Holt Renfrew Gets More “Manly”

Holt Renfrew will be making significant changes to its men’s stores by 2015. Our Toronto-based Holt Renfrew insider has given us some info on what’s in store. The changes are HUGE. 

All nine Holt Renfrew stores will get their own ‘Men’s Shop’ which will essentially be a ‘separate store’ similar to Harry Rosen, including its own separate store entrance. The separate entrance will eliminate the need for men to go through cosmetics/fragrances/handbags, for example, to shop for men’s items at Holt’s. Also, men can say goodbye to the magenta shopping bags… the Holt’s men’s store will get their own, in a more ‘masculine’ look, according to our insider. All of this is part of the Holt’s massive $300million expansion that we previously reported.

The Holt Renfrew men’s shops will include shoe shine stations (to compete with Nordstrom?), a ‘hot shave bar’, comfy leather couch seating areas, technological advances and gadgets, and will even serve alcohol where possible. 

These changes are a response to a drastic increase by Canadian men on expensive suits (luxury suit sales @ Holts went up 300% last year), designer shoes and men’s accessories. Holt Renfrew’s mens’ department sales have done so well in the past two years that we’ll see these drastic changes ‘imminently’. 

Holt Renfrew’s Yorkdale location has the first revamped men’s store, with the store’s entire renovations to be completed by late summer 2013. The men’s store will be expanded from 11,000 square feet to 18,000 square feet, including the bells-and-whistles mentioned above. Our insider qualified it to be ‘a stunning prototype for a Canada-wide roll-out’. 

Holt Renfrew’s increased concentration on menswear is also a reaction to 1) women’s sales going down slightly (due to competition and market saturation) and 2) increased competition from Harry Rosen (which is expanding its stores), new changes for men’s floors at Hudson’s Bay (including a stunning new men’s floor in Vancouver) and Nordstrom’s Canadian arrival. 

Our Holt’s insider is digging around for more information. We’ll publish it when ready. Stay tuned! 

[Top image from The Art of Shaving. We are not confirming at this time that The Art of Shaving will have concessions at Holt Renfrew]

Holt Renfrew website:



  1. Art of Shaving is gone from Holts for good. Gillette wanted to bring them into Shopper's Beauty Boutiques after acquiring them, and as a result Holt Renfrew dropped them as a brand they carry.


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