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Bloor-Yorkville Scene

Bayer

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McEwan at Yonge/Bloor is now open!
I went there yesterday; the store emphasizes prepared foods and I cook from scratch every night, so normally it wouldn't be ideal for me, but I did get a couple of very nice individual flourless chocolate cakes at their pastry counter (strategically located near the entrance), and the meat selection seems quite good - I got an ultra-expensive but really excellent rack of lamb. Not the best selection of produce, but a very wide variety of fresh herbs. A nice addition to the neighbourhood. Not a threat but rather a complement to Bloor Street Market.
 

Northern Light

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I went there yesterday; the store emphasizes prepared foods and I cook from scratch every night, so normally it wouldn't be ideal for me, but I did get a couple of very nice individual flourless chocolate cakes at their pastry counter (strategically located near the entrance), and the meat selection seems quite good - I got an ultra-expensive but really excellent rack of lamb. Not the best selection of produce, but a very wide variety of fresh herbs. A nice addition to the neighbourhood. Not a threat but rather a complement to Bloor Street Market.
Bloor St Market should see an expansion and reno later this year, so they will remain quite competitive. McEwan may take a small bit out of Pusateri's, but as it's often overcrowded, hardly a bad thing.

Eataly may be more of a game-changer for high-end competitors.

Not sure how WF is doing these days, as it's not the shopping experience it once was and I haven't been following it as closely as I used to.

I expect to see one more full-service supermarket join the fray within 1km of the YB intersection or so......but probably not til 2020 or 2021.

One thing existing stores can be happy about is that the market itself is growing.
 
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ardwold1

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Hoarding is being constructed around the future Dior space at The Colonnade.

The For Lease sign is down and some sort of interior construction is going on at the old North Face space at 151 Bloor - might just be for another pop-up, unsure.
 

Retail-Insider

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Stone Island is replacing Jimmy Choo at 102 Yorkville.
You are correct. Stone Island is opening its Canadian flagship in the space Jimmy Choo ended up not taking. Great location between Chanel and Versace: https://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2019/2/luxury-sportswear-brand-stone-island-secures-canadian-flagship-retail-space

Up next, a new tenant for the current Diesel space, as well as an expansion of the existing Chanel flagship. Great things coming to the neighbourhood.
 

pw20

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According to an employee the H&M at Bloor & Balmuto is not closing, contrary to online statements which btw they are aware of.
The space is available for sublease (as of Feb 1, 2020 or earlier). Although the Club Monaco space was available for sublease for ages, a few years ago, and they never closed or moved. I do believe that H&M's lease is up and given that they are closing stores globally, given the current retail climate, it wouldn't be a huge shocker; however, this could be a negotiating tactic on H&M's behalf in order to get a rent reduction; alternatively, the landlord could be fishing to see what else they can get in this market (IMO not much else). This is also a way for H&M to let other brokers and landlords (i.e. FCR) know that they are thinking about moving or closing. First Capital has 20k square feet left in One Bloor, which could make a decent H&M if that was what they wanted.

Edited - to add some research... 15 Bloor West was sold in December 2017, this is from the sales brochure: "15 Bloor Street West is fully leased to H&M, one of the world’s most recognized and successful fashion companies. Based in Sweden, the H&M group maintains more than 4,500 retail locations in 68 markets worldwide. With sales of more than $223B in 2016 (SEK), the H&M group provides an investor with a premium covenant and the ability to increase rents upon expiration of the lease term in January 2020." I suspect that the new owner would love to increase the rent, however, given the current retail environment, and The One being incomplete, will find that H&M is their best option.

TL: DR, the store is 100% not not closing, but it is also 100% not not staying open.
 
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