. « La décision de lancer la marque Metro en Ontario fait partie d’une stratégie à long terme visant à capitaliser sur l’efficacité des activités d’exploitation et de marketing en unissant les forces individuelles des bannières existantes en Ontario et en mettant en commun les meilleures pratiques de nos magasins du Québec et de l’Ontario », a expliqué Eric La Flèche, Président et chef de la direction de METRO Inc. La transition vers Metro débutera en septembre à Toronto avec la conversion des magasins Dominion, de sorte que les magasins Dominion, Ultra et The Barn seront convertis avant la fin de 2008. La conversion des magasins Loeb suivra au cours des six premiers mois de 2009 et celle des magasins A&P avant la fin de 2009. Lorsque le programme de consolidation de la bannière sera complété, le réseau de magasins Metro sera constitué de 376 supermarchés conventionnels au Québec et en Ontario, dont 218 au Québec. METRO investira 200 millions $ pour moderniser ses magasins et accroître l’offre de produits afin de mieux répondre aux préférences des consommateurs ontariens tout en continuant à offrir des prix très compétitifs. La compagnie a commencé à planifier la conversion des bannières ontariennes après l’acquisition d’A&P Canada en 2005. En prévision du projet annoncé aujourd’hui, elle a intégré ses systèmes de gestion de l’information et renforcé sa chaîne d’approvisionnement. La compagnie en profite également pour dévoiler un nouveau logo Metro qui devient le logo de la bannière ainsi que celui de la Société. « Nous sommes très heureux d’entreprendre cette nouvelle étape dans la croissance de METRO », a déclaré M. La Flèche. « Nous bâtissons sur des fondations solides, grâce à notre stratégie ciblée sur l’alimentation, à nos excellents emplacements et à une équipe d’employés soucieux d’offrir à nos clients un service exceptionnel. Nous sommes emballés par les nouveautés qui seront offertes en magasin à partir de septembre. » METRO INC. Avec un chiffre d’affaires annuel de près de 11 milliards $ et plus de 65 000 employés, METRO Inc. est un chef de file dans les secteurs alimentaire et pharmaceutique au Québec et en Ontario, où elle exploite un réseau de près de 600 marchés d’alimentation sous plusieurs bannières dont Metro, Metro Plus, Super C, A&P, Dominion, Loeb et Food Basics de même que plus de 250 pharmacies sous les bannières Brunet, Clini Plus, The Pharmacy et Drug Basics.
  19. Man Enters Brothel To Find Wife Working There Thursday January 10, 2008 CityNews.ca Staff A Polish man got the shock of his life Wednesday when he did something he knows he shouldn't have - cheated on his wife. The unnamed gentleman decided to visit a Warsaw brothel and take advantage of the services provided in the not-so-legal establishment. But when he walked in the door, any lascivious thoughts he may have had turned to anger, after he recognized one of the people working inside - his own spouse. It turns out his wife had decided to make a little extra money on the side, telling her husband she was working at a nearby store to explain where she disappeared to every day and where her supply of cash came from. "I was dumfounded. I thought I was dreaming," the husband told a local newspaper. The couple has been married for 14 years, but it's unlikely they'll be celebrating a 15th anniversary. After their mutual discovery of what each other was up to, they've now filed for divorce.
  20. EQ3 has launched in Montreal I have been a fan of EQ3 for a while but with no store in the town where I am living, I was more an observer than a participant. Until now! Yesterday, on my way out of Ze Apéro Montreal event, I spot the front window of EQ3 just in front of Meat Market. That is a lot of unfamiliar names for people that do not reside in Montreal. Ze Apéro is a monthly happy hour gathering for the young professional jungle of Montreal. Meat Market is a hip meat restaurant bar. EQ3 provides affordable furniture and home décor accessories to modern design conscious consumers. Tableware and barware collections There are many things that you can grab for your next party. Start with the latest SCRIPT clear glassware collection with its golden shapes. These types of glass plates are all the rage over the last year or two. The trend does not really died since designers always invent new patterns for several brands. That is how this idea is kept fresh. The latest by EQ3 are the KHOKHLOMA Plates. The color palette feels very autumnal. A sense of refinement and coolness emerge from the WILA Plate Set of three different sizes and the original WILA Fruit Tray. They are simple enough to not steal the show to the food but the design is strong enough to make a statement by itself. The REPLAY Ottoman Tray is a product that has a few years in age but that I feel as aged well. Maybe it is because I always wanted one but it does not fit my décor right now. I will show you soon some inspiration pictures by EQ3 for Holiday decoration and gift ideas. I know it is too early to think about Christmas decorating but what I have to show you deserve it. It has entertaining in style written all over it. Address of the new Montreal EQ3 Store: 4428 Boulevard Saint-Laurent | Montreal, QC H2W 1Z5 T 514.982.9992 Where to find EQ3? EQ3 showrooms are located across Canada in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, London, Ottawa, Burlington and Montreal. EQ3 is a Canadian brand that introduced an innovative and affordable furniture concept with an European design flair. This is the best alternative to IKEA. In the United States, EQ3 stores can be found in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Grand Rapids, Richmond, Norfolk, Charlotte and Phoenix, amongst other locations. Sourcing: Glassware: SCRIPT Decanter at EQ3 - price: $24.99 Glassware: SCRIPT DOF whiskey / juice glass at EQ3 - price: $6.99 each Serving ware: KHOKHLOMA Plate at EQ3 – starting at $14.99 for the small Serving ware: WILA Plate Set - price: $79.99 CAD for a set of 3 plates Serving ware: WILA Fruit Tray at EQ3 – price: $84.99 CAD Home decor: REPLAY Ottoman Tray at EQ3 – price: $79 CAD Find a shop: Store locator of EQ3
  21. (Courtesy of The Gazette) I just wish L'Occitane store wouldn't be in Westmount. I know they have a small kiosk at The Bay. We need more stores/restaurants/hotels in Montreal. - Century 21 (Department Store) - Jamba Juice - Pret a Manger Many more
  22. After all these years I think it's about time this happens. Will be located at 7250 Boul. Des Roseraies, will be located where Best Buy was. The store will be 50 000 sq feet, about the same size of Dix30 and is due to open in the summer. http://journalmetro.com/local/mercier-anjou/actualites/732002/marche-adonis-ouvrira-une-succursale-aux-galeries-danjou/
  23. MONTREAL - A battle is brewing for Quebec arts and crafts shoppers as North American giant Michaels prepares to enter the province Friday with the opening of seven stores. The move by the Texas-based retailer will put it in closer competition with homegrown DeSerres, which is opening its 18 location in the province and 28th across Canada. After three years of planning, Michaels will open stores in suburban locations in Gatineau, LaSalle, Lachenaie, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, St-Jerome, Vaudreuil-Dorion, and Laval. The move comes 17 years after it expanded into English Canada. "We wanted to make sure we were 100 per cent compliant to the rules and regulations of the Quebec government and we wanted to make sure that we were going to provide an unbelievable shopping experience to our customer," Tom Making, president of Michaels Canada, said in an interview from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. He said Michaels translated 2.5 million words to ensure that its packaging and signage was trilingual in English, French and Spanish to service customers in Quebec and the United States. Michaels has invested $20 million in the Quebec stores, hired 500 workers and developed a new store prototype that includes better lighting, wall graphics and wider aisles. It has also signed up four Quebec vendors to supply books, stamping and scrapbooking materials. The Quebec stores will offer the same merchandising as its 92 other stores in Canada, but it will target the Quebec consumer with a larger yarn department, beading area and expanded framing section. "The Quebec public is a very creative customer in crafts, in fine arts and we offer that unique shopping experience in all of our stores." Making said the arrival of Michaels will "enhance" the market along side the 104-year-old DeSerres chain. "We offer a different product line. Our objective is to bring a whole new crafting experience to the Quebec consumer and I think we will enhance one another." DeSerres president Marc DeSerres said Michaels will only have a short-term impact on a few of its nearby stores. "You always have to be concerned when someone with large means comes in your territory but I feel we are prepared," he said in an interview from Paris where he was shopping for new products. "We have a different offer, we're based here, we're Canadian-owned, we know the market and we adjust our stores based on the market." As a smaller company, DeSerres said it can bring in new products and follow trends much quicker than Michaels. While Michaels is strong in crafts, DeSerres said his stores excel at fine arts. They sell canvases made in Montreal, notebooks manufactured in Toronto and artist paints made in Canada. "(Michaels is) putting themselves close to Walmart so the selection is probably close to Walmart's and they will probably compete more with Walmart and the dollar store than us." Michaels operates more than 1,070 big box stores averaging 1,800 square metres and plans to add more stores in Quebec in the next five years. About nine per cent of its more than US$4.2 billion of sales in fiscal 2011 came from Canada. The stores carry more than 35,000 products. Nearly half its sales are in general products and children's crafts, according to its 2011 annual report. The rest is divided among home decor and seasonal, framed and scrapbooking goods. Opened in 1983, it was purchased in 2006 by private equity firms Bain Capital, founded by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and The Blackstone Group. Michaels employs about 45,300 workers, including 34,600 who are part-time and nearly 5,000 in Canada. Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Michaels had 89 other stores in Canada Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/all/Arts+crafts+retailer+entering+Quebec+market+with+seven/7229361/story.html#ixzz26J95n6OG