Unfortunately, we keep hearing about more and more stores that are closing permanently or filing for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic. Due to global lockdowns and restrictions, it comes as no surprise that many retail spaces have had no other choice but to shutter doors. The up-side is that there are actually a bunch of brands that have expanded in Canada during this frustrating time. These companies have been able to open more store locations to offer more inventory.
Here are the top brands that have expanded in Canada during the pandemic in 2021.
The popular Italian fashion company, Golden Goose, will be opening its first standalone store in Canada in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The store will feature men, women, and children fashion, including sneakers, clothing, bags, and accessories.
The popular UK beauty brand Jo Malone London will open three standalone stores in Canada this year between May and June. Toronto will get two out of three stores which will be at CF Toronto Eaton Centre and at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and Vancouver will have the third at the CF Pacific Centre.
Canadian ready-to-wear designer Ellie Mae will be opening its first flagship store in Toronto this spring. Located at 1096 Yonge Street, the new 650-square-feet space will have a vintage feel, including rustic walls and vintage carpets. It will also be accompanied by Ellie Mae Café with seating outside for customers to enjoy.
The outdoor specialty retailer L.L.Bean is continuing its Canadian store expansion with a location opening this year in Halifax. The location will be in Dartmouth Crossing, with a new 15,000-square-foot store scheduled to open in mid-2021. Plus, the brand will be opening two stores in British Columbia and one in Alberta this year as well.
The chic jeweller, APM Monaco has leased three boutique spaces in Canada. The locations will be in Vancouver at CF Pacific Centre, in Calgary at CF Chinook Centre, and in Edmonton at West Edmonton Mall.
The beloved Canadian grocery store, Farm Boy has continued its expansion in Toronto as planned, despite the pandemic. The grocer’s latest store opened in the city’s downtown region, at Front St. and Bathurst. The store describes itself as a fresh market shopping experience, rivalling chains like Trader Joe’s in the US. That being said, it’s no wonder this Farm Boy location is the brand’s 36th shop.
The premium eyewear brand, Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO), opened its first Canadian location in Toronto earlier this year. This new location is actually the brand’s first store outside of the U.S.
Pür & Simple offers all-day breakfast made from deliciously fresh ingredients. The Quebec based chain has two new locations set to open this month at 9100 Jane Street in Vaughan and at the at Billy Bishop airport in Toronto.
Carlo’s Bakery is opening its very first bakeshop in Canada in the this spring. The brand new shop will be located in the GTA at 167 Lakeshore Road West in Port Credit, Mississauga. Canadians got their first taste of Cake Boss when Carlo’s Bakery began offering delivery in June of last year, as well as a handful of ‘Cake Boss’ vending machines that popped up in Toronto and Mississauga.
A brand new mega wellness club called Altea Active is opening in Toronto this year. The club will open sometime this fall in Liberty Village and will take over two floors of the Novus development at 25 Ordnance Street. Altea Active is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. It offers everything from Starbucks, to hot yoga, to golf simulators.
Famous for its awesome smelling hand soaps and lotions, Aesop is opening three standalone locations in the city. One shop is set to open at Yorkdale Mall, another will be located at 94 Cumberland Street in the Bloor-Yorkville area of Toronto, and the third will be at 2579 Yonge Street.
Prada has recently opened a boutique space for women on the third floor of Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal. The Prada bag and accessory boutique is also on the main floor of the store as well as a women’s footwear boutique on the second floor and a men’s on the fifth floor.
Chick-fil-A is opening two new locations in Toronto this year. The company also stated that “The restaurants will open for business later this year and will create approximately 200-250 full- and part-time job opportunities.” So, if you love the chicken sandwich chain and are looking for work, you could get a job there too!
Edgy New York City-based mens fashion brand Psycho Bunny is looking to enter the Canadian market by opening physical stores. The brand doesn’t have an exact location but Psycho Bunny is seeking retail spaces in shopping centres and high traffic areas across Canada.
Boathouse will expand into the Quebec market this year for the first time with storefronts. A lease has apparently been signed to open a Boathouse store at the Promenades Gatineau near Ottawa. The brand will also open up a location in the CF Toronto Eaton Centre where the previous Le Chateau spot was.
Triple O’s, which is a West Coast restaurant chain that specializes in burgers, fries, and shakes. The company has announced plans to launch six restaurants in the GTA in 2021 and 2022.
Costco Wholesale has opened its third Canadian Business Centre in Gloucester, Ontario. The first concept store opened in Scarborough in March 2017 and the second location is in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.
Second Cup is being bought by Foodtastic with plans to aggressively expand. Apparently, we will see over 100 new locations open up over the next three years.
Prunelle is a a Montreal-based brand that offers beautiful modern furniture and home decor. It will be opening it first retail store in Montreal this year after years of only selling online.
TUDOR, which began in 1926 by the founder of Rolex, has opened its first very North American store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The shop was originally set to open in November 2020, but due to restrictions, it wasn’t able to fully open its doors until now.
Daiso has opened a shop in downtown Vancouver at 810 Granville Street. You’ll find a wide range of products at this Japanese retailer from great-priced cosmetics to home goods. The U.S. e-commerce site launched last year, and the Canadian online shop is in the works.
A brand new Canadian pizza chain has opened its very first delivery-only location in Toronto, with other location openings planned. Pie Eyed Pizza offers delicious Detroit-style rectangular and circular pizzas.
Gucci has now opened its third Canadian store at West Edmonton Mall in Alberta. It’s in a 5,040 square foot space and between a Louis Vuitton store and a Saint Laurent.
The French women’s fashion brand ba&sh has opened a third Canadian store right in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. This follows ba&sh store openings last year in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood and in Montreal’s Westmount shopping district.
The Clarendon Trading Company has expanded to its second location at the Scarborough Town Centre. This spot originally opened in November 2020, but due to pandemic restrictions, it has been shut down until malls re-open.
The Alberta-based grocery chain, Freson Bros., has now opened its first store in Edmonton this year. It has 17 stores across the Canadian province.
After filing for bankruptcy and shuttering all operations throughout the country last year, the company now has major plans for expansion with the assistance of Thriftys Family of Brands. A total of ten store locations of Lucky Brand have already opened. These shopping centers include Vaughan Mills, Square One, and Metropolis at Metrotown. Another two retail spaces will open soon at Polo Park in Winnipeg and at CF Shops at Don Mills in Toronto. Plus, due to the partnership with Thrifty’s Family of Brands, Lucky Brand products will also be available at certain Bluenotes locations too.
The beauty company will be opening around 50 stores throughout Canada over the next three years. To date, Sephora operates over 80 stores all across the country. The strategic timing of this announcement follows Ulta Beauty’s decision to no longer expand storefronts in Canada.
The Canadian discount retailer has plans to open 41 more locations across the country, which would bring total store operations to 300. Store locations and specific dates have yet to be released, but we can expect some new Giant Tiger stores to pop up soon!
Gap’s sustainable apparel brand Athleta will be entering Canada later this year. This will be the very first time that the activewear label for women and girls will expand outside of the USA. The first two Athleta store openings will be in Toronto at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Vancouver at the Park Royal Shopping Centre. These stores should be up and running by the fall of this year.
The UK luxury brand, Alexander McQueen will be opening its very first Canadian space this year in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. You’ll find the shop in the old J.Crew store that has a main floor as well as a lower level.
The chic brand, OAK + FORT, has opened up its largest storefront yet in West Edmonton Mall in Alberta. OAK + FORT was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia and now operates over 20 locations across Canada.
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