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  #101  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2005, 4:04 PM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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I am glad VIRGIN is gone.

Who needs another mega chain that is found in every city.

I will shop local at SAM SAM THE RECORD MAN, which has one of the best selections anywhere.

The weird thing I find is visiting other cities that have no local mega music stores anymore, like SAM SAM THE RECORD MAN.

I remember being in Chicago(which I love), and the only mega music store was VIRGIN.

LOCAL, LOCAL.

The only time I shop HMV is if SAM does not have the CD I want.
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  #102  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2005, 9:51 AM
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Sam the Record Man was once a national chain. I know there were several locations in the Ottawa and Montréal areas, and there was a flagship on Ste-Catherine O. too!
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  #103  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2005, 9:53 AM
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I wonder if they (Virgin) decided to exit Canada after losing the Metropolis site to Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It was after all, the only site they had for expansion in Canada. Or maybe it took too long to build. Or did CMHF take the site after Virgin decided it was going to leave.
____________________
Virgin's withdrawal music to HMV's ears

By MARINA STRAUSS
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 Updated at 12:56 AM EDT
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

While a flashy music retailing icon is pulling out of Canada, the country's dominant merchant in the sector is mapping out expansion plans — even as the industry is being hit by competition from discounters and on-line music downloaders.

HMV Canada Inc., with 102 stores here, is eyeing another 50 over the next several years. At the same time, it is snapping up the Vancouver mega-outlet soon to be abandoned by Richard Branson's Virgin Entertainment Group Inc. “While there are, of course, challenges in the market today, as there are in many industries, we are of the opinion that there are also opportunities, and we are actively pursuing those,” Humphrey Kadaner, president of HMV Canada, said in an e-mail interview.

HMV was helped by its decision about two years ago to bolster the number of DVDs it carries.

Meanwhile, British parent HMV Group PLC closed the last of its money-losing U.S. stores late last year — having abandoned that market just before Virgin decided to exit Canada.

It's an example of how global retailers must sometimes turn up the volume in countries where they can dominate, and switch off in markets where they can't be a leader, said David Gray, a retailing consultant at Sixth Line Solutions in Vancouver.

He said Virgin has made a conscious decision to focus on its U.S. superstores, while HMV is doing what it can to boost the business in Canada.

In an industry as tough as music retailing, something had to give, he said. “It's just been a bad stretch for music,” Mr. Gray said. “The guys that really get squeezed are the retailers.”

It was almost nine years ago that the flamboyant Mr. Branson rappelled down the side of the five-storey building, spraying champagne onto the crowd during a celebrity-studded event to mark Virgin music stores entry into Canada.

But it was risky from the start. After all, Vancouver has been one of the most competitive music markets, with perpetual price wars that have led to some of the lowest prices in the world, according to a number of observers.

“I don't see anything on the horizon that suggests a real turnaround in the fundamentals of the industry,” Mr. Gray said.

Despite the challenges, HMV Canada has seen improvements.

Its parent reported Tuesday that the Canadian division's annual sales of about $370-million rose, on a same-store basis, by 13.5 per cent in the year ended April 30. For the seven weeks ended June 18, same-store sales jumped 12.3 per cent. Same-store sales are those at outlets open a year or more, and are considered a key barometer in retailing.

More than 40 per cent of HMV Canada's sales now comprise DVDs, and that business is growing, Mr. Kadaner said.

He is also closely following the parent company's move into the digital world. In late 2004, HMV Group teamed with Microsoft Corp. to develop software for the retailer's new digital downloading service for Britain. It is to be rolled out in September.

Music retailers have been forced to find new areas of growth — especially in DVDs — over the past few years to deal with the challenges in their core field.

The pressure was evident in early 2005 when the venerable A&B Sound Ltd. of Vancouver filed for bankruptcy protection. It was another victim of Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Best Buy Canada and others, all selling music at deep discounts.

Meanwhile, everybody has had to deal with competition from free on-line music downloads.

Virgin said Tuesday that it will close its sole mega-store in Canada, never having gone ahead with a planned expansion. It had slated Toronto as its next destination for another huge outlet.

“It is not feasible to continue to run a single store in Canada any longer,” Virgin's North American entertainment division said in a statement.

The move means that Virgin will no longer make plans for stores in Canada, a spokeswoman confirmed.

It will allow Virgin to focus on investing in its U.S. business.
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  #104  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2005, 9:54 AM
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Haven't bought anything from Le Château in a looong time, but this could be a big company someday, Canada's H&M with stores internationally (like La Senza).
__________________________________________
Clothier Le Chateau wants to expand outside Canada, says president
ALLAN SWIFTWed Jun 29, 4:44 PM ET
MONTREAL (CP) - Clothing retailer Le Chateau Inc. has ambitious plans to expand its store space, put more emphasis on shoes and men's clothing and even open stores offshore, the company's annual meeting was told Wednesday.

President Emilia Di Raddo told the meeting Le Chateau intends to spend $23 million this year to open 12 to 15 new stores and renovate 20 to 25.

The company currently has 174 stores in Canada and four in the New York City area.

Di Raddo said store sizes are also increasing, as Le Chateau expands its product line to cater to older women than it used to, reflecting the aging population.

On the basis of floor space, Le Chateau expects to have 760,000 square feet in Canada by the end of 2005 and within four years, primarily through enlarging existing stores, one million square feet.

Di Raddo said Le Chateau is also going after more menswear sales, which currently account for only 18 per cent of its sales to adults. The president wants to drive that up to 37 per cent, by standalone stores and with more space inside women's stores.

These measures should compensate for a plunge in sales aimed at girls eight to 14, as industry sales declined and Le Chateau lost market share to big department stores like Wal-Mart.

Herschel Segal, founder, chairman and chief executive, said the company is negotiating with a major retailer to try three Le Chateau stores in another country, on a franchise basis.

A fifth store will be opened this fall in the United States, in New Jersey, even though its other four U.S. stores are not doing well.

"I think this (new store) will tell us what we can do and how far we can go in the States," Segal said.

"There's a lot more to do in Canada, but we're looking globally."

Shares in Le Chateau (TSX:CTU.SV.A) advanced $3.39 on Wednesday to $41.39, a gain of nine per cent.

Although there are no more restrictions on clothing imports from Asia as of Jan. 1, Le Chateau still makes half of its clothing in its own sewing plants in Montreal.

Di Raddo said this is a competitive advantage because domestic manufacturing provides a shorter delay in getting new clothes into stores from the factory. The company can also test the market with small batches, reducing the risk that goes with buying a large order from overseas that doesn't sell.

A cycle from design to store delivery typically takes four weeks in Canada, compared with four months for clothing sourced in China. De Raddo is working on achieving a turnaround time of only two weeks in Canada.

In its first quarter reported two weeks ago, Le Chateau earned $4.6 million, double the previous year, as sales increased 20 per cent to $60.6 million for the three months ended last April 30.
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  #105  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2005, 1:26 PM
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Not that many Canadian success stories in US retail. I can only think of Aldo and Roots as pretty big successes.
________
Saturday » July 2 » 2005

Chateau sharpens designs on expanding abroad
Talks under way with French licensor. Fashion retail icon reports record sales here, embarks on new effort to make mark in U.S.

LYNN MOORE
The Gazette

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Flush with record sales in Canada and new ambition for lacklustre U.S. operations, fashion retail icon Le Chateau Inc. is preparing for "risk-free" exposure to international markets.

Founder and company CEO Herschel Segal told yesterday's annual meeting in Montreal that negotiations are under way with an experienced French licensor.

The initial testing of three Chateau stores in undisclosed locales could be announced within months, Segal told reporters.

"The arrangement always is that you provide the know-how and they take the complete risk because they take your merchandise and adjust it to their needs," said Segal, who described Chateau's suitor as an entity now operating a stable of 600 stores that include well-known fashion brands.

Company president Emilia Di Raddo hastened to add that Canada remains the Montreal-based firm's primary focus. Emphasis will be put on expanding into secondary markets and aggressively pursuing men's clothing as well as footwear and accessory sales.

Sales for the year ended Jan. 29, 2005, increased 6.3 per cent to a record $241.1 million. Net earnings increased 49 per cent to $15.9 million, or $2.96 per basic share, from $10.6 million, or $2.07 per basic share, in 2003.

For the first quarter of 2005, ended April 30, sales increased 19.6 per cent to $60.6 million. Net earnings increased by 112 per cent to $4.6 million, or 79 cents per basic share, from $2.2 million, or 42 cents per basic share, last year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, increased 70 per cent over a two-year period, from $20 million to $34 million.

A key reason for the 46-year-old Chateau's success is its vertical integration. About 50 per cent of its notably trendy clothing comes out of Montreal production facilities, in particular the "more fashion risk items."

It currently takes about four weeks for an idea to become a garment on a store rack, according to Chateau executives, so risky items can be quickly tested and altered or eliminated.

"We believe fashion is no longer about seasons, but rather a constant stream of new and exciting styles that hit our stores daily," Di Raddo said. Chateau's design vision now includes the mature woman and sizes that range from 0/0 to 15/16.

Current objectives include shortening the domestic design-to-production cycle to two weeks, incorporating Montreal operations under one roof and opening a U.S. "pilot" store in New Jersey.

There are now 174 Chateau stores with a total 687,000 square feet in Canada. Within four years, Chateau wants one million square feet of retail space.

Chateau's four U.S. stores - two in pricey Manhattan - have proved to be disappointments.

U.S. operations reported a net loss of $101,000 Canadian in the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $93,000 for the year-earlier period.

Chateau will be opening a fifth U.S. store in "an indicator mall," a venture that should foretell the company's success in the U.S. market, Segal said.

"If we are to have growth in the U.S., it will be mall-based," Di Raddo said.

Unlike the other U.S. stores, the new one will reflect "the Canadian success model," she said.
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  #106  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2005, 7:57 PM
MTL-514 MTL-514 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSLL
Saturday » July 2 » 2005

Chateau sharpens designs on expanding abroad
Talks under way with French licensor. Fashion retail icon reports record sales here, embarks on new effort to make mark in U.S.

LYNN MOORE
The Gazette

Thursday, June 30, 2005

...

Current objectives include shortening the domestic design-to-production cycle to two weeks, incorporating Montreal operations under one roof and opening a U.S. "pilot" store in New Jersey.

...
hmmm... maybe Le Chateau will build itself a nice little head office somewhere downtown... could be interesting

on a related note, there's a new Le Chateau store opening up in the Place Ville-Marie mall soon - I think this will be their first time ever opening a location in this complex
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  #107  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2005, 10:02 PM
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Walking along Ste-Catherine Street, it's amazing how many multiple locations of stores there are. Like the four Gaps, multiple Jacob, etc. alone Ste-Catherine St. (I found it strange there's only ONE Club Monaco in all of Québec!). I think the case is different from Toronto because it's shopping is more split up between Eaton Centre, Bloor-Yorkville, and Queen Street West, which are more split up.
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  #108  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2005, 10:44 PM
MTL-514 MTL-514 is offline
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actually much of montreal's shopping is spread out on other downtown and central-area streets and avenues like Saint-Denis Street, Sherbrooke Street, Saint-Laurent Blvd, Park Avenue, Saint-Hubert Street, Mont-Royal Avenue, as well as a number of neighbourhood shopping thoroughfares like Greene Avenue and Sherbrooke Street in Westmount, Monkland Avenue, Bernard Avenue, Cote Des Neiges Road, Ontario Street, Queen Mary Road, Van Horne Avenue and Jean Talon Street. and then there's Saint Paul Street West in Old Montreal which is more specialized in both touristy as well as high end gift stores, art galleries and avant-garde furniture boutiques, and the concentration of high end furniture stores on President Kennedy Avenue downtown, as well as the blocks of antique stores on Notre Dame Street just southwest of downtown.

that's just within a radius which is mostly within a 10 minute drive from Sainte Catherine Sreet's concentration of stores and boutiques and malls. I'm probably forgetting a few too (especially in neighbourhoods just east of the centre). other shopping areas exist, of course, in the outlying neighbourhoods and suburbs.

but I think I see what you're getting at - it's that in the central area, what really distinguishes the shopping on Sainte Catherine Street (and adjacent malls) is that it is mostly chain stores, as opposed to the bulk of the other urban shopping streets in central montreal.
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  #109  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2005, 10:47 PM
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also, you're so right about the repetitiveness of the chain stores on sainte-catherine street west.

it's even worse when you cnsider all the repeats in the 6 or so malls that front the sainte catherine street shopping district.
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  #110  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2005, 10:00 PM
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At least it's in the downtown, and not in suburban mall!
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  #111  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2005, 5:07 PM
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There are some reports about Sears Canada buying Hudson's Bay Company! If they merged the Bay and Sears, and sold Zellers (probably to Target), and maybe Home Outfitters (to Bed Bath & Beyond), and the one Designer Depot (to Winners?), there'd be one department store company left! What would happen if they made all the Bay stores to Sears, or the other way around? Would a US department store come in to buy a slew of them? Would it be sellable? Or anticompetitive? I doubt it'll happen though.
___________________________________
From today's Chicago Tribune:

Sears Canada linked to Hudson's Bay
Bloomberg News
Published July 7, 2005

Sears Canada Inc., the country's third-largest department-store chain, may merge with Hudson's Bay Co., Canada's biggest department-store owner, by the end of next year or early 2007, according to a Desjardins Securities analyst.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp., which holds 54 percent of Toronto-based Sears Canada, "will orchestrate a second major step" for Sears Canada after the sale of its credit card operations, Keith Howlett said in a note to clients Tuesday.

A merger with Toronto-based Hudson's Bay would be led by Sears Holdings Chairman Ed Lampert, who isn't likely to sell the company's retail division unless he exhausts all other ways to boost the company's value, Howlett said.

Sears Canada said June 13 that it's exploring the sale of its credit-card unit, which analysts said may fetch more than $2 billion.

Hillary Stauth, a spokeswoman for Hudson's Bay, and Sears Canada spokesman Vincent Power declined to comment.
_______________________________
From yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times

Sears Canada merger seen

An analyst speculated Tuesday that Sears Canada could merge with Hudson's Bay, Canada's oldest department store, in a move to cut costs. Hudson's Bay could sell off its credit-card business, Zellers store leases and other divisions to boost revenue, said Keith Howlett, securities analyst for Desjardins Securities.
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  #112  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2005, 8:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SSLL
At least it's in the downtown, and not in suburban mall!
oh ya - agree with you totally
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  #113  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2005, 6:32 PM
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Canadian shopping centres ponder 'lifestyle' format

BILL GRAVELAND
CP

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The harsh Canadian winter that has most consumers scurrying indoors shouldn't be a deterrent to outdoor "lifestyle" shopping centres that are growing in popularity in the United States, a retail expert says.

There are now over 100 such centres in the U.S., which involve traditional big-box malls adding outdoor plazas, fountains and cafes to attract customers.

The open-air centres feature clusters of 20 to 30 upscale stores, each with an entrance along a "main street" with sidewalks and angle parking.

"You try to make a more livable place while you're there - you have food and coffee mixed in with retail uses, where there would be fountains and outside seating," said Bob Knight, who runs the retail division for Oxford Properties Group in Calgary, with shopping centres in B.C., Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Whether the lifestyle centre format is workable in Canada was the hot topic at the International Council of Shopping Centers' annual conference in Calgary this week.

"I'm probably about a 75 per cent believer in the concept and it would work in certain places," Knight said. "I would worry about doing it in Saskatchewan because it can get pretty cold," he said.

The first lifestyle centre in Canada opened last fall in affluent West Vancouver. The Village at Park Royal included a new-concept Home Depot store spread over two storeys with a heavy emphasis on decor.

Deerfoot Meadows in Calgary is considered the second such centre in Canada, with IKEA as the major tenant, but at this point is only about half completed, Knight said.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2005
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  #114  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2005, 7:13 PM
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^^ hmm doesn't Centropolis in Laval has the same concept??
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  #115  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2005, 7:39 PM
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"I'm probably about a 75 per cent believer in the concept and it would work in certain places," Knight said. "I would worry about doing it in Saskatchewan because it can get pretty cold," he said.
Gets pretty cold everywhere in Canada. Why's he picking on Saskatchewan? Probably a disgruntled ex-pat.
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  #116  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2005, 10:38 PM
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^^No Centropolis is just a Power Centre that's all in one. Lifestyle centres are shopping neighbourhoods that try to recreate a streetscape, and have a common theme, and often separate buildings for stores.
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  #117  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2005, 10:56 PM
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yup centropolis is separated by vast parking lots like any run of the mill power centre, although its buildings are built a bit more stylish than other power centres like the Marché Central or any of the ones found along suburban expressways...

it has no pedestrian-friendly streetscape, which I believe is what distinguishes these newfangled lifestyle centres.

they're supposedly studying the idea of demolishing part or all of the west end Cavendish Mall in Montreal and building some upscale variation of a lifestyle centre centred around one or more pedestrian streets with cafes and a cultural centre or theater or something. so far only sketchy details have been publicized. they're apparently looking to make it a more modest version of some really shmancy lifestyle centre in Boca Raton Fla.

Last edited by MTL-514; Jul 13, 2005 at 11:04 PM.
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  #118  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2005, 11:19 PM
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I remember being in a Warsaw shopping centre with a La Senza, I know there are a few in that city. It reminded me of home
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  #119  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2005, 8:49 AM
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They're lifestyle centering the Don Mills Centre mall too, creating a retail and residential streetscape. One of the problems I've read about having lifestyle centres is the harsh Canadian weather. In BC, it might be alright, but in Ottawa or Winnipeg, people don't want to be walking the "streets" of a lifestyle centre outside.

In London, there's plenty of La Senza's and Aldo's too.
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  #120  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2005, 1:47 PM
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One of the problems I've read about having lifestyle centres is the harsh Canadian weather. In BC, it might be alright, but in Ottawa or Winnipeg, people don't want to be walking the "streets" of a lifestyle centre outside.
I'm not sure that would necessarily apply here in MTL - people here like their street shopping all year round, except maybe on the coldest harshest of days (ok and during heavy downpours too, I guess). if one of these new "lifestyle" centres was actually done right, with a mix of smaller (maybe even independent) stores among the bigger chain stores, and some restaurants and cafes with a real urban feel (as opposed to a fake disneyworld mainstreet USA look) I think it could catch on...?
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