U.S. jewelry repair franchise expands to Ottawa
The man who brought Blockbuster to Canada is invading for a second time - and this time he's looking at Ottawa.Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs will open its first Canadian stores in Ottawa and Toronto this fall.
By: Emma Jackson, Metro. Published on Mon May 23 2016
The man who brought Blockbuster Video to Canada is now hoping Ottawa will take a shine to same-day jewelry repair. Gerry Weber is CEO of Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs, an American company with more than 150 franchises. He says his latest “invasion of Canada” will start in Ottawa and Toronto this summer.
Weber, who grew up in Toronto, visited the capital a month ago and noticed none of the malls offer jewelry repair while you wait. Instead, stores send jewelry away for weeks at a time to be repaired or resized off site. That solidified his resolve to expand his business into Ottawa.“The first draw is it’s a great population centre, and it’s the capital of Canada,” Weber said. “And the second draw is the malls are nice and we would fit in very nicely with them.” He said his first Ottawa target is the Rideau Centre. “The traffic count is there so I think that would be an ideal location,” Weber said. He predicts Ottawa will have three or four franchises open by the fall, while the Toronto area will get more like 12.
From there, he’ll target Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary before considering smaller Canadian centres. Ottawa retail analyst Barry Nabatian said he’s not surprised people like Weber are noticing the capital. “As a repair shop they can go anywhere where they think incomes are above average, which is the case in Ottawa,” Nabatian said. The arrival of high-end stores like Nordstrom and Whole Foods into the Ottawa market is proof the city’s upper class is growing, he added. “There has been a lot more room for luxury-type services and products,” Nabatian said. “There will be a lot more of this coming.”