Holt Renfrew to invest $400 million in Canadian stores
Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew has announced plans to invest over $400 million to renovate and expand its store network across Canada, as well as its online platform.
The investment will include enhancements at the recently announced Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal, as well as significant renovations at Toronto's 50 Bloor Street West flagship store and at Toronto's Yorkdale location.
The enhancements will be modeled after the transformation of Holt Renfrew Vancouver, which has been underway for the last two years and is nearly-complete.
"As the Canadian luxury retail landscape evolves, so too is Holt Renfrew. These investments will help us to enhance the first-rate, luxury shopping experience our customers expect from Holt Renfrew. We're securing our position as a top global destination for luxury fashion and beauty products," said Mario Grauso, President, Holt Renfrew, in a news statement.
"We're confident in our vision, strategy and team, with a renewed and unyielding focus on exclusive partnerships and curating the world's best luxury apparel and beauty brands."
As part of the enhancements, Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal will be over 250,000 square feet, making it the largest Holt Renfrew in Canada. As part of its retail offerings, Holt Renfrew will be adding an expanded beauty hall, leather goods shop and an enhanced women's footwear department.
A main-floor Chanel will also be added, along with in-store shops including Gucci, Dior, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Tiffany & Co., and Prada. The opening is scheduled for 2020.
Meanwhile, Holt Renfrew's Toronto flagship store at 50 Bloor Street West will be updated with an expanded and newly renovated women's footwear department, opening as early as winter 2018, as well as an expanded beauty department and women's leather goods area.
Holt Renfrew men’s wear store at 100 Bloor Street will close and will return to the main store at 50 Bloor. The new expanded men's department will grow by 55 percent compared to the stand-alone store.
Finally, Holt Renfrew Yorkdale will grow by 10,000 square feet to 129,000 square feet and will be expanded with two additional personal shopping suites and new shop-in-shops including an expanded "world of" Gucci shop, a Fendi women's and leather goods shop, a Balenciaga shop and a new men's Prada shop. The expansion is slated to be complete in 2020.
Furthermore, Holt Renfrew has announced plans to invest in new technologies that will increase and enhance the ways in which the company interacts with customers. The updates will be made to its entire online presence, including ecommerce where various categories will be made available for purchase.
Holt Renfrew has faced increased competition in Canada’s luxury market in recent years due to the entry of American retailers.
Luxury retailer Nordstrom opened its first Canadian store in September of 2014, at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary, followed by openings in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto for a total of six locations. The company also plans to open six Nordstrom Rack stores in Canada in 2018.
Fellow luxury fashion retailer Saks Fifth Avenue followed suit, opening its first two Canadian stores in February 2016.
Furthermore, a number of luxury fashion houses have been opening single brand stores such as Chanel, Hermès, Woolrich, Jimmy Choo and jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels to name a few.
For years, Canada’s Holt Renfrew, commonly referred to as the “Barneys of Canada”, was the only option for Canadians to shop luxury fashion goods. But as more luxury retailers see the potential to expand, the rise of luxury in Canada is expected to continue, meaning increased competition and challenges for Holt Renfrew.
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