Tommy Bahama Ramps Up Canadian Expansion Plans

Seattle-based fashion brand Tommy Bahama is expanding its base of Canadian stores, including its newest location which opens next week. The company’s new stores will be larger and feature the company’s updated aesthetic, as well as a wider product assortment that will include more womenswear as well as substantially expanded denim offerings. 

The company’s CF Chinook Centre location in Calgary, which opened in June of this year, will act as a prototype for future Tommy Bahama locations, according to Tommy Bahama CEO Doug Wood. The Calgary store, designed by Seattle-based architectural firm MG2, showcases a wider selection of women’s products than are typically carried in Canada’s Tommy Bahama stores, which have also been traditionally smaller than the 3,800 square foot CF Chinook Centre unit. 

On Tuesday, September 6, Tommy Bahama will open a 3,550 square foot store at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens, reflecting a ‘Modern Beach House’ design featuring a neutral colour palette emphasizing clean lines and open space, with strong dark metal accents as well as oak wood flooring sourced from a local Ontario vendor, according to Tommy Bahama. The storefront will contrast with bold teak louvered awnings and a teak façade. 

This fall, for the first time, Tommy Bahama’s Canadian stores will see a focus on denim, with the Toronto store launch coinciding with the brand’s launch of its new men’s and women’s denim collections. Denim will feature prominently throughout stores, including focused displays at the new Sherway unit. 

Tommy Bahama entered the Canadian market in 1998 under a master franchise agreement with Toronto-based Jaytex Group. Tommy Bahama retrieved the license in 2013, and now operates locations corporately. The company currently operates 10 Canadian stores, including full-priced, outlet and seasonal locations. Tommy Bahama’s six full-priced Canadian stores include two Toronto locations (Bayview Village and 2488 Yonge Street), Oakville ON (216 Lakeshore Road East) Calgary’s CF Chinook Centre, and two Vancouver stores (Oakridge Shopping Centre and at West Vancouver’s Park Royal). The company also operates three Canadian outlet stores (CrossIron Mills in Calgary, West Edmonton Mall and at Vaughan Mills near Toronto) as well as a seasonal location at Port Carling, Ontario (Muskoka region), which is open each summer for the tourist season. The company also wholesales through a variety of retailers in Canada. 

Moving forward, Mr. Wood said that Tommy Bahama will look to strategically open stores in some of Canada’s top malls, as well as street-front locations where warranted. New Canadian stores will be in the 3,500 square foot range ideally, he said, as opposed to the roughly 2,000 square foot locations that have operated until now. Mr. Wood said that the company may also consider opening more resort stores in Canada, possibly in British Columbia as well as in Ontario’s Niagara region. He also mentioned Quebec as being a possible future market for Tommy Bahama, as the province currently lacks any freestanding stores. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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