Simons braces for competition as retailer opens first Ontario store

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - As Simons continues its expansion push with its first location in Ontario, the Quebec-based retailer faces fresh competition from new entrants into the Canadian market.

See Full Article

Following the launch of its Vancouver location last fall, the family-owned company is slated to open a sprawling two-storey, 110,000-square-foot store on March 17 at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto.

In addition to housing menswear and womenswear on two separate floors, the Square One location will also feature a cafe and a terrace for use in warmer months.

The newest Simons store will debut just weeks after U.S. luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue made its foray into Canada with two stores in Toronto. Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom is also set to broaden its presence north of the border with three new locations in Toronto this year and next.

"I always see competition as being beneficial," Simons CEO Peter Simons said in an interview. "It's a very aggressive time in retailing where you have to be very focused on what you're doing, what you bring that's different.

"I think we bring a completely different mid- to high-range experience that relates to really how customers are shopping. They're crossing over these lines from luxury to mid-range, and I think we're creating value with unique product."

Sandy Silva, director of fashion and beauty at the NPD Group, said brand recognition "absolutely matters" when companies launch new retail locations. But keeping the momentum going requires an established domestic presence, she added.

"With Simons, potentially one could argue more on the west coast that the brand recognition may not be as strong. But because they have that Canadian on-the-ground knowledge and experience and know-how and understanding the nuances, I would say that's also an advantage, too.

"It's almost like the proverbial chess match. They both have their advantages."

In addition to an extensive range of apparel from moderately priced separates to higher-end offerings from a stable of homegrown and international designers, Simons also has sub-departments spanning the spectrum of sartorial tastes.

On the women's side, there's the youthful, style-forward Twik, Icone for the young professional urbanite and classic elegance from Contemporaine. Menswear offerings include chic eveningwear in Le 31, and trendy streetwear in DJAB.

Simons said the company has also made a concerted effort to feature Canadians in stores, from the art adorning the spaces to the items stocked on shelves, such as the new collaborative home decor line with Samantha Pynn.

Still, he admitted that the retailer still had "a lot of work to do in explaining our story," acknowledging that despite the company's longevity and cross-Canada growth, it still remains an unknown to many in the country.

"We have work to do to explain our fashion point of view, the European edginess in our design group, in our menswear, and what each of one of our sub-brands does. But for me, that's just a part of work.

"I told the buyers last week 150 years, five generations of our family worked in Quebec to build our reputation. ... We're going to spend a bit of time working on it in Toronto and Vancouver and try to spend a bit of time explaining why we're important and why we're worth coming to visit."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Royal Bank to repay investors $21.8M for mistakenly charged investment fees

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) has agreed to a deal with Ontario's securities watchdog to repay $21.8 million to clients who were mistakenly charged some investment fees. The Ontario Securities Commission approved Tuesday the no-contest settlement agreement with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Source
  • Royal Bank to pay back $22M in investment fees it overcharged

    Economic CBC News
    The Ontario Securities Commission says the settlement comes after a compliance review in 2015 found the bank had overcharged some of its customers 'excess fees,' for their investments. (Mark Blinch/Reuters) The Royal Bank of Canada will pay almost $22 million in compensation to clients who were charged excess fees on some mutual funds and investments products. Source
  • Ransomware is infecting computers all across Europe in another major attack

    Economic CBC News
    A major ransomware attack on Tuesday hit computers at Russia's biggest oil company, the country's banks, Ukraine's international airport as well as global shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk. Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Group IB said hackers had exploited code developed by the U.S. Source
  • World's first ATM turns to gold on 50th birthday

    Economic CBC News
    Five decades since it heralded a transformation in the way people obtained and used cash, the world's first ATM was turned into gold for celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary. The brainchild of Scottish inventor John Shepherd-Barron, the first ATM (automated teller machine) was opened on June 27, 1967 at a branch of Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, the first of six cash dispensers commissioned by the bank. Source
  • Bring the brew to you: Beer Store launches home delivery in Ottawa, Scarborough

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Beer Store is now offering home delivery in two Ontario communities. Customers in Ottawa and the Toronto suburb of Scarborough can now place an order online and have their purchases delivered within two hours. Source
  • Uber makes it easier to arrange trips for other riders

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber's ride-hailing app is making it easier for its users to set up trips for seniors and others who may not know their way around a smartphone but still need help getting around town. Source
  • No security risks in Chinese takeover of Canadian satellite firm: Trudeau

    Economic CBC News
    ?Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making his strongest defence yet of his government's decision to allow a Chinese telecom giant to take over a Canadian satellite technology company. Trudeau says an initial government review of the takeover, required under federal law, unearthed no significant national security risk and didn't require any further reviews, allowing the deal to be allowed to proceed. Source
  • 'Trump' dumped: Toronto condo and hotel tower to ditch Trump name

    Economic CBC News
    The new owners of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto have reached a deal that will see the Trump name removed from the property. JCF Capital says it has reached an agreement with Trump Hotels to buy out the management contracts for the property for an undisclosed amount. Source
  • Trudeau says no security risks in Chinese takeover of Canadian satellite firm

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to assuage public fears and political complaints Tuesday that the Liberal government's decision to allow the Chinese takeover of a Canadian satellite technology company would compromise national security at home and abroad. Source
  • Trump Organization to check out from Toronto hotel, condo tower

    Economic CTV News
    The entrance to the Trump International Hotel and Tower is shown in Toronto, Wednesday, Dec.9, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Graeme Roy) Source