Retail

News

Best Buy ‘lands the brand’ in Canada

The recent arrival of eight Best Buy locations in the Greater Toronto Area has proven to be ‘one of the most successful marketing openings [the retail chain] has seen in its history,’ reports Lori DeCou, director of corporate communications for the Vancouver-based Canadian subsidiary.

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‘Circus-like’ kids’ wear chain poised to shake up Canadian market

A new kid on the children’s wear block in Canada seeks to curb the impatient whining of pint-size consumers by adding sizzle where it counts – in the store. Orchestra, a Paris-based retailer, recently landed in Complexes Des Ailes in Montreal (the former Eatons space) with a 3,000-sq.-ft. shop.

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Departments fight back against specialty stores

As baby boomers age, Canada’s department stores and mass merchants are facing a conundrum: how to zero in on the nitpicky youth demographic, without turning their backs on their core middle-aged female shopper.

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Chocolate purchase doesn’t start in store

It’s 3:16 pm on a Wednesday afternoon and the abnormally fast pace of the day has finally eased now that you know your director’s plane is in the air.
Taking a de-stressing stroll through your building’s lobby, you buy a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, completely unplanned, tuck it into the palm of your hand, walk back to your office, and shut the door.

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Putting the man back in ‘mannequin’

Strolling along Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West on a hot summer’s day, you might walk right by the high-end men’s clothing store Boomer without noticing it. But what you’re not likely to miss are the current ads for the one-location store, posted in transit shelters along the same street.

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Shopping wasn’t good so The Bay makes it better

As millions of time-strapped women who juggle family and career know, shopping isn’t good and in many cases it isn’t even fun. Women want style, fashion and quality in whatever they buy, but often can’t afford it when they find it.
Gord Sonnenberg, VP of marketing at The Bay, says women in focus groups relayed this information.

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IKEA creed overcomes barriers

You can say what you like about those IKEA people. God knows I have. IKEA has always struck me as the first place you go when you know your marriage is toast and you’re moving out and you know the support payments in the eventual separation agreement are going to kill you financially.

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Brands draw on art in lifestyle campaigns

I walk into a groovy little warehouse space in Kensington Market called Presto. It looks like any Toronto hotspot: a devil-may-care mix of collage art, mismatched vintage furniture and turntables. But as I glance over at the athletic gear lining the walls beneath the graffiti and the huge document which proclaims: ‘This venue is supported by Nike, to support the launch of our Presto brand,’ I realize this is no ordinary hipster hang-out. Welcome to the new age of experiential marketing.

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Retailers experiment with new store concepts

In today’s highly competitive climate, retailers are constantly looking for new ways to grab pieces of the retail pie – often by attempting to reach different demographics through innovative new store concepts.
‘It’s all part of the process of evolution,’ says Richard Talbot, a retail analyst at Talbot Consultants in Unionville, Ont. ‘Successful retailers are always coming up with new concepts and designs. If you don’t move forward quickly you end up like the dinosaurs.’ Scaling down is one current trend that appears to be on the rise.

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Canadians enthusiastic about design

The majority of Canadians probably don’t realize that homegrown talent Karim Rashid is the brainchild behind the Garbo trash can that has been all the rage the last few years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a penchant for design. One need only check out the number of design-related North American titles at the nearest Indigo for proof that it has become an explosive topic in this country.
Many Canadian firms and retailers are hoping to capitalize on this enthusiasm by serving up nifty household merchandise for consumers. But unlike in previous years where the demographic bulls-eye was the exclusive, boutique-browsing set, these days the focus is also the mainstream crowd, including those who prefer to shop at the Wal-Marts of the world.

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How would you market private-label brands within a retail environment?

While some retailers such as Minneapolis-based discount giant Target thrive on a diet of 80% private brands, others seem to be overwhelmed by too many indistinguishable and unrecognizable names. Target’s New York-based rival, Kmart, which has long promoted its private-label portfolio, filed for bankruptcy in January after fighting a losing battle against Target and global retail leader Wal-Mart.

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How can retailers create a distinctive and profitable store environment?

At the new Ailes de la Mode store in downtown Montreal, tot-toting moms can drop their brood at the nursery, and weary shoppers can unwind in a piano lounge or catch a free flick in the 49-seat theatre.
Parent company Boutiques San Francisco’s mantra is to offer consumers an environment at the specialty store chain that they can’t get elsewhere, explains communications director Diane Jubinville. ‘We’re trying to reinvent what shopping can be,’ she says. ‘Our promise is to constantly surprise people. We want them to spend more time with us, and enjoy being at Les Aisles.’

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Stores that add story

For this issue’s ‘Counterstrategy’ (see p. 2) several experts were asked to cite major Canadian fashion retailers who are doing a phenomenal job with their in-store design. What Strategy found is this: despite the fact that other industries – including groceries, books and coffee – have revolutionized in-store marketing practices, the clothing industry, forever on the cusp when it comes to runway trends, is actually behind on this curve.

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Canadian Tire hopes to nail kitchenware category with private label

Canadian Tire might conjure up thoughts of, well, tires, along with other ‘toys for boys’ like drills and electric saws, but did you know that it also sells dishes and table linens?

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HMV dials up radio to support madness + mayhem

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