Hunter to Open 1st North American Location in Toronto

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UK-based fashion brand Hunter, known for its rubber wellington boots, is opening its first freestanding North American location, and third location in the world, in Toronto. The 2,800 square foot store will open in October in the Nordstrom-anchored expansion wing at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in a retail space located between Samsung and a new Roots flagship that will open later this month. 

The store is being designed by Hunter’s in-house interior design team, led by Creative Director Alasdhair Willis (husband of fashion designer Stella McCartney). The store’s design is described as follows: “It reveals the sky and exposes the space to the elements, with the store’s internal envelope acting as a protective canvas to the external landscape lining the perimeter of the space. Visitors will ‘look out’ from the contemporary barn architecture onto a backdrop of the Scottish Highlands – the birthplace of the Hunter brand.” Additionally, Hunter confirms that “in-store weather elements will be changed seasonally.”

Flooring will be fashioned from strips of rubber from the Original green boot, according to a report in WWD, and the store will also feature mid floor tables that will double as seating, using natural oak and Douglas fir. 

Hunter’s Yorkdale storefront, which will be about 30 feet wide according to lease plans, will “be reminiscent of a contemporary greenhouse giving the sense that the sky is surrounding customers upon entry where they are immediately immersed into the brand world of Hunter.” 

Alasdhair Willis, said: “Toronto’s diversity and vibrancy makes it one of North America’s most exciting places to be and reflects the Hunter ethos, which is why it’s where we decided to open our third stand-alone store and the brand’s first in North America.”

The store will launch by carrying Hunter’s fall/winter 2017 collections for men, women and children, including Hunter Original footwear, outerwear and accessories collections alongside the Hunter Field technical collection. As well, to mark Canada’s 150th birthday, Hunter will release a limited-edition backpack in red and white that will be adorned with a red maple leaf. The ‘Toronto Limited Edition Original Top Clip Backpack’ will be crafted from rubberised leather and it will be exclusive to the Yorkdale location.

According to the report in WWD, prices at Toronto’s Hunter store will range from $14 for a boot buffer set to $575 for a down coat. 

Hunter’s first freestanding retail store opened on Regent Street in London in the fall of 2014, with about 5,300 square feet of retail space. A second location opened in the spring of 2016 in Tokyo’s Ginza district, spanning about 3,100 square feet. In Taiwan, Hunter also has a partner store in Taipei. 

Hunter Boot Ltd. was originally established as North British Rubber Company in 1856 and it is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland with offices in London, New York and Düsseldorf, Germany. In the past, the company was also involved in the manufacturing of rubber tires, conveyor belts, combs, golf balls, hot water bottles and rubber flooring. Being a heritage brand, Hunter holds several Royal Warrants by Appointment as suppliers of waterproof footwear. One of Hunter’s most recognizable products is its ‘Green Welly’ boot, which is now manufactured in China and is favoured by the hunting set. 

See below for more photos of Hunter’s London and Tokyo stores. 

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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