Woolrich Secures 1st Canadian Retail Space

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Construction signage has gone up for Canada’s first Woolrich store — America’s oldest outdoor clothing company will open at Canada’s most productive shopping centre, Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, this winter. 

Yorkdale’s Woolrich will locate in the mall’s new Nordstrom-anchored expansion wing, which was unveiled in October of 2016. Woolrich will be located between Warby Parker and Mendocino, across from recently opened Sandro, Maje and Mackage stores. Toronto-based musician Drake will also open an OVO/October’s Very Own store across the hall, this summer. Woolrich will occupy 2,876 square feet on one level. 

Aurora Realty Consultants is acting on behalf of Woolrich for its Canadian expansion, and Jeff Berkowitz and Ashley Lebofsky acted on behalf of the retailer in the Yorkdale deal. According to Aurora Realty Consultants’ website, Woolrich stores ideally occupy retail spaces in the 2,500 square foot range, either in enclosed malls or on urban high streets. 

Woolrich was founded in Pennsylvania in 1830 for the purpose of manufacturing fabric for the wives of hunters, loggers and trappers. Later, the company also outfitted clothing supplies for the American Civil War. It includes two labels: Woolrich Outdoor, distributed in North America, and Woolrich John Rich & Bros., the contemporary high-end outerwear line that is distributed worldwide. Woolrich also collaborates with brands on unique product launches, which in the past have ranged from Converse x Woolrich footwear to Goal Zero x Woolrich wireless speakers, not to mention a blanket collaboration with the Hudson’s Bay Company

Woolrich Inc. and Woolrich Europe announced a merger in November of 2016, creating a company called Woolrich International. Longtime Italian partner W.P. Lavori in Corso now controls the new company, with Woolrich International’s head office to be located in London UK. Annual sales in 2016 were US $190 million, and the company is projecting annual growth of 12% between 2017 and 2020, where it anticipates revenues of US $300 million while employing 500 people. The new company has earmarked about US $50 million to open more than 60 stores globally — including in Canada, where Woolrich is expected to also target Vancouver for at least one store. 

Woolrich currently operates 25 stores, globally, including two full-priced stores in the Unites States (Boston at 299 Newbury Street and in New York City at 125 Wooster Street) as well as an outlet in Woolrich, Pennsylvania. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. 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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