Tod’s new 3,200-square-foot store in Boston’s Copley Place represents the brand’s new global concept, which combines a contemporary design aesthetic with solid elements of traditional Italian craftsmanship, such as a steel entrance wrapped in the Milan brand’s signature Vachetta leather.
“The new Boston prototype reflects the young character of the city,” said Claudio Castiglioni global general manager of Tod’s. “The boutique is preppy, clean and modern.”
Tod’s retail network prior to the Boston store opening, counted 12 U.S. locations. “They’re in the most important U.S. luxury markets,” said Roberto Lorenzini, Tod’s U.S. chief executive officer. “Our brand has always been present in Boston through our wholesale distribution and the clientele has always responded very well to our products. Following this trend, we decided to open our first directly owned store in this important city to allow Bostonians to have full access to the world of Tod’s.”
Boston, the third-largest city in the U.S., has a large student population with Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, M.I.T., Tufts, Northeastern and Brandeis, among others, either located in Boston, its suburbs or Cambridge. “[The city] speaks to our brand,” Lorenzini said. “The Boston audience identifies with our product and is perfectly in tune with our DNA.
“Our experience shows that more points of distribution in the same market don’t lead to cannibalization, but rather, sales. [All outlets] will benefit from it,” Lorenzini added.
The ceo believes Tod’s is well-served by its stores in the U.S. “We’ll be expanding in Asia in 2018, adding two new Tod’s boutiques,” he said. “Our presence in other markets is guaranteed through our wholesale distribution, and, of course, our growing e-commerce business. At this moment, Tod’s U.S. network is very well-balanced between the different channels. We’ve set a good platform to grow organically in the coming years.”
Lorenzini allowed that if the market proves to be growing steadily in the coming years, Tod’s might look to add two to three new stores.
Castiglioni noted that Tod’s stores aren’t cookie-cutter productions. Rather, each unit takes a “made to measure” approach based on characteristics of the city and its customers. For example, Tod’s second store in Miami, a new unit in the Miami Design District, was designed with a gallery and video screens, a concept inspired by the city’s growing art scene.
“In London, our store on Old Bond Street fits in with the street’s characteristics and old charm, with its special grand staircase,” Castiglioni said. “The new Tod’s store on Madison Avenue in a regal apartment building, with an elegant doorman. As you walk into the store, there’s an elegant lobby with marble and a fireplace.” He added that the units are integral to their respective cities.
Boston consumers will have access to Tod’s elevated customer service and a much broader selections of products, including men’s wear and women’s wear collections, shoes, handbags, small leather goods, accessories, limited-edition collections and special customization services such as the brand’s My Gommino customization program, which is available in company-owned stores and features more than 30,000 options for personalizing items, including the Gommino driving shoe, and a variety of iconic Sella handbags. Production techniques for the program echo those used by ancient saddle makers, with leather pieces cut and sewn then painstakingly put back together.
Decor of the Boston Tod’s boutique reflects the brand’s global image, elegant and refined, but nonetheless relaxed. Silver and taupe saddle-stitched leather paneled steel vitrines, suspended showcases, high-gloss ceilings, Travertino marble floors and a Timos marble staircase.