Upscale Toronto-based multi-brand menswear retailer Harry Rosen‘s CEO, Larry Rosen, was recently interviewed on CBC’s The Exchange by host Bruce Sellery. The segment, titled ‘All in the Family’, discussed the family-owned business, competition, strategy, and the future of the retailer.
In the video segment below, Mr. Rosen discusses increasing competition, and how advanced notice gave Harry Rosen time to prepare for competitors Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue‘s entry into Canada. A couple of years ago, Harry Rosen commenced a $100 million store overhaul that is almost complete, creating 17 state-of-the art men’s stores by renovating existing locations and in some instances, opening replacement stores.
Mr. Rosen revealed an interesting innovation — the retailer wants to make e-commerce ‘personal’ by providing each sales associate the opportunity to have their own website to interact and further build relationships with clients. If it comes to fruition, Rosen’s may be the first retailer in the world to spearhead such an initiative. Relationship building is key to Harry Rosen’s business, said Mr. Rosen, and personalizing the online experience is key to the retailer’s omni-channel endeavors.
Mr. Rosen revealed that he has received many offers to buy Harry Rosen, but he won’t sell the 62 year old family-owned company any time soon. He went on to say that at some point one or more of his sons may become involved in operating the chain, though he declined to provide further details except to say that “there will be more Rosens in the company”. Larry Rosen became CEO of retailer Harry Rosen in the year 2000 and prior to that, his father, Harry, controlled its operations.
Larry Rosen then went on to discuss clustering in the Canadian retail industry, and how luxury retailers, in particular, are focused on a handful of key Canadian malls that continue to gain market share. Harry Rosen has created “great stores” that are part of that clustering and as well, Mr. Rosen said that the company is spending more on training to ensure that its service advantage is “that much higher” than the competition.
Mr. Rosen concluded the interview saying that he “loves a fight” and that he’s determined to “win this battle”, referring to competition in the market. Given the strength of the brand, investment in bricks-and-mortar and omni-channel, and its investment in customer service and human capital, this world-class homegrown retailer will continue to thrive with the best of them.