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  #121  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2005, 1:56 PM
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They're building a "lifestyle centre" here too. Sounds like crap.

I don't think the climate in most of Canada is that bad relative to the US when it comes to outdoor shopping. Would you want to walk around outside in August in the Sunbelt?
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  #122  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2005, 2:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SSLL
^^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.
not really, it has small "streets" with cafes, restaurants and patios... trees planted along the "streets"... but i think the concept isn't as developped as these "lifestyle centers"
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  #123  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2005, 2:19 PM
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Originally Posted by malek
not really, it has small "streets" with cafes, restaurants and patios... trees planted along the "streets"...
yes but aren't those small "streets" surrounded by large parking lots and large sterile walls? as opposed to pedestrian-friendy sidewalks with storefronts right along the streets

stuff like this:







Last edited by MTL-514; Jul 14, 2005 at 4:08 PM.
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  #124  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2005, 4:09 PM
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cool film clip of the centropolis...
http://www.sceno-plus.com/files/ivanhoe.mpg
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  #125  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 5:29 PM
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Major supermarket buyout

Metro Inc. buying A&P Canada chain

Canadian Press
July 19, 2005

MONTREAL -- Reaching boldly into the Ontario market to face Loblaw and Sobeys, Metro Inc. of Montreal is paying $1.7 billion for the A&P Canada supermarket chain.

The Metro grocery chain (TSX: MRU.SV.A) said Tuesday it has struck a deal with The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and its subsidiary, A&P Luxembourg, to pay $1.2 billion in cash and $500 million worth of Metro class-A shares.

Metro shares soared more than 13 per cent Tuesday morning, gaining as much as $4.75 to $32.25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

''It's a great day for Metro,'' CEO Pierre Lessard said in a morning conference call with analysts. ''A day, as a matter of fact, we've been waiting for the last seven years.''

A&P Canada, which had been seeking a buyer in recent months, operates 236 food stores in Ontario under the A&P, Dominion, Food Basics, The Barn and Ultra Food & Drug banners, with annual sales of $4.4 billion and more than 32,000 employees.

The deal will give Metro a network of 579 food stores - 283 in Ontario - with annual sales of nearly $11 billion, pitting it against major rivals Loblaw (TSX:L) and Sobeys (TSX:SBY).

With its Metro, Metro Plus, Super C, Loeb and Brunet banners, Metro has annual sales of $6.1 billion and more than 33,000 employees.

Metro, the second-biggest grocer in Quebec and eastern Ontario, said in January it could easily finance a billion-dollar acquisition, with only $10.6 million in long-term debt and total assets of $1.65 billion.

Acquiring the No. 2 food retailer in Ontario with a number of stores in the high-growth Toronto area, A&P Canada would enhance Metro's position in Canada's two largest markets, Lessard said Tuesday.

The acquisition will make Metro a ''much larger player'' with a 16 per cent chunk of the Canadian grocery market, he added. Integration of the two companies will be ''straightforward,'' with Metro keeping the A&P head office in Toronto.

Lessard also expects to see ''cost synergies'' of about $60 million resulting from the deal.

''The price may seem high, but we look at it as a very valuable asset,'' he said.

''We are delighted to enter into this historic agreement with Metro and to participate in its future growth and success with a significant investment position,'' Christian Haub, chairman and CEO of A&P's parent company, said in a release.

Metro will issue about 18.1 million shares to the U.S.-based parent firm, based on a price per share of $27.66, giving it about 15.8 per cent of Metro and 14.1 per cent of the total voting rights.

The deal also gives provides A&P the right to designate two representatives to the board of directors at Metro.

Metro said it has secured necessary financing from a syndicate of banks.

The transaction, scheduled to close in August, is expected to add to Metro's earnings per share in 2006 and is subject to customary conditions, including approval by the Toronto Stock Exchange.

© Canadian Press 2005

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  #126  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 6:20 PM
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I know that there are some "lifestyle centers" in Greater Montreal.

There's one in Boucherville, right off the 20, next to the IKEA, and they will start with a second lifestyle center on the South SHore in Brossard, where Highways 10 and 30 cross.
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  #127  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 6:32 PM
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^ lifestyle centres or just regular power centres?
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  #128  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 6:40 PM
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tHERE AREN'T ANY POWER CENTER TYPE STORES. No Réno Dépôt, No Rona, No Canadian Tire, No Wal Mart, no Home Depot.(sorry about the Caps!)

In Boucherville, you'll find the IKEA, As well as ALDO, MEXX, AMERICA, Tommy Hilfiger etc.etc.etc. as well as a brulerie St-Denis and some other stores.

As for the one popping up soon in Brossard, there will be a cineplex odeon theater, a well as other stores. No hardware stoeres will be built there!

You could almost say there's a third lifestyle center on the south shore...right next to Les Promenades St-Bruno...there are many restaurants, clothing stores, a Golf town and many others!
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  #129  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 7:42 PM
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Question

I don't know for sure, but I thought a "lifestyle" centre referred more to the layout of the centre than to the type of stores.

I understood that a "lifestyle" centre differed from a "power" centre in that stores were centred not around a massive parking lot (or series of parking lots separated by little grass medians) but around an urban-like pedestrian-friendly street or set of streets...?

if we're simply talking about a power centre with clothing stores and restaurants, then the Marché Central and the Blue Bonnets power centre count too, as well as the many other centres peppered around the city's suburbs (incl. the megacentre on Sources Blvd in DDO and the on alongside Hwy 13 in Laval, and the Plateau megacentre in Hull for that matter).

I think "lifestyle" centre refers to something new that we don't yet have in montreal.
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  #130  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 7:48 PM
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^
yup - here's what they define as being a "lifestyle" centre... from an article I posted a week or two ago, we don't yet have one in the montreal area:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTL-514
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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  #131  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 7:48 PM
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You may have a point there. One thing I know for sure is that the one beign built at the intersection of the 10 and the 30 is gonna a lifestyle center, as there's a huge sign saying so!
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  #132  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 8:11 PM
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why the hell do they call it a "lifestyle" format is beyond me.. some lifestyle.. same stores, different set-up.

I guess that's what the "lifestyle" is today, though. hop in your SUV, try for 30 mins to find a parking spot, scream profanities, trek across acres of asphalt to make your purchase in an frigid air conditioned warehouse.

hey, that air conditioning part actually sounds like a good idea..
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  #133  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 8:43 PM
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by that definition i still believe centropolis is one, I'll shoot some pics too show you the packed terasses and restaurant next to sidewalks with trees ....

Lifestyle center?? just another marketing gimmick imo.
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  #134  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2005, 9:31 PM
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Originally Posted by habsfan
You may have a point there. One thing I know for sure is that the one beign built at the intersection of the 10 and the 30 is gonna a lifestyle center, as there's a huge sign saying so!
that's good to hear - I'm curious to see how it turns out... i.e. will it really be more "urban" and pedestrian-friendly? or same old sterile crap with a few more trees and a bit more landscaping...

I haven't really been down that way for a while - is construction of that whole new development area really taking off?
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  #135  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2005, 2:33 AM
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only the housing developments has started. The commercial aspect of the area hasn't started yet!
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  #136  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2005, 11:06 PM
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07 / 21 / 2005 - Vol. 1, No. 14 - Ontario Edition
Mall giant to unveil better 'mousetraps'
Ontario foothold sells U.S. firm on Canadian sites
By Laura Severs - For Business Edge
Published: 07/07/2005 - Vol. 5, No. 26


It's a mall world, after all.

Following a 14-year drought when no regional shopping centres - enclosed malls generally anchored by one or two department stores of at least 100,000 sq. ft. - were built in Canada, The Mills Corp. of Arlington, Va., is about to expand its concept of market-dominant retail and entertainment destinations in Canada after gaining a foothold in Ontario last November.

Partnering with Montreal-based Ivanhoe Cambridge, the principal real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the two companies are ready to go out on a build-it-and-they-will-come shopping spree.

New Mills malls are on the drawing board for Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, and retail analysts expect these to be very similar to the Vaughan Mills entry, a 1.2-million-sq.-ft. enclosed mall with 16 anchor tenants and more than 200 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. The mall is situated about 30 kilometres north of Toronto.

"Ivanhoe Cambridge and The Mills Corp. have an exclusive arrangement to develop four Mills centres across Canada in the provinces of Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Quebec. Based on the success of Vaughan Mills, we are evaluating sites in Calgary, Quebec and elsewhere," says Rebecca Sullivan, director of public/government relations for The Mills Corp.

The Mills concept includes traditional retailers, off-price stores such as Winners and outlet shops, along with a strong entertainment component.

Vaughan Mills introduced Canadians to the NASCAR SpeedPark theme park, which features a state-of-the-art indoor-outdoor go-cart track, and Lucky Strike Lanes, a bowling mecca. On the retail side, offerings include Canada's first Burlington Coat Factory, the world's largest Tommy Hilfiger Outlet and a series of other firsts: The country's first Tommy Bahama outlet, the first Town Shoes outlet in Canada and the first Benetton outlet on this side of the border.

To lure the men in, Canada got its first Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, described as an outdoorsman's paradise complete with a live trout pond, natural waterfall and in-store fishing demonstrations.

Toronto-based retail analyst Ed Strapagiel, executive vice-president of Kubas Consultants, calls the Mills mall "the new version of West Edmonton Mall. It's simply the latest better mousetrap, the latest big invention. Basically, it's the next big thing."

Strapagiel says he's not surprised new malls are being built despite the fact so-called power centres - groupings of big-box category stores such as Wal-Mart or Best Buy - have been responsible for increasing the retail presence in most cities and towns.

"Yes, there is room for them (the Mills malls) in retail," Strapagiel says. "Like many other industries, somebody who comes along and builds a better mousetrap will win the day. It's not so much a question of room in the market. The market will create the room and pull back from a less desirable alternative."

He doesn't describe the Mills operation as a typical mall - one with department store anchors at each end. "The Mills approach is lots of big stores with big footprints, with separate exterior entrances. It's not quite the same thing," he says.

Plans are to move ahead with the Calgary entry first, retail analysts say, pointing to land Ivanhoe Cambridge already has on hand.

Project officials concur but would not comment on where this Mills mall would be constructed. "Plans are most advanced in Calgary, where we hope to open in 2007," a company representative said.

Retail specialists Alistair Corbett and Chris Thompson, both with CB Richard Ellis in Calgary, suggest a chunk of land located at Deerfoot Trail and Country Hills Boulevard is the likely choice.

"They've (Ivanhoe Cambridge) had it for a long time. We're assuming that's the site they're talking about. It makes the most sense," they told Business Edge.

Corbett and Thompson say they are not surprised by Mills' interest in Calgary, noting the city is high on the Canadian retail radar screen.

"Calgary is very much the flavour of the month for retailers looking at coming in. Our retail vacancy rate is at 3.9 per cent and that's a bit of a high," they said, pointing to space being vacated because retailers are looking at relocating to Calgary's new power centre, Deerfoot Meadows, only 15 minutes down the road from the potential Mills location. Both would be adjacent to different sections of Deerfoot Trail, the road that links Highway 2 between Calgary and Edmonton.

"Anytime that (vacancy) rate gets below six per cent, we're in a demand hole and we can't get it up fast enough," Corbett and Thompson add.

Vancouver-based retail analyst Blake Hudema, president of Hudema Consulting Group Limited, says he's not surprised that Calgary could get a Mills mall before Vancouver.

"One of the big issues in Vancouver is finding a large site," says Hudema. "Calgary has an undeveloped site that has zoning to permit an enclosed shopping centre approaching one million square feet."

He also predicts Montreal will likely be Mills and Ivanhoe Cambridge's next target after Calgary, citing an abundance of land just outside Greater Montreal.

"Their preferred location would be off a major arterial freeway, or ideally at intersection of two major highways," says Hudema, asked where the Vancouver version would likely be built.

"They probably want to be on the Trans-Canada Highway, they probably want to be central to the populations of Surrey and Langley. That's probably where they want to go, but that's from the ideal perspective.

"There's a very limited supply of development land. We have a comprehensive land-use plan for the region. Any land available for a 50- to 70-acre site is probably going to be $1 million- plus per acre."

Hudema says he doesn't expect the Mills concept to hit Vancouver until somewhere between 2010 and 2015, depending on how long it takes to find a suitable piece of land.

He expects the project to open in the Montreal region by 2010 and calls a 2007 opening for a Calgary Mills about "as aggressive as you can get."
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  #137  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2005, 10:21 AM
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J.C. Penney seeks to net Canadians
By MARINA STRAUSS
Monday, July 25, 2005 Updated at 3:54 AM EDT
From Monday's Globe and Mail

U.S. department store giant J.C. Penney Co. is stepping up efforts to bolster its on-line presence in Canada, cashing in on the favourable rate of the dollar against U.S. currency.

The retailer this month launched an advertising campaign in Canadian newspapers across the country, offering 25-per-cent savings on a special link at jcpenney.com/canada.

If successful, Plano, Tex.-based J. C. Penney will intensify its marketing efforts, eager to grab even more business here, said Kevin Gebhardt, a vice-president of the chain's catalogue and Internet division.

"Customers are rapidly adopting this type of shopping," he said in an interview. "We're excited about the potential," he added

For years, U.S. department stores, including J.C. Penney, have scouted the Canadian market for possible expansion, but backed away because of the challenges involved.

Now, a growing number -- J. C. Penney being one of the bigger ones -- are being lured to e-commerce in Canada, partly because of the strong Canadian dollar as well as consumers' growing acceptance of on-line shopping.

"I've had quite a bit of work helping bring some U.S. retailers to Canada via their e-commerce channel," said Jim Okamura, a senior partner at retailing consultancy J.C. Williams Group in Chicago.

He said merchants ranging from home furnishing specialist Crate and Barrel -- a U.S. company now controlled by Germany's Otto Versand Gmbh --to clothier L.L. Bean Inc. of Freeport, Me., and lingerie chain Victoria's Secret, a unit of Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands Inc., have enjoyed a lift in their on-line business in Canada in the past year or more.

Canada Post has also played its part in enticing U.S. e-tailers, said Paulina Sazon, marketing manager at Canada Post's Borderfree division. It works with U.S. retailers, trying to help them ease their way into what can be a complex Canadian market, she said. It walks them through the duty and tax laws, shipping practices and marketplace idiosyncrasies.

Canada Post's research has found that there could be room for $15-billion worth of Internet and catalogue business for U.S. retailers in Canada, she said.

Mr. Okamura said a number of U.S. retailers have used e-commerce as a testing ground for rolling out bricks-and-mortar stores in Canada. He cited cosmetics giant Sephora -- the popular cosmetics chain owned by France's luxury powerhouse LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton -- which now operates in Canada, and Crate and Barrel, which wants to open stores here. J.C. Penney has done a good job of improving its core U.S. business over the past few years, emerging as one of the few winners in the troubled department-store sector, he added.

It has focused on a mid-market, mid-income customer, emphasizing strong private labels and boosting its home décor offerings.

But J.C. Penney and other foreign e-tailers still have a challenge in doing business in Canada because of the delivery and duty hassles, he said.

Mr. Gebhardt acknowledged that the extra charges can add as much as 20 per cent to the price of J.C. Penney's on-line purchases.

But he argued that the retailer offers great value and does the calculation for the customer, tallying up the order total, including taxes, duties and shipping costs. It delivers within seven to 10 days.

He said Canadian customers have generally bought the same types of goods as their U.S. counterparts. But the company will closely follow the shopping patterns to see whether there are any ways it can tailor its offerings to Canucks.

"The Internet has the ability to reach out to customers wherever they are. We have an established business in Canada that we see growing on the Internet site . . ."

J.C. Penney spokesman Quinton Crenshaw said the retailer has no plans to enter Canada with conventional stores. Rather, the chain has been concentrating on its core U.S. department-store business, and selling off non-core assets such as Eckerd's drug stores.

In Canada, department store retailers Hudson's Bay Co. and Sears Canada Inc. both run e-commerce sites. Sears recently partnered with Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. and last week started to broadcast infomercials on its site in a bid to strengthen the business.

HBC and Sears, both based in Toronto, have struggled to make overall financial gains, and analysts say they could be takeover targets.
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  #138  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2005, 10:33 PM
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Why Sprawl Mart is Good

July 25, 2005

Why Wal-Mart is good

We've heard all the horror stories about the retail giant. They're just not true.

STEVE MAICH

There's a place on the western edge of Cleveland that encapsulates the story of the city -- its proud industrial past, its slow depressing decline, its hopes for a brighter future. But the battle now being waged over that patch of land tells an even bigger tale.

It's called the steelyard flats, a 130-acre plot of barren wasteland at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 71, in what was once the heart of Cleveland's thriving steel industry. The site has sat idle since 2000, when LTV Steel went bankrupt. The finishing mill was torn down, and the shells of a few remaining buildings have been crumbling here ever since. The place is now littered with discarded scrap metal, concrete and junk: a dozen old tires here, a shattered TV there.

Soon, however, this site will also be a symbol of renewal. In May, work began on what will be the first big-box shopping centre in this city of 500,000 people. It's called Steelyard Commons, and will include a Target store, a Home Depot, a Staples, plus restaurants and smaller businesses. It's expected to bring close to 2,000 jobs to the city identified as the most impoverished urban area in the U.S. in the 2004 census. Unemployment here runs at 11 per cent -- roughly double the national average.

But there's a problem. Wal-Mart Stores, the world's biggest retailer, will be the anchor tenant of Steelyard Commons, and that has transformed this place into another front in North America's most bitter retail cold war. Wal-Mart's critics say the company destroys local economies, putting small competitors out of business; that it abuses workers with low wages and paltry benefits; and that it drives urban sprawl and all the environmental damage that goes with it. And so, a coalition of labour leaders, activists and city councillors have banded together, vowing to keep Wal-Mart out even if it means killing the whole project.

It's a divisive political standoff that's been mirrored in communities throughout North America over the past few years. To the project's advocates in City Hall, this is just the kind of development Cleveland so desperately needs. Aside from precious jobs, the mall will spin off US$3 million in property taxes annually, US$1.8 million of which will go to the city's struggling school system, plus US$700,000 in local payroll tax. It will also give city residents a place to shop near home, rather than travelling to the suburbs. Officials estimate local residents spend US$4 billion a year in retail shops, a third of which currently goes outside the city. If ever there was a Wal-Mart that deserves support, they say, this is it.

But that's just the point: Wal-Mart isn't engaged in a series of messy local zoning disputes. It's at war with a well-financed, well-organized opposition, determined to fight it on every front. From Los Angeles to the Saguenay, from Hartford, Conn., to Vancouver, a broad array of activist groups and unions have launched protests, lawsuits and ad campaigns, all aimed at discrediting Wal-Mart, halting its growth, and unionizing its workforce.

Like most wars, it's about money and power, and the first casualty is truth. Because even after all the scrutiny and analysis of the Wal-Mart phenomenon, most of what we've been told -- about worker abuse, destroyed small-town economies, crushed suppliers and greedy management -- is wrong.

Read the whole article at Macleans.ca
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  #139  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2005, 10:18 PM
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What will this mean for Les Ailes de la Mode? Would it expand outside Québec or become a Winners knockoff?
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Friday » July 29 » 2005
Ailing Les Ailes on point of sale
'Cheap chic' retailer to buy high-end fashion chain

Hollie Shaw
Financial Post

Friday, July 29, 2005

The owner of fashion chains Fairweather and International Clothiers is in advanced talks to acquire high-end Quebec department store chain Groupe Les Ailes de la Mode Inc., the Financial Post has learned.

"It's basically a done deal," said a source close to the negotiations. "They are at the stage of landlord approvals."

News that Isaac Benitah, a godfather of 'cheap chic' fashion in Canada, is about to buy the troubled luxury retailer has sent shock waves through Montreal's fashion circles, given the once lofty aspirations of Les Ailes.

"[Mr. Benitah] is the personification of a great mass merchant," said Anthony Stokan, partner at retailing consultancy Anthony Russell and Associates.

"He is to fashion what a fast-food outlet is to food: He takes the hottest look of the moment, knocks it off, and sells it at the cheapest price. And Les Ailes is the antithesis of that."

Mr. Benitah could not be reached yesterday. A Les Ailes spokesman had no comment.

The news all but closes the door on a retail concept described by apparel market consultant David Howell as "a great idea at the wrong time."

Les Ailes was the dream project of Paul Delage Roberge, the jewel in the crown of his 200-store retailing empire Les Boutiques San Francisco Inc., which operated nine chains including Bikini Village, Frisco, West Coast, Victoire Delage and San Francisco.

It was conceived as Canada's answer to the U.S. retailer Nordstrom, an old-fashioned department store with luxurious wares, high-end service and a grand piano. The first three Quebec outlets were a success, averaging more than $450 in sales per square foot, and Mr. Roberge wanted to expand the concept across Canada.

But a venture in Ottawa failed in 2003 after two disappointing years, and an ambitious 225,000-square foot flagship store in downtown Montreal touched off a financial crisis within the Boucherville, Que.-based company. The retailer began to close stores and sell off its banners in 2003, and Mr. Roberge stepped down as chief executive while staying on as chairman.

After losing $60.2-million in the year ended Jan. 31, 2004, it was renamed and reorganized as Groupe Les Ailes de la Mode Inc. and emerged from seven months of creditor protection last year after 30 investors injected $19.2-million in new financing.

Four of the original eight Les Ailes stores remain open, and the Montreal outlet has been cut to a third of its former size. The investors recently supplied another $3.2-million.

One industry source said Mr. Benitah, who runs more than 200 stores across Canada under the banners Fairweather, International Clothiers and Randy River, is interested in relaunching the Les Ailes chain as an off-price retailer in the vein of Winners. Another source said Mr. Benitah would continue to operate the current Les Ailes format in order to access $50-million in tax losses that are an integral part of the deal and to comply with lease restrictions at some higher end locations, including the old Eaton centre property in downtown Montreal. Bikini Village is not part of the negotiations, sources said.

Industry players believe that in order for the remaining Les Ailes stores to survive, they will have to appeal to customers who are more interested in low prices than in high fashion.

"Small department stores are probably the most complicated retail category in Canada right now," Mr. Stokan said. "That customer has really gone to big-box stores and players like Winners, who are now going into the downtowns of Canada."

Groupe Les Ailes is now under the stewardship of David Margolis, founder of the Winners chain, who himself seemed to concede this point at the retailer's sparsely attended annual meeting last week.

Les Ailes is starting to see improvements from a recent move into "value-priced" fashions for middle to high-end consumers, he noted, adding Canadians are more selective in their purchases than they used to be due to squeezed disposable incomes.

The retailer is still struggling. Its stock trades at less than a tenth of its value five years ago, and it reported a loss from continuing operations of $2.8-million, or 17 cents a share, for the first quarter ended April 30. Sales dropped almost 15% to $22.8-million from $26.8-million in 2004. Sales at the 59-store Bikini Village chain fell 5.5% and the Les Ailes stores posted a 20.5% drop. Mr. Margolis said both Les Ailes and Bikini Village should be profitable in the third or fourth quarters of this year.
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2005, 1:29 AM
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