Italian luxury brand Versace plans to open five Canadian stores within the next five years, and possibly even sooner. Its target cities include Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and perhaps another Canadian city. Toronto will likely see two Versace stores: the company has already confirmed one, while it searches for a large downtown flagship space. A source tells us that all five Versace stores could be open in as little as two and a half years.
Versace’s first free-standing Canadian store will open next month at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. We first learned of the 2,820 square foot store through the City of Toronto Applications website. Yorkdale management later confirmed its Versace store, along with several other first-to-Canada luxury retailers.
Versace is seeking retail space in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. In Toronto, the brand wants a large space on Bloor Street West. In Vancouver, Versace seeks space ideally in the city’s ‘luxury zone’, located between the Hotel Vancouver and the Shangri-la Hotel. In Montreal, we’re not sure if Versace will open a street-front shop, or if it will choose to locate within an expanded Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew store, expected to be completed in 2017. Montreal currently lacks a street-front luxury zone, save for a handful of upscale retailers in the vicinity of the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Sherbrooke Street West.
Our source can’t confirm which fourth Canadian city could see a new Versace location. Our best guesses would be Calgary, possibly at Chinook Centre, or in Edmonton, at West Edmonton Mall. Both properties have aggressive leasing teams actively looking to secure new luxury tenants. This is more speculation on our part, however, and we’ll update you when we learn more.
Canada’s only Versace store is a large shop-in-store within Vancouver-based luxury retailer Leone. Versace has operated out of the Sinclair Centre retailer since 1987. There’s no word yet on what will happen to Leone’s current Versace shop.
Canada has had several Versace stores in its past. In the 1990’s, Toronto had franchised Versace locations on Bloor Street West, on Hazelton Avenue, and within luxury retailer Chez Catherine at Hazelton Lanes. In Montreal, Versace once operated shops on Sainte Catherine Street West and within a Chez Catherine concession at Ogilvy.