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List of International Retailers that Entered Canada in 2015Wednesday, January 06, 2016 > 10:26:58
Below is a list of 28 international retailers that opened freestanding Canadian locations over the past 12 months. Despite the economy and dollar, a considerable number of international brands will open Canadian locations in 2016, with the University of Alberta School of Retailing's Applied Research department set to release a study on this topic later this month.
Here's our list, in alphabetical order, of the international brands that entered Canada by opening stores in 2015. It's sponsored by Vancouver-based Peregrine, which custom designs and fabricates retail, display, furniture and architectural features for some of the country's top retailers.
- Aesop: The upscale Australian skin care brand opened its first two Canadian stores in July in Toronto and Vancouver, followed by two Montreal locations. Sources say that Aesop plans to open up to three more Vancouver locations, as well as at least two more Toronto stores. A Toronto location is confirmed to be opening next month inside of Saks Fifth Avenue's downtown Toronto flagship, though Aesop prefers street-front locations for its Canadian expansion.
- Alex & Ani: This American jeweller, known for its "eco-conscious, positive energy products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind and empower the spirit", entered the Canadian market with two Toronto-area stores in December.
- Benefit Cosmetics: This popular San Francisco-based cosmetics brand opened its first freestanding Canadian location in April on Yonge Street in Midtown Toronto. More Canadian locations will follow, according to the company.
- BESTSELLER: The trendy Danish company opened its first Canadian locations in September in suburban Montreal, and a Winnipeg location is confirmed for the spring. Canada is the first market in the world to feature the expanded retail concept, which includes many of BESTSELLER's sub-brands (such as Jack & Jones, Vero Modo and Noisy May) in its stores.
- Breitling: This pricey Swiss timepiece brand opened its first Canadian storefront in August on a relatively quiet stretch of Bloor Street East in Toronto, removed from the Bloor Street West luxury strip. The boutique operates as part of the brand's relocated Canadian headquarters, operating directly behind the new Breitling store.
- Brunello Cucinelli: Italy's "King of Cashmere" opened his first Canadian location at the end of October in downtown Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone'. Sources say that at least one more Canadian location is expected.
- Chopard: This Swiss jeweller and timepiece brand opened its first Canadian location in the fall, within the expansion wing of Toronto's CF Sherway Gardens. Chopard's jewel box-sized shop is located next to host jeweller L'Oro, which now considers Sherway to be its flagship store.
- COS: This fashion brand, founded by Swedish mega-retailer H&M, opened its first Canadian location on Toronto's Bloor Street West in September. A Montreal location followed soon after, and more Canadian locations are expected to follow.
- Christian Dior (flagship): Although Dior operates accessory concessions in several Holt Renfrew stores, it wasn't until July of 2015 that the French luxury brand opened its first Canadian flagship location (featuring men's and women's ready-to-wear) at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The store is stunning and at 12,000 square feet, is also Dior's largest North American location.
- F21 Red by Forever 21: Los Angeles-based Forever 21's sister brand, F21 Red, opened its first Canadian location in the fall at Devonshire Mall in Windsor, Ontario. F21 Red will open as many as 30 Canadian locations over the next five years.
- Fjällräven: The Swedish outdoor-focused retailer opened a pop-up shop in downtown Montreal in August. A source at the company says that it might be the first step towards a national rollout. We haven't written on the company yet, hence no article link.
- Gerry Weber: The German women's fashion brand opened its first corporately-operated Canadian locations in March in the Toronto area, and it plans to continue to expand. Although it's on this list, Gerry Weber franchises have operated in Toronto and Vancouver for the past several years.
- Jaeger-LeCoultre: This pricey Swiss timepiece brand opened its first two Canadian stores in September in Vancouver and Toronto. The Vancouver store is street-front in downtown Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone', while the Toronto location is at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
- Jermyn Street 1664: This multi-brand British fashion retailer opened its first Canadian location in downtown Calgary in late August. The company says that more Canadian locations are planned.
- Kiton: This ultra-luxe Italian brand saw the opening of a freestanding Toronto location in March. Sources question if this is an authorized Kiton location, and we won't comment on the matter further. Menswear retailer Harry Rosen also opened a Kiton shop-in-store at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver in the fall, along with Tom Ford and an expanded shoe shop.
- L'Agent by Agent Provocateur: Although its parent company already operates Agent Provocateur locations in Canada, Montreal's Ogilvy became home to the world's fourth location for L'Agent, the parent company's diffusion line. No word yet if any other Canadian locations will follow.
- Lao Feng Xiang: China's oldest jewellery brand opened its first Canadian location in October in downtown Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone'. We're told that sales are already exceptional, and that the store is particularly popular with Chinese tourists seeking jade.
- Longchamp: The popular French luxury brand opened its first Canadian location in May at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. We interviewed the company's North American CEO, who revealed that more Canadian locations are expected to follow.
- LUMAS Galleries: This art gallery retail concept opened its first Canadian location last spring in Vancouver's Gastown, and a Toronto gallery followed in Yorkville in September. Its Canadian franchisee says she is looking to operate six locations, and plans to open them over the next five years.
- Marc Cain: The German womenswear brand's first two Canadian locations opened in October in suburban Montreal and Quebec City. A Calgary location followed soon after, and two Toronto-area stores are set to open this spring.
- Monogram Design Centre: GE opened its first Monogram Design Centre in Toronto in the spring of 2015, featuring a wide range of home appliances in an innovative, well-designed retail setting.
- NYX Cosmetics: The cosmetics brand's first Canadian location opened in October at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, ON, and a second location followed in Toronto. The brand will continue its Canadian expansion in 2016.
- Papabubble: The Spanish sweets retailer opened its first Canadian location in October on Toronto's Yonge Street, near Teddington Park Avenue. Papabubble's only other North American stores are in Los Angeles and New York City.
- Reiss: This British fashion brand opened its first Canadian store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in July of 2015. In 2016, Reiss will open two more Toronto stores, and a national rollout will follow.
- RYU: Formerly headquartered in Portland, Oregon, RYU recently moved its global headquarters to Vancouver, BC and in November, opened a flagship in Kitsilano.
- SHOO by Steve Madden: Toronto saw the opening of Steve Madden's first 'SHOO' concept, which opened in September at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The store is stocked with brands owned by Steve Madden corporation, and the concept is expected to begin expanding into other Canadian markets in the latter part of 2016.
- Torrid: This California-based plus-sized women's retailer opened its first Canadian location at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in early September. Its CEO told us that parent company Hot Topic (also expanding throughout Canada) plans to open approximately 50 Canadian Torrid locations over the next several years.
- Uno de 50: The Spanish jeweller entered Canada last fall through two Toronto malls -- CF Toronto Eaton Centre, and CF Sherway Gardens. More Uno de 50 locations will be announced soon.