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Bailey Nelson Launches Ontario Expansion with 1st Store [Photos]

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Australian eyewear retailer Bailey Nelson has opened its first corporately-owned location in Toronto. The company entered Canada earlier this year and already operates three stores in Vancouver. 

The new Toronto store is in a bright open retail space at 732 Queen Street West, in an area with the highest concentration of street-front eyewear retailers in Canada. Formerly a location for Starbucks, the new Bailey Nelson store features a retail space in the front, as well as an optometrist’s office at the back-end. 

The glasses buying process is simple — an optometrist can do an eye exam if warranted, and staff then help pick out frames. Bailey Nelson has an extensive range of frame styles to suit different looks at very reasonable prices, and there’s also an expansive selection of sunglasses. 

Brokerage CBRE is working with Bailey Nelson on its Canadian store expansion. The Toronto deal was negotiated by the CBRE Toronto Urban Retail Team under the direction of Jackson Turner, Arlin Markowitz, and Alex Edmison. In Vancouver, Martin Moriarty and Mario Negris of CBRE are handling Canada’s west. 

Bailey Nelson launched its Canadian store expansion in the summer of this year when it unveiled a store at 1135 Robson Street, in the heart of the city’s busiest shopping area (and new a soon-to-open MUJI flagship). A second location followed in Gastown at 202 Carrall Street, and most recently Bailey Nelson opened at 2169 W. 4th Avenue in Vancouver’s Kitsilano area

In an interview several months ago, Bailey Nelson’s North American managing director, Bree Stanlake, explained that the retailer will look to open multiple locations in each market it enters. Following Vancouver and Toronto, Bailey Nelson will seek to expand into Ottawa and other major Canadian cities. 

Bailey Nelson will test out the Canadian market and while there’s no ‘ultimate goal’ as to the number of stores it will open, Ms. Stanlake noted that Canada could see as many as 40-50 Bailey Nelson stores open over the next four years. Stores will generally range in the 1,000 square foot to 2,000 square foot range, and its initial focus will be on urban street fronts, in order to create connections within local communities. Shopping mall locations will also eventually play a key role in the company’s expansion, said Ms. Stanlake, particularly given our climate and exceptional foot traffic at leading centres. 

Founded in Bondi Beach (Sydney) Australia in 2012, Bailey Nelson retails high-quality, on-trend glasses and sunglasses at a moderate price-point. It designs and manufactures its high-quality frames and uses top-quality lenses. Prices are a fraction of the cost of some competitors, and customer reviews reflect satisfaction with the company’s customer service and product selection. 

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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