Eileen Fisher Reveals Growth Plans, New Canadian Office

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Popular American womenswear brand Eileen Fisher will continue its Canadian store expansion with its first confirmed Toronto location. The company will also open a dedicated Canadian office and showroom early next year. We spoke with Vice President of Retail and Global Development, Karen Gray, for details. 

Founded in New York in 1984, the privately-owned eco-friendly, experimentation-minded, socially aware company boasts almost 70 company-operated stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Eileen Fisher’s first Canadian location opened in the summer of 2011 in Vancouver’s tony South Granville shopping district, and its second location opened in July of 2013 at Calgary’s CF Chinook Centre. It also wholesales at upscale retailers such as Blu’s in Calgary and Edmonton and at Andrews in Toronto, as well as at selected Holt Renfrew and Hudson’s Bay locations. 

Ms. Gray revealed that in March of 2016, Eileen Fisher will open its first Toronto store at CF Sherway Gardens, directly across from Tiffany & Co. in a 2,150 square foot space between Williams Sonoma and Aveda. The store will feature Eileen Fisher’s updated interiors, with sustainably-sourced wood flooring, energy-efficient lighting, and some pieces of furniture that have been ‘found’ — ultimately creating a warm and residential feel for the store. The company wants to become 100% sustainable by the year 2020, and is engaging other retailers to attempt the same. The Toronto store will feature Eileen Fisher’s main women’s fashion line, petites, branded leather goods and accessories, and footwear. 

In February of 2016, Eileen Fisher will open a Canadian showroom on Prince Arthur Avenue, between Avenue Road and Bedford Road, in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. The two-level space is in a former Victorian home, featuring oak flooring and various heritage features, as well as a rear garden. Until recently, Eileen Fisher Inc. had partnered with Montreal based Se Ce Apparel for its Canadian distribution — an ongoing partnership which lasted for almost 20 years. Eileen Fisher will now handle its own wholesale business, evolving the relationship between the brand and its Canadian accounts. 

Ms. Gray revealed that the Eileen Fisher brand is looking to open freestanding stores in other Canadian markets, both on high streets as well as within shopping centres. She mentioned that Toronto’s Yorkville area is a high priority for the company’s second GTA store, and that Ottawa would be a potentially strong market when the right location presents. Montreal is also a priority for the brand, and other Canadian cities could follow as the right real estate opportunities present. Stores will ideally be in the 2,300 square foot to 2,400 square foot range in order to feature the brand’s expanded range of product.

Note: Eileen Fisher’s CF Sherway Gardens store will look similar to interior photos in this article, according to the company. 

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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