Herschel Supply Co Gastown Vancouver

Herschel Supply has planted its flag in North America.

The Canadian accessories and apparel firm operates 45 retail locations worldwide in partnership with third-party distributors, but this will be the first North American shop that Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, the brothers who founded Herschel Supply in 2009, run on their own. It opens to the public on Saturday.

“We are true believers that retail in general can teach the end consumer what we care about,” said Lyndon Cormack. “It’s a true representation of where art meets architecture and design meets creativity. With all of the noise in the world, it’s a great time where brick-and-mortar retail can help start a conversation between your brand and the customer.”

The 5,000-square-foot space, which is Herschel’s largest store, will be located in Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighborhood. According to Cormack, the goal was to create an experience for shoppers and show them the breadth of Herschel Supply’s assortment of accessories, luggage and apparel.

Herschel Supply Co flagship in Gastown.

Herschel Supply Co flagship in Gastown.  STEPHEN WILDE

The store will feature a plethora of Instagram-friendly installations. Cormack noted an infinity room, large LED fixtures showcasing product, a sculpture garden outside of the store highlighting Vancouver-based artists, and glass sliding doors that open up to mountain views of the city.

“I find it shocking when people say ‘no photos,'” said Cormack. “I’m like ‘Shoot more photos.’ We definitely want people to share and engage.”

Despite the state of retail, Lyndon, who acquired Totokaelo via Herschel Capital Corp. in 2016 and also owns a minority stake in Need Supply Co., is a proponent of brick-and-mortar spaces and says as long as store concepts adapt to the current climate, they will always be important.

“We are overstored,” said Cormack. “People need to be aware that there is another option and it’s e-commerce. I disagree with the idea that people want to go into stores and shop on e-commerce. In my opinion, a retailer’s job is to be an extension of the brand, tell a story and be a convenient place to purchase product.”