Online footwear retailer Shoes.com (operating online as ShoeMe.ca in Canada) has opened its first permanent brick-and-mortar location in the world, in Toronto. The store is located on trendy Queen Street West and is the first of two to open in Canada this year.
The 3,000 square foot Toronto store, which opened on Friday, is located at 356 Queen Street West. The company says that it moved into brick-and-mortar to introduce new customers to purchasing shoes online, with in-store ‘brand ambassadors’ helping shoppers find shoes in-store or online at the SHOEme.ca website from in-store order stations. The Toronto store was designed by Canadian architecture and interior design firm, Dialog, in the same space where Shoes.com hosted a pop-up in November of 2015.
The Toronto store is divided into three separate spaces. The front space is referred to as its ‘Home Room’, reflecting the products and messaging on the SHOEme.ca website — with mirrored walls creating an optical illusion of an ‘endless selection’ like its online experience. The middle of the store is called the ‘Dressing Room’, hosting between five and six new brands every two months and currently housing brands such as Clarks, Guess, Hardy and socks by Richer Poorer, which Shoes.com purchased in November of 2015. The back portion of the store, called the ‘Editor’s Room’, features an innovative community space for workshops, speaking sessions, and counters with seating for guests to spend time in the store, check out products online, and even have a coffee. The Editor’s Room also features curated collections of local handmade designs, including products from Toronto hat designer Jason Mitchell from Coup de Tete, pieces by Armed Jewelry, and fashions by Joao Paulo Guedes. Furniture in the store is also local and custom-crafted.
A Vancouver store location will follow this fall, located at 779 Burrard Street in a space formerly occupied by French fashion brand Lacoste. The Vancouver store will be about 2,000 square feet and will be similar in design to the new Toronto location.
*All photos except for top image were supplied by Shoes.com