Chanel to Open Vancouver ‘Flagship’

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French luxury brand Chanel will expand its Vancouver presence by relocating its concession to a larger, ground-floor ‘flagship’ location. The move is the latest within Holt Renfrew, as it continues to expand and renovate its CF Pacific Centre store to address competition from the mall’s recently-opened Nordstrom flagship.

Our West Coast correspondent Helen Siwak tells us that Chanel will vacate its current 1,900 square foot third-level Holt Renfrew concession space for a larger street-front location within Holt’s, in space formerly occupied by Holt’s salon and spa. The new Chanel store is under construction, and sources say that it will open mid-2016. Rumour has it that a café component may be included with frontage on Dunsmuir Street, and that Chanel may gain a dedicated Howe Street entrance as part of the expansion. 

When Holt Renfrew relocated its Pacific Centre flagship in the spring of 2007, Chanel opened an accessories-only concession on the store’s third floor. The concession expanded in 2010 to include ready-to-wear. 

Holt Renfrew is in the process of spending millions to renovate its Vancouver flagship, which sources say is one of the company’s top-two sellers. The 147,000 square foot store will annex an additional 40,000 square feet formerly occupied by Sport Chek/Atmosphere, with renovations expected to be completed by the end of 2016. In September of this year, Nordstrom opened a 230,000 square foot luxury designer-heavy flagship a block south of Holt’s and sources say that it’s on track to become Nordstrom’s top-selling unit. 

Vancouver’s first freestanding Chanel location, measuring 1,300 square feet, opened in 1991 at 103-755 Burrard Street (now occupied by Coach). Several years later Chanel relocated to a 5,000 square foot two level store at 900 West Hastings Street, which closed in the summer of 2010 due to poor sales, which some attributed to reduced cruise ship and tourist traffic. 

Chanel’s first Canadian store, measuring just over 3,000 square feet, opened in April of 1989 at 131 Bloor Street West in Toronto. A 4,200 square foot second level was added several years later to create the current 7,300 square foot Canadian flagship. In January of 2017, Toronto’s Chanel flagship will relocate to an 8,700 square foot retail space at 98 Yorkville Avenue, currently occupied by retailer Teatro Verde

In Canada, Chanel also operates shop-in-store concessions within Holt Renfrew locations in Calgary, Toronto (50 Bloor Street West), Toronto (Yorkdale Shopping Centre), and in Montreal.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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  1. I may be wrong, but I think Chanel was located in the 900 block of West Hastings in the time frame mentioned. I don’t believe Chanel was ever in the Hotel Vancouver or Cathedral Place across the street in the 900 block West Georgia


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