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Babaton Launches National Store Expansion

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Vancouver-based Aritzia’s newest retail concept, Babaton is now opening stores in markets across Canada. Babaton’s first location opened at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in December of last year, and another location opened last week at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Two more Babaton locations are confirmed to be opening soon, as the brand seeks to gain a customer following, as well as gain brand awareness. 

The new Yorkdale Babaton spans over 5,000 square feet in the mall’s ‘luxury wing’, adjacent to Van Cleef & Arpels and across from Richemont brands PiagetIWC SchaffhausenVacheron Constantin and Officine Panerai. The boutique features a lit interior garden, custom metal, glass, and stone floor fixtures, a lounge area with a marble coffee table, and curated art and plants throughout. Materials used in the space include a marble cash desk, board formed concrete walls, exposed aggregate concrete, interior partitions with blackened wood and bronze glass, custom stucco walls, and polished concrete floors.

Babaton’s first location opened last December in a 1,777 square foot space on the third floor of CF Toronto Eaton Centre, which formerly housed a Wilfred location (Wilfred relocated in the mall to a considerably larger retail space downstairs). Babaton and Wilfred began as Aritzia exclusive brands, and both have since been spun off to include their own freestanding stores. 

Two more Babaton locations are currently under construction. A 4,870 square foot location will open in several months at Square One in Mississauga, marking the third Babaton in the Greater Toronto Area. Babaton will be located near Square One’s Holt Renfrew, across the hall from a recently opened Rolex boutique

Babaton’s first Vancouver location is also confirmed to be opening in a few months at CF Pacific Centre, measuring just over 3,000 square feet. Aritzia also recently opened a Wilfred location at CF Pacific Centre, and it has operated an Aritzia store in the mall for a number of years. 

Aritzia notes that Babaton’s stores “help propel the brand” and that the company views its new Babaton stores as being its “most important marketing tool”. Babaton, as well as other Aritzia brands including Wilfred and TNA, are “generally opened in malls or shopping streets where our established Aritzia store is performing very well, but due to real estate space limitations (such as no other high-profile spaces available, or lack of adjacent store vacancies), we are not able to expand the existing store,” according to Aritzia. The company explained that where it is unable to expand an existing store (often in a very prime location), it finds additional space within the same mall/street to open a banner store. This store strategy allows Aritzia to increase its square footage in the mall/on the street, while still maintaining the optimal location of its established store, given expansion limitations. 

To that end, it is likely that Aritzia will open more Babaton stores in Canada (not to mention Wilfred), though the company has not confirmed any more locations as of yet. 

Northwest Atlantic Principal/Broker Dianne Lemm represents Artizia as broker in Canada, and negotiated the deals for Babaton’s four confirmed stores with landlords Oxford Properties and Cadillac Fairview

*Photos are of the Yorkdale store, and were provided courtesy of Aritzia/BICOM Communications.

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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