New Canadian retail chain offers respite for boomer women
Posted March 27, 2007

Cassis is a liqueur made from blackberries. It’s also a fishing village on France’s southern coast favored by artists. And now, it’s the name of a new Canadian apparel chain that targets baby boomer women.

“Our stores are designed to appeal to the senses, and also represent a destination,” says Kim Schumpert, president of the new chain, which was created by Montreal-based Reitman’s (Canada) Ltd., operator of more than 800 stores under seven nameplates. “The name Cassis represents what we want the store to become.”


Cassis defines its target market as time-pressed/independent thinking/fashion-conscious women, ages 45 to 60. The retailer hired II BY IV Design Associates Inc. (Toronto) to help create the relaxing, easy-to-shop and flattering environment it felt that clientele would appreciate.

Lighting within the 3100-square-foot space was treated “like a primary design material,” says Keith Rushbrook, II BY IV’s partner-in-charge on the project.


“We used a creative combination of cove lighting, recessed spotlights, perimeter uplighting, halo-lit mirrors and homey floor, table and pendant lamps to fill the space with a soft, ambient glow,” says Rushbrook. “Shoppers and products alike are gently flattered, without shadows or glare.”

Adding to the store’s low-key vibe are a muted golden tan wall finish, natural oiled oak flooring and a storefront that’s divided into a 150-square-foot welcoming foyer and a window framed in soft curtains. “The overall aesthetic is designed to deliver the message, ‘slow down, come in, treat yourself,’ ” says Rushbrook.


Client: Cassis, Montreal – Kim Schumpert, President, Cassis Division; Diane Archibald, vp, store planning; Henry Fiederer, president, Reitmans Division; Leah Daley, vp, Cassis Division; France Gendron, design manager

Design: II BY IV Design Associates Inc., Toronto – Keith Rushbrook, partner; Dan Menchions, partner; Allan Tse, senior designer; Sarah Townson, junior designer

Architect: Gerald Labelle Architects, Lachine, Que.

General Contractor: SAJO, Montreal

Outside Design Consultant

Taxi, Montreal (advertising)

Artwork: Moss & Lam, Toronto

Carpet: Weavers Art, Toronto

Drapery: Maple Drapery, Concord, Ont.

Fitting Room Furniture: Kiosk, Toronto

Fixturing: JP Metal America Inc., Montreal

Lighting: Eurolite, Toronto

Union Lighting, Montreal

Specialty Finishes: Architectural Systems Inc., New York

Wood Flooring: Sullivan Source, Toronto

Photography: Evan Dion Photographer Inc., Toronto