Quebec City-based large format fashion retailer La Maison Simons is preparing to open its 15th location this summer. The two-level, 90,000 square foot store will open its doors late August at Edmonton’s Londonderry Shopping Centre — Simons’ second in the Edmonton Market. The store will feature new initiatives in environmental sustainability, and it will also be the company’s first to feature dedicated shoe departments.
Simons will anchor the north end of the overhauled Londonderry, which has been undergoing a $130 million transformation that commenced in late 2014. When the mall is completed in a few months, it will be almost unrecognizable, according to landlord 20 VIC Management Inc.
The Londonderry Simons will feature the company’s first dedicated shoe department. According to President and CEO, Peter Simons, a shoe department rollout is in the works company-wide, and is a response to requests both from consumers seeking a broader assortment, as well as existing suppliers seeking to expand their product offerings. Londonderry will feature separate men’s and women’s shoe departments, noted Mr. Simons, each exceeding 1,000 square feet.
Environmental sustainability is key to the new Londonderry Simons, and over 50% of the store’s electricity usage will come from on-site renewable energy sources. The north parking lot beside Simons will include approximately 80 car parking spots that will be covered with canopies featuring 720 bifacial solar modules (the latest in solar technology), with glass on both surfaces to capture both direct and reflected sunlight. There will also be 950 high efficiency solar modules on Simons’ roof, and the entire solar-electric system is expected to generate over 550,000 kWh per year (the equivalent of 80 homes) in energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 350 tonnes per year.
Inside the store, LED lamps and fixtures throughout will reduce electricity devoted to lighting by more than 40%, when compared to traditional halogen light fixtures.
Electric car charging stations will be installed in the parking lot adjacent to the store. Included will be two ‘level 2’ chargers and one ‘level 3’ fast charger, which will charge most electric vehicles to 80% in about 30 minutes.
Local artwork will be an important component to the Londonderry store, as with all Simons locations. Alberta artist and activist Peter von Tiesenhausen agreed to his first ever corporate commission for the Londonderry store. His installation, which will be suspended from the second floor, will be called ‘Drawn by Desire’ and will include a 50-foot-long art installation that will appear to be an abstract grouping of human figures cut out of aluminum plates. When viewed head on from Simons’ first level mall entrance, however, the 500 carefully positioned plates come together to form a large, single human silhouette that will mirror the individual aluminum figures.
As well, local artist Hayley Wright (a former employee from the West Edmonton Mall Simons location) will supply illustration and skateboard designs that will appear in the store’s young women’s department ‘Twik’, with a large-scale watercolour portrait in the fitting room entrance and a custom set of skate boards mounted in the denim area featuring fun, inspiring messages, colours and patterns.
Quebec-based LEMAYMICHAUD is leading both the architecture and design of the Londonderry Simons. The design firm is using contrasting colours and materials to define each department, as per renderings supplied for this article.
The Londonderry store will be configured with the following departments:
Djab (cutting edge, urban streetwear for young men)
Le31 (classic and avant-garde fashions for men of all ages)
iFive (stylish activewear for men)
Twik (dynamic fresh looks for young women)
Icône (cosmopolitan styles for the modern woman)
Contemporaine (elegant women’s career and casual wear)
iFive (stylish activewear for women)
Miiyu (feminine lingerie and loungewear for women)
Maison (modern décor elements for the home)
Londonderry’s Simons location will carry fewer pricy designers than the West Edmonton Mall location, which opened in August of 2012 (West Edmonton Mall was Simons’ first foray outside of the province of Quebec). In March of this year, Simons opened a unique five-level Calgary store — its second in Alberta. In total, the company has 15 stores across the country in major markets including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Mississauga (GTA), Ottawa/Gatineau, Montreal, Sherbrooke and Quebec City. Simons was founded in 1840 by John Simons as a dry goods store in Quebec City, and is now led by brothers Peter and Richard Simons.