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

  • Toronto real estate board raises concerns about possible vacancy tax

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Toronto Real Estate Board is urging the city to exercise caution regarding a possible vacant home tax. The board says it's worried there is not enough data or evidence to support the idea that a vacancy tax would increase the supply of rental housing. Source
  • Equifax CEO suddenly retires as data breach fallout continues

    Economic CBC News
    Equifax CEO Richard Smith is retiring less than three weeks after the company admitted to a cybersecurity breach that had exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company's board made the announcement before markets opened on Tuesday that the 57-year-old Smith is retiring from both positions after 12 years leading the company. Source
  • Equifax CEO suddenly ousted as data breach fallout continues

    Economic CBC News
    Equifax CEO Richard Smith is retiring less than three weeks after the company admitted to a cybersecurity breach that had exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company's board made the announcement before markets opened on Tuesday that the 57-year-old Smith is retiring from both positions after 12 years leading the company. Source
  • Bombardier faces prospect of bad news for its aerospace and railway businesses

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Bombardier seems headed towards a double barrel of bad news Tuesday with the potential to affect its commercial aircraft and railway businesses. The first hit is coming from Europe, where multiple media reports say the French government has approved the merger of Alstom with German railway manufacturer Siemens. Source
  • Equifax dumps CEO in wake of damaging data breach

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Credit reporting agency Equifax is ousting CEO Richard Smith in an effort to clean up the mess left by a damaging data breach that exposed highly sensitive information about 143 million Americans. Source
  • Sold! 'Tennis ball-sized' diamond fetches $66M at auction

    Economic CTV News
    A tennis ball-sized rough diamond, said to be the second largest gem-quality example ever found, fetched nearly $66 million (US$53 million) for a Vancouver-based diamond producer on Monday. Lucara Diamond Corp. unearthed the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona stone at its Karowe mine in Botswana nearly two years ago. Source
  • Ivanka Trump's business ties shrouded in secrecy in China

    Economic CTV News
    SHANGHAI -- It is no secret that the bulk of Ivanka Trump's merchandise comes from China. But just which Chinese companies manufacture and export her handbags, shoes and clothes is more secret than ever, an Associated Press investigation has found. Source
  • Reports say ride-sharing service Uber could stop operations in Quebec, possibly today

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Published reports say ride-hailing company Uber could be about to cease operations in Quebec. Reports in Montreal La Presse and the Journal de Montreal say the company could make an announcement as early as today because of new rules governing the service announced last Friday. Source
  • If Quebec rules stand, Uber says it's out next month

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - Ride-hailing company Uber says it will cease operating in Quebec next month if the province doesn't rescind new rules introduced last week. The company says new conditions announced during a renewal of a pilot project by the provincial government are behind its intentions to possibly pull up stakes in the province. Source
  • Freshii scales back growth plan for first year as public company

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Freshii restaurant chain says its growth has been slower than expected, resulting in the closure of some stores and a reduced target for net openings this year. The revised outlook was announced late Monday after shares of the Toronto-based company (TSX:FRII) closed at $8.86. Source