Why is it that every time someone wants to invade Canada, they look for a sneaky way to catch us off guard?
The Brits snuck in through Quebec. The Yanks got beaten back when they tried to cross at (of all places) Niagara Falls. And the Russians are always trying to get in through the Arctic.
But whoever thought of trying to invade Canada through Edmonton? Victoria’s Secret, that’s who. And this time, resistance is futile — and unlikely.
The world’s biggest-selling lingerie retailer opens its first branded store in Canada on Thursday in the city’s West Edmonton Mall, and there hasn’t been so much buzz out there on the Prairies since the last locust swarm.
The Edmonton VS store is one of four the chain will open in Canada this summer, the other three being in the Toronto area. (For those unfamiliar with Canada, that’s like opening three stores in Manhattan and one in St. Louis — go figure).
Spearheading the assault this week will be VS Angel and South African supermodel Candice Swanepoel, who will cut the ribbon on the new store and greet what is expected to be thousands of shoppers, autograph-seekers and just plain stalkers. This is Alberta, after all, where the biggest female celebrity is k.d. lang.
The first Toronto Victoria’s Secret location opens in Yorkdale Mall on Aug. 26, with a trio of VS Angels on hand — Adriana Lima, Erin Heatherton and Chanel Iman. If they’d tried that during the War of 1812, we’d have fallen over like lambs!
The move into Canada sets up an interesting shift in the lingerie landscape up here. Limited Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, also owns the Montreal-based La Senza, which is a fixture in almost every major urban mall in the country. Add to that mix the recent launch of Canada’s first VS Pink store last month, and it becomes apparent that Limited Brands sees major expansion potential in Canada and is aiming to outflank all would-be competitors.
Victoria’s Secret currently operates more than 1,000 retail stores and mail out 400 million catalogues a year. No word on how much postage they’ll save by opening the Canadian outlets.
Now, for those Edmontonians who might not recognize Candice when she arrives on Thursday (hint: she’s the gorgeous blonde supermodel in the crowd), we offer the following portfolio as a public service. Enjoy!