By  on May 26, 2011

NEW YORK — The Tommy Hilfiger Group, wholly owned by Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., has a new distribution strategy to tackle the Canadian market.

The firm has signed a deal to offer Hilfiger men’s wear exclusively in 90 The Bay stores across Canada, beginning in August.

The launch of Hilfiger’s men’s sportswear at The Bay signals the brand’s reentry into the wholesale distribution channel after a few years of a retail-only business model in Canada. Hilfiger will invest in the development of fixtured shop-in-shop environments in key doors. In August, 66 locations, including The Bay’s flagships in downtown Toronto, downtown Montreal and Vancouver, will open Hilfiger shops, followed by 24 more throughout the fall. The average Hilfiger men’s wear shop will be about 500 square feet, but will measure 750 square feet in the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver flagships.

“With this partnership, we are nearly doubling our presence in Canada, which reflects both our enthusiasm and our deep commitment to this market,” said Gary Sheinbaum, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger North America. “In the United States, the strategic alliance with Macy’s has served our business very well over the past three years, and we’re confident that this new arrangement with The Bay will have a similar impact.”

Hilfiger’s men’s sportswear line for The Bay will be similar to that being produced for Macy’s. It will include wovens, knits, sweaters, pants and jackets. The Hilfiger women’s line isn’t part of The Bay deal.

Bonnie Brooks, president and ceo of The Bay, added, “With one of the most recognized lifestyle brands available in 90 stores, The Bay will provide Canadian customers the full Tommy Hilfiger shopping experience in a strong branded environment.”

As part of its restructuring, Hilfiger will close seven of its 18 Canadian specialty retail locations between May 31 and Oct. 31. The affected locations are Anjou and Rockland in Quebec; Promenade and Sherway Gardens in Ontario, and Market Mall, Chinook and West Edmonton Mall in Alberta.

In 2009, Hilfiger discontinued its Canadian wholesale women’s and men’s business to concentrate exclusively on the expansion of its retail business there. The company then integrated Tommy Hilfiger Canada and Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc., under the umbrella of Tommy Hilfiger North America, and restructured its personnel, putting Sheinbaum in charge of retail business in Canada, as well as the U.S.

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