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Saturday – The Great Reveal. Canadian Tire.

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This is Alexis Nihon Plaza, with the new LED signage on the corner.

The Alexis Nihon business center, resident condos, and further to the left of center, you can see the towers that make up Westmount Square residences.

The other day I posted a sneak peak at the partial reveal of the New Canadian Tire that is taking up residence in the old Target spot.

When Target came, we had high hopes for success. Everybody who came to the mall had expectations of low prices and selections of goods that came from down South. Sadly, eighteen months after opening, dismal sales, the lack of selection, and most importantly, lower prices, did not materialize.

That was Target’s death spiral. Cutting their losses, Target pulled completely OUT of Canada all together. Thousands lost their jobs, merchandise went back, or what ever was left of what had been on the shelves. And that spot sat vacant for some time.

Meanwhile, in other places, big business was jockeying for purchase of old Target locations. And here, rumors flew as to who would fill this gap.

With the refurbished Alexis Nihon Plaza Mall and the refit of the IGA and the addition of new stores, and the relocation of others, they raised the stakes for new business to come in, into a mall that was shiny, sleek and very well appointed. They spent a serious amount of money working on the inside as well as the outside of the building proper.

Millions went into LED lighting on two sides of the building. Brand new signage.

Today, the STM is working on refurbishing the Atwater Metro which connects to the mall directly. They are resurfacing ALL the old brick work on the floors and walls. Inside the station, on the platforms, and all the way into the Westmount Square tunnel, that provides underground access to the entire Westmount Square Complex.

Canadian Tire bid on the old Target spot. The price must have been right, because last year they fronted the Target location, and tore down the store to the bare studs. They chose to keep the glass overlook that extends from the ground floor up through the mezzanine level, where Starbucks was (inside the Target).

Canadian Tire has been a fixture of Alexis Nihon for as long as I’ve lived here, and that store is solid and does solid business. Being a store that offers a wide selection of everything is good for the neighborhood.

My sister in Law and her husband own a Canadian Tire franchise in Guelph, so every Christmas we get lots of new merchandise from their store. The possibilities are endless for a franchise to expand and offer goods that you can’t get anywhere else.

I am sure the buyer for this franchise has their work cut out for them, they have a very diverse population to buy for, and hopefully, successfully, sell to them as well.

With all the new builds going up, and the new builds that have already opened, brings thousands of shoppers to the mall every day.

Now Canadian Tire offers up a much bigger footprint store. And if the old store is our guide, as in products and prices, having a much bigger footprint only means that, what will be on offer will be wider. The old store will move downstairs with the additional space and additional sales points.

I have heard that the Sports Experts is looking to move INTO the old Tire store, and new shops will take over their old location. Not sure how solid that info is, but that’s what I know right now.

The ground floor has new shops, that have opened in the last few months. And this week we saw the opening of new food stalls, and kiosk pods on the Metro Level.

Alexis Nihon is building a solid shopping experience.

With plenty of dinner options, pharmacy on site, Grocery shopping at its best with the new and improved IGA, Telus, Bell, and other assorted telcom locations all in one spot, Alexis Nihon is a one stop shopping experience for whatever you need.

This is a good thing because in a downtown setting, we don’t grocery shop for a week at a time. We shop daily, because it is on the way out or on the way in, to home. Everything we need is just a few blocks from home. Apartments and condos are spartan, so in many places, storage is not GRAND. We are certainly a spartan apartment, so what you buy goes quickly, with boutique stores, one shops often.

So here it is, the brand new Grand Reveal of the New Canadian Tire at Alexis Nihon Plaza.

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This entrance is centrally located “underneath and featuring” the grand glass enclosure reaching through to the mezzanine. This was NOT the case with Target. Their entrance was offset and to the right of center, and the glass enclosure housed a Starbucks.

With a centrally located main entrance, the footprint of the store is wider. If they position the cash in the right place inside (I did not get to see any of that but probably soon), they will have ample traffic access for shoppers. The space being much larger than their older store, One can see, if you get close enough, that they have already staged furniture at the entrance windows.

Canadian Tire is a successful business. And the larger store is going to hopefully do very well, with our neighborhood almost tripling its population in the next year. That is a lot of shoppers coming to the mall.

Alexis Nihon has invested BIG in this neighborhood. Anything is possible.

Build it … and they will come …

We wish Canadian Tire a great success. And welcome to the neighborhood.

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