Topshop, a British women’s clothing brand that has expanded around the globe, is now tackling the Canadian market. In a deal with Hudson’s Bay Co., both Topshop and its menswear brand, Topman, will be sold in Canada in The Bay department stores as store-within-a-store concepts, as well as stand-alone stores.
The expansion will happen fast. “Our first three are planned for Toronto, then Vancouver, then Montreal,” Bonnie Brooks, president and chief executive officer of The Bay, told WWD. “In three to five years, we could have as many as 30 to 50, with probably the majority being shop-in-shops.”
The specific Canadian locations are still somewhat under wraps, although sources told WWD that Toronto has been chosen, with stores on Bloor Street and on Yonge Street, as have the Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens malls.
“Those in the know have been anxiously waiting for Topshop and Topman to come to Canada on a large scale,” Brooks said.
According to the New York Times, Topshop provides greater fashion on demand, with several daily deliveries and a speeded-up cycle, in which new styles are in stores in a matter of weeks, instead of months, of being exhibited on the runway.
This is only one step of many for Topshop: The retailer already has franchises in the Middle East and Europe and is mulling over options in the Far East.
Canada is a popular choice for international retail growth because of its proximity to the U.S. and its lower level of competition. Moreover, Canadians frequently gripe about the dearth of shopping options in their country.
Topshop is therefore one of a number of companies that are jumping on the Canadian bandwagon: Limited Brands Inc.’s Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works and Intermix also are expanding into the area.
The country apparently held appeal for Leonard Green & Partners’ David’s Bridal, which just launched its first stores in Canada, representing the brand’s first foray into international markets. The chain opened last week new stores in the Meadowvale Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and in the Smart Centre Scarborough in the Scarborough section of Toronto.
“Canada is a proving ground,” Brian Beitler, David’s Bridal executive vice president and chief marketing officer, told WWD. “It’s (a) potential stepping stone” to other countries around the globe.
Beitler reports that David’s Bridal is considering opening 10 to 12 Canadian stores, with more on the way. The retailer is known for its large assortment of wedding and other special occasion dresses and accessories, with bridal gowns priced from $299 to $1,600.
“Everything in our U.S. stores will be, for the most part, in our Canadian stores,” Beitler said. “Canadians have the same desire for quality, style and design at amazing values … We expect our entry will be a game changer for the Canadian bridal market.”