New York City-based fashion brand Theory is looking to open stores in Canada, after successfully wholesaling at major retailers nationally. Theory has partnered with leading brokerage Aurora Realty Consultants for its Canadian real estate search.
Theory was founded in New York City in 1997 by Andrew Rosen (who is currently Theory’s CEO) and fashion designer Elie Tahari. The fashion brand sells at the ‘contemporary’ price point, featuring modern clothing and accessories for both women and men. Theory is owned by Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. of Japan, which also owns popular Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo — which entered the Canadian market in the fall of 2016 with two stores in Toronto.
Theory has store locations in the United States, France, the UK, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. In the United States, the retailer operates 22 full-priced stores and 24 outlets. Theory also wholesales in upscale retailers globally. In Canada, Theory fashions can be found in retailers including selected Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew locations.
According to Aurora Realty Consultants’ website, Theory is seeking out retail locations in the 3,000 square foot to 4,000 square foot range, with spaces to be considered both on high streets as well as in enclosed shopping malls. Aurora Realty Consultants President Jeff Berkowitz represents the brand in Canada.
Given the current distribution of the Theory brand in Canada, Toronto is a likely market for at least one Theory store location. Theory has a strong presence at Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship, as well as in neighbouring Saks Fifth Avenue, at Nordstrom’s two Toronto stores, and in the region’s three Holt Renfrew locations. Vancouver, which also boasts Theory distribution points at Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew, could be a target city for the brand — Theory’s sleek designs fit well on the body-conscious local population that includes a substantial percentage of fashion-savvy Asians.
Downtown Vancouver is seeing a retail boom of new entrants, and would be a best guess for a location if Theory chooses to open in the city. In Toronto, Theory will likely consider top retail destinations such as Yorkville, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, possibly Queen Street West, and Yorkdale Shopping Centre.