Bigger is better. That’s the verdict for Canada’s luxury retailer Holt Renfrew as new details emerge about the summer launch of its flagship at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga – the country’s sixth-largest city.
At 130,000 square feet and nearly four times the size of Holt’s store at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens, the two-story flagship designed by New York architectural firm Janson Goldstein is out to “set a new standard” for the 180-year-old retailer, particularly in the way it plans on “fusing the worlds of fashion, luxury and culture,” according to Holt Renfrew president Mark Derbyshire.
“We’ve done our research,” Derbyshire said. “We continue to hear the same message: customers want beautiful and exciting stores with the best luxury products. But what they really want is an extraordinary — and fun — shopping experience. That’s what our new shop at Square One will deliver.”
Featuring soaring ceilings — up to 30 feet in some areas — atriums; a dramatic open staircase and unobstructed sight lines across the 90,000-square-foot main floor, Holt’s re-envisioning of itself for Square One falls into line with the company’s current strategy to expand its network by focusing on key flagship markets and larger, more luxurious stores.
The location sets the stage for a heightened and more personalized shopping experience for Holt’s customers. That includes access to a wide range of designer labels including Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino, Stella McCartney, Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Derek Lam, Akris, Kenzo, Moncler, Tiffany, See by Chloé, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Aquazurra and Stuart Weitzman.
The Square One location will also offer enhanced luxury services, including a master tailor and certified watchmaker; concierge and valet; shoe-shine and cleaning services, and a resident leather artisan able to add bespoke embossing details to leather accessories and do full-service repairs.
Other services will include a Beauty Lab and Style Studio offering VIP access to experts and the latest designer products; a 2,000-square-foot café; a private apartment where guests can leisurely shop curated exclusives aided by a personal assistant, and more than 2,500 square feet on the mezzanine level dedicated to personal shopping.
The Square One store will replace Holt’s existing unit at Sherway Gardens. Though a closing date has yet to be confirmed, Holt will shutter that store later this year and relocate its business and associates to the new store.
The Square One flagship comes as Saks Fifth Avenue opens its first store in Canada this week, followed by a Sherway Gardens location a week later.
Other high-end competitors are also venturing into the market soon, such as Quebec retailer Simons, which will open at Square One in March, as well as Nordstrom, which will launch at Sherway Gardens in fall 2017.
However, Holt is ready for the competition, according to Derbyshire.
“Canada has a sophisticated and well-developed luxury market. We are not a new frontier for luxury,” he said. “Holt Renfrew has been Canada’s luxury retailer since 1837, and we have a unique global lens on fashion and luxury and are able to adapt it locally market by market.
“We were the first to bring fashion to Canada — like Dior and other top designers, and offer luxury experiences found nowhere else. Today we are more focused than ever on our unique position as Canada’s destination for specialty luxury.”