Two well-known Canadian retailers will be stepping into a million-square-foot hole left by the demise of the Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Canada.
Canadian retailer Doug Putman is creating a new brand, rooms + spaces, and will lease over 800,000 square feet with its first 21 locations across the country in former Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY locations.
Canadian Tire (CTC-T) has also announced it has acquired 10 leases at former Bed Bath & Beyond locations to expand two of its brands, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Pro Hockey Life. The company says it acquired the leases for $1.6 million and will backfill 242,000 square feet of space in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.
Putman is best known as the operator of brands such as Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us Canada, Sunrise Records, Alex Brands (including Alex Toys in the U.S.), T.Kettle, hmv in the U.K. and more.
Putman sees "strong opportunity"
"With so many empty storefronts across the country right now, Canadians are craving enjoyable in-store shopping experiences, where they can see and touch products, especially when it comes to outfitting a home," Putman said in the announcement.
"I see such a strong opportunity to invest in Canadian retail and I'm always looking for new opportunities. The creation of a new home brand was a natural addition to my retail portfolio, which now provides shoppers with everything they need across the baby, toy and home categories."
The retailer has not released financial information about the leases, but other published reports indicate it acquired access to the space for about $2 million.
rooms + spaces says it is “actively hiring” 500 associates and plans to create more positions in the future.
The retailer plans to support Canadian businesses and suppliers where possible and will carry brands such as oxo, Homedics, Cuisinart, Martex and more. The product line includes everyday goods from kitchen gadgets and towels to “unique items” like bed wedges, cherry pitters and charcuterie sets.
It will be led by Greg Dyer, formerly general manager of Bed Bath & Beyond Canada.
"I can't wait to welcome shoppers into our new Canadian-owned rooms + spaces stores this summer," Dyer said in the announcement. "Our team is excited about creating product assortments tailored to Canadian homes and decorating styles.
“Whether it's couples seeking affordable decorating or entertaining solutions, or parents supporting the needs of students moving away to school, our store associates are here to help consumers find everything they need to make their home their own."
rooms + spaces locations
The stores will be located in:
- Kelowna: Orchard Plaza;
- Langley: Langley City Square, 19860 Langley Bypass;
- Vancouver: 1740 West Broadway;
- Victoria: Mayfair, 775 Finlayson St.
- Calgary: Brentwood Village, 3630 Brentwood Rd.;
- Calgary: Chinook Station, 306 Glenmore Trail SW;
- Edmonton: South Edmonton Common, 2021-98 St. NW;
- Edmonton: West Edmonton Mall, 8882 170 St.
- Regina: Grasslands, 4855 Gordon Rd.;
- Saskatoon: Preston West, 1709 Preston Ave. N.
- Belleville: Bell Front Shopping Centre, 366 North Front St.;
- Cambridge: Smartcentres Cambridge, 70 Pinebush Rd.;
- East Gwillimbury: Green Lane Centre, 1-18126 Yonge St.;
- Kitchener: The Boardwalk, 225 The Boardwalk;
- London: Westwood Centre, 3325 Wonderland Rd.;
- Richmond Hill: Bayview Ridge Shopping Centre, 225 High Tech Rd.;
- Stittsville: 5487 Hazeldean Rd.;
- Stoney Creek: Heritage Greene, 1783 Stone Church Rd. E.;
- Whitby: Thickson Ridge Power Centre, 1650 Victoria St. E.;
- Woodbridge: RioCan Colossus Centre, 67 Colossus Dr.
- St. John's: The Village Shopping Centre, 430 Topsail Rd.
Putman is the founder of Ancaster-based Putman Investments. In addition to the retail brands, his portfolio includes restaurants, a marina and real estate holdings.
Canadian Tire acquires 10 store leases
The Canadian Tire leases include former Bed Bath & Beyond locations in: Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Strathcona County, Alta.; Langley, B.C.; and Oakville, Ont.
These stores will all house Mark’s Work Wearhouse locations, which will be relocating from existing locations into larger buildings.
"Following our 10th consecutive quarter of growth in Q4 2022, Mark's is continuing to build on its incredible momentum in the Canadian market by strategically relocating six retail spaces to more convenient and larger sites," said P.J. Czank, the president of Mark’s, in the announcement.
"These relocated stores will feature more products and deeper assortments of our best brands to meet the needs of our customers in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario."
The other four locations, Barrie, London, Kingston and Sudbury in Ontario, will house new Pro Hockey Life stores.
Czank told RENX in an email exchange the six Mark's stores total about 140,000 square feet while the Pro Hockey Life stores comprise the rest. All are slated to open by the spring of 2024.
Canadian Tire Corp. is comprised of three business lines, a retail segment, a financial services division, and CT REIT which owns and operates much of its retail space.
Founded in 1922, Canadian Tire retail banners now include Party City, PartSource, Gas+, Mark’s, Pro Hockey Life, SportChek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts and Atmosphere.
The company operates nearly 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets. Of those, it has 380 corporate and franchised Mark's locations, as well as 16 Pro Hockey Life locations which are all owned by CTC (as of year-end 2022).
In addition, CTC owns and operates Helly Hansen, an outdoor clothing and goods brand based in Oslo.