TORONTO — Canadian fashion retailer Aritzia is spinning its minimalist private label Babaton into freestanding stores this fall.
The Vancouver-based company will launch its first Babaton location at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre later this year, bringing together the brand’s full range of upscale product — including T-shirts, jackets,pants, oversize ribbed sweaters and slipdresses.
Babaton’s 2,000-square-foot Toronto location will be designed by Aritzia’s in-house team.
The timing for the rollout “has much to do with the success of the Babaton brand,” according to Aritzia’s chief marketing officer Oliver Walsh.
“In recent years Babaton has become increasingly popular with our customers from a design point of view because it caters to those who love minimalist design,” Walsh added.
Babaton’s current price points range from 35 Canadian dollars, or $26.60 at current exchange, for T-shirts to 495 Canadian dollars, or $376.20, for jackets. That range has become increasingly appealing to younger career women who comprise Babaton’s core demographic.
Though future store rollouts have yet to be unveiled, Aritzia has “strong growth ambitions” for Babaton, according to Walsh.
“We have a very clear vision for the Babaton brand. That is why we would not make any expansion decisions until we had a prime brand for a prime retail space,” Walsh said. “The Toronto Eaton Centre is an important shopping destination in North America.”
Babaton now becomes Aritzia’s third in-house label to morph into a freestanding shopping destination. Wilfred and TNA — two other in-house brands shepherded by Aritzia — operate six freestanding locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The Wilfred brand will also see more store locations opening in Canada this year.
The Babaton rollout comes as Aritzia continues with its own aggressive expansion plans for 2016, which will see the launch of three new Canadian stores and four locations in the U.S., including Boston, Long Island, N.Y., Walnut Creek, Calif., and Los Angeles.
Aritzia will also relocate four of its current stores in Burnaby, BC, Toronto and Calgary to larger locations in 2016, as well as expand existing locations in New York’s SoHo and the company’s Vancouver flagship. The retailer hopes to have 61 Canadian locations by the end of 2016.