northern reflections

Iconic Canadian retailer that was big in the '90s is planning a huge return to the market

The '90s are back, baby, and few things drive that point home more than the extremely unexpected expansion of Northern Reflections, the sister brand to the Canadian women's apparel store behind the beloved Spice Mice and Catstreet Boys shirts of our youth.

The company, which is still technically around although notably less popular than it once was, is apparently restructuring and plotting a revival with the help of an investment from Vancouver venture capital firm JAMCO, which is for whatever reason excited about the retailer known for its basics for middle-aged moms.

Founded in Guelph in 1985, Northern Reflections also had ofshoots for men and children under the Northern Group umbrella: Northern Elements and Northern Getaway, the latter of which became defunct in 2006 after years of offering coveted matching sets of tights and tops with cute, clever decals that often featured proprietary cartoon animals.

Though it is unclear whether (and perhaps unlikely that) the brand's other banners will make a comeback, the investment will allow Northern Reflections to keep its existing 135 stores open, with plans to open more post-COVID now that it can confidently make it to the other side of the pandemic.

JAMCO lovingly referred to the store as "one of those darlings" when speaking with Retail Insider on the topic this week, adding that it has little competition, a strong employee base of 800 and knows its consumer well.

"It's really cleaned itself up, and it had a lot of appeal from the perspective of the fundamentals of the business," a representative told the news outlet on Wednesday. "It's a good Canadian company, a nice business to save."

Lead photo by

Intercity Shopping Centre


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