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Holt Renfrew Opens Square One Flagship [Photos]

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Holt Renfrew has opened its impressive Janson Goldstein-designed Square One Shopping Centre store in Mississauga. The 130,000 square foot store replaces a smaller unit at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens, which closed last Sunday. 

The Square One store is located in the mall’s new ‘luxury wing’ which opened in March of this year. Luxury menswear retailer Harry Rosen also anchors the wing with a 20,000 square foot store, and Salvatore Ferragamo opens its latest location in the wing today as well.  

The Square One store is located in the mall’s new ‘luxury wing’ which opened in March of this year. Luxury menswear retailer Harry Rosen also anchors the wing with a 20,000 square foot store, and Salvatore Ferragamo opens its latest location in the wing today as well.  

The Mississauga Holt’s store’s two-story facade features a glass curtain wall interspersed with grey graphite stone and 15-foot wide display windows. Its interior features soaring ceilings up to 30 feet in height, atriums, an open staircase, natural light, and unobstructed sight-lines across the store’s 90,000 square foot main floor. The entire space is dramatic and unlike any other store in Canada. 

The store features a roster of designer brands, including a number of shop-in-stores, some of which have yet to open. In women’s handbags, a Longchamp boutique is open and opening soon/this fall will be accessory shop-in-stores for Valentino, Gucci, Kenzo, Balenciaga and others. A large Tiffany & Co. concession neighbours the store’s impressive jewellery department. The women’s shoe department is large and also features a number of shop-in-stores — Manolo Blahnik, Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman and Jimmy Choo are already open, and footwear boutiques for Valentino and Aquazzura are on the way. The women’s department features a number of brands ranging from pricey (Chloe/Jason Wu) to the more modest, and a collection of shop-in-stores for Hugo Boss Woman, Max Mara Studio and Eileen Fisher anchor the perimeter of the space. Menswear and men’s shoes departments are both very impressive with a variety of designers housed in an environment featuring ample natural light and soaring ceilings. Overall, the environment is bright, airy, high-quality and luxurious — the fixtures and finishes in the store are exceptional. 

The store features some impressive services, including a master tailor, shoeshine and sneaker cleaning, concierge, valet and more. The store’s ‘Leather Artisan’ is a resident expert who “elevates the customer experiences with bespoke embossing details on any leather accessory and offers full-service repair”, according to Holt’s. The store also features an impressive jewellery and watch service area, under the guidance of certified watchmakers. 

More than 2,500 square feet on the Square One store’s mezzanine level is dedicated to personal shopping, including Holt Renfrew’s second ‘Apartment’ — its private luxury shopping suite. Also located on the second level, overlooking the store, is a 2,000 square foot Holt’s Café. Neither of these were available to view with the opening of the store, but will be coming soon. 

Square One is now the company’s fourth-largest store, following Holt’s 185,000 square foot Bloor Street flagship, its 147,000 square foot Calgary store, and its 146,000 square foot Vancouver flagship. Towards the end of the decade, Holt’s will open a combined Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew store in Montreal measuring 220,000 square feet, and its Bloor Street and Vancouver flagships will also see considerable expansions (Vancouver will grow to almost 188,000 square feet when finished early next year).

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. 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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3 COMMENTS

  1. Square One is just not a luxury mall, and I think Holt Renfrew is making a big mistake with this store location. The opening of this store just screams of Holt Renfrew downgrading itself to just a common store you can find in almost any mall, and not the exclusive, unique place it is supposed to be.

    It also makes no sense to have Holts and other luxury stores opening branches so close to Toronto’s downtown luxury shopping area and Yorkdale/Sherway. All this store at Square One will do is cannibalize sales at the existing stores. And you can already see the negative effects of all this suburban luxury expansion on Toronto’s downtown retail scene. It is not as robust as it once was, and it will be a shame if Toronto’s downtown retail declines like American downtown retail has.

    It also amazes me that companies like Holt Renfrew think Toronto can support more than one store, when much larger cities known for luxury shopping tend to have only one location for their luxury stores.

    Holt Renfrew would have been better off building up the Bloor Store into something special and unique. Instead of opening all these small branch stores, which are just becoming another "mall store".

    In closing, I have a feeling we are going to see many of these suburban branches closing, just like we saw 20 to 25 years ago, when places like Harry Rosen closed many of their branches. It is just too much retail for a metropolitan area our size.

    • There are enough wealthy people in Mississauga, Oakville, Etobicoke and even Burlington to support this store. I personally disliked that I had to hop on the rage-inducing 401 just to go to Yorkdale.

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