Loblaw Cos., Canada’s largest food retailer, has opened its first store in Manhattan. However, the store is not a supermarket; rather it is a Joe Fresh apparel specialty store.


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Joe Fresh debuts in U.S.

April 16th, 2012

NEW YORK – Loblaw Cos., Canada’s largest food retailer, has opened its first store in Manhattan. However, the store is not a supermarket; rather it is a Joe Fresh apparel specialty store.

Seven years ago, perhaps inspired by the success of Asda, a British supermarket chain owned by Walmart, in developing an apparel line under the George label, Loblaws asked the founder of Club Monaco Inc., Joe Mimran, to design a clothing line.

The line, bearing the insouciant label of Joe Fresh, sold well enough that Loblaws decided to open stand-alone stores under the Joe Fresh banner. There are now 12 locations in Canada and six in the United States. Loblaws opened five Joe Fresh outlets in New Jersey and New York in 2011.

Located squarely in Midtown Manhattan near Grand Central Station, the newest unit is situated just a block from competitors Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) and Zara. According to analysts, Joe Fresh offerings fill a niche between H&M and Gap Inc.’s Old Navy.

The Weston family, which has a controlling interest in Loblaws, also owns the Canadian upscale apparel retailer Holt Renfrew, often compared to Nordstrom Inc. in the United States.

Mimran headed Club Monaco before Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. acquired it in 1999. He began consulting for Loblaws in 2003. The company entered the apparel business with women’s and men’s clothing items averaging $13 in price, while Joe Fresh offers clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and bath items.

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