Friday, August 01, 2008

Open for business!

Montreal no longer has to be shadowed by Toronto to indulge in the 200 prestigious brands that Sephora has to offer. The beauty retailer opened its doors June 13 at Fairview Pointe-Claire and Promenades St-Bruno. Plans for a Carrefour Laval store is set for October 2009. Rockland Center and Galeries d’Anjou is also on the list. As for a much anticipated downtown location, it is in the works. The search is on for the required 5000+ square footage to become available. Till then, we’ll have to be contented with the commute to the outskirts or shop online.

The newly Apple store opening appeased the tech-savvy consumer in all of us. The flagship store located at 1321 Ste-Catherine Street opened with a line-up of frenzy fans July 25. It boasts a Genius Bar (expert advice), personal shopping and workshops. The first 1000 customers were offered a free t-shirt which is mega branding at its best.

The festivities continue with live musical performances. The Stills and David Usher are among past performers. The upcoming acts are:
DJ Champion - Friday, August 8;
Simple Plan - Monday, August 18;
Alfa Rococo - Wednesday, August 20;
Creature - Thursday, August 21.

This flagship is one of 10 worldwide. The other Montreal location is at Carrefour Laval which opened in 2006.

On August 14 hard-core fashionistas will be lined-up to intake the opening of the first H&M downtown location store. The Grand opening is set for noon where $10-$200 gift certificates will be offered to the first 250 attendees. All day shoppers will receive a gift-with-purchase token. The flagship store is located at the corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine offering mature work-place appropriate attire. A second downtown location is planned for August 28 which will be sporting the younger casual line.
The opening is just in time for the fall guest designer- Japanese prêt-a-porter Comme Des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo. The collection will range from men and womenswear, childrenswear, accessories and a unisex fragrance. The collaboration of Kawakubo’s artitistic and avant-garde vision with the Swedish retailer’s trendy-and-cheap approach is much anticipated. The launch is set for November 2008 beginning in Tokyo and shortly fanning out worldwide.

Lord & Taylor
Due to persistent declining sales, the Canadian iconic Hudson Bay Company has been acquired by American NRDC Equity Partners owner of the posh Lord & Taylor retailer. The plan is to convert about a dozen The Bay flagships. Therefore the downtown location store could soon be a distant memory like Eaton and Simpson. The other companies under the HBC umbrella- Home Outfitters, Zellers and Fields - are still being speculated of a conversion or possibly a sell-off. NRDC also owns Fortunoff a jewelery and home furnishing retailer.

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