Luxury Retailer ‘Coltons Couture’ Plans More Locations after Tremendous Success

Date:

Share post:

In 2012, an online entrepreneur launched an incredible venture in luxury shopping from a 15th-floor penthouse due north of CF Richmond Centre in suburban Vancouver. ‘Colton’s Personal Couture’ was a private shopping club with a $25,000 membership fee and interior design inspired by the Parisian elegance of Dior.

Having made his fortune by strategically creating, building, and selling online luxury merchandise sales hubs, founder Howard Colton was seeking a new challenge: one that was more personal and involved a higher level of customization, than the typical online sale offered.

The penthouse was stocked with a highly curated selection of men’s and women’s luxury brands, a host of additional services and the launch received a swath of media attention by Canada-wide dailies and weeklies. Catering was exquisite, valet parking complimentary, and Showcase Piano’s Manuel Bernaschek loaned the event a white $165,000 F183 Fazioli to accompany Mexican soprano Mariana Valdes and pianist Austin Nash Park. Guests were primarily well-heeled Asians, and the runway show of the season’s hautest looks was devoured.

With a build time of one year and a $3-million investment, the 5,600-square-foot penthouse emerged dripping with chandeliers, $500,000 in luxury brand merchandise, customized private shopping suites, art-filled ‘His and Hers’ washrooms, a 3,000-square-foot continuous exterior greenway with various lounge areas for guests, and limousine service to retrieve and return members as they wished.

While lauded at the time as being ostentatious, it was also before the bloom of private shopping now found everywhere in the city from Holt Renfrew to Top Shop. With rows of Prada, Gucci, Balenciaga, Tom Ford and Etro, Howard Colton was unapologetic and four years later in 2016, his daughter Emanda suggested that they venture into retail.

Vancouver’s Alberni Street ‘Luxury Zone’ was in full bloom and the demand for luxury goods was rising with the west coasts Asian influx. The Lower Mainland had more than enough wealthy inhabitants to take a chance on a one-stop shop that catered to those who had the means, who may not necessarily have the time nor desire, to spend the day shopping downtown. Howard Colton was intrigued by how successful it could be and his instinct told him the time was right.

With the concept of a bricks and mortar location filled with a curated selection of the best-of-the-best of the luxury brands offered in one location, ‘Colton’s Couture’ was launched as a pop-up in Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre. Sales were impressive and soon the ink was dry on a lease. The location was a modest 900-square-feet and with a $500K investment, the boutique was up and running within four months.

At almost double the size of Oakridge, the 1,500-square-foot CF Richmond Centre location followed in October 2017. Heavily inspired by the modern Saint Laurent boutiques, with a six month build time and a $1-million+ investment, the marble and chrome interiors look riche and it is the exclusive Richmond home to the only Canadian based brand represented Canada Goose. Colton relays that the store is the top-performer in the mall, beating out the second place at four times the sales per square-foot. To date, the store has passed $3-million in sales with $7-million being anticipated by year-end. “Shoppers are enjoying the one-stop shop approach where they can see a mix of brands and always find something they like,” says Colton, “and when the merchandise is customized for each store to match the demographics of the community, everyone is happy.”

Colton’s Personal Couture (the original penthouse space) was closed in 2016, but plans to re-launch in time for the 2018 winter holiday season are already underway while the company simultaneously completes design on the largest edition of Colton’s Couture which is slated for late summer in Metropolis at Metrotown.

The 2,100-square-foot Metrotown store will be a mixed modern theme of stainless steel and glass interiors with a contemporary bent. As the exclusive retailer of Canada Goose in Burnaby, the company is re-creating the unique glass display cases feature from the flagship Canada Goose Yorkdale store, but in brushed stainless steel, as the location’s showpiece.

Acknowledging that every retailer cannot possibly sell everything in their stores and with three locations operating by the end of 2018, a 1,500-square-foot McArthurGlen Outlet store is in the works for 2019.

“We are considering expansion in Canada. Thinking Ontario, in particular outside the Toronto metropolitan area. Definitely not Yorkville, Colton’s Couture thrives away from the luxury department stores, possibly Markham’s CF Markville or the CF Sherway Garden area (in Toronto),” explains Colton.

Having made a successful transition from anonymous online luxury brokering to successful in-person sales at bricks and mortar locations, Colton’s Couture anticipates employing 75 people by the end of 2019.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

Survey Data Shows Canadians will Prioritize Romance Over Budget Cuts This Valentine’s Day [Interviews]

David Litwin of Moneris notes that Valentine's is an interesting bellwether for what businesses might expect from consumers for the rest of the year.

Anine Bing to Open 2nd Canadian Storefront at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto 

The US-based women’s fashion brand recently opened its first Canadian store at Yorkdale, and will open its second location in a downtown luxury hotel. 

Retail Burnout Crisis in Canada: The Call for Empathetic Leadership and Proactive Solutions Amid Operational Strains [Feature]

It's never been more difficult to work in retail, with store managers burning out amid lower staffing numbers, increased task and store robberies. Two industry experts discuss the situation.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

Survey Data Shows Canadians will Prioritize Romance Over Budget Cuts This Valentine’s Day [Interviews]

David Litwin of Moneris notes that Valentine's is an interesting bellwether for what businesses might expect from consumers for the rest of the year.

Anine Bing to Open 2nd Canadian Storefront at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto 

The US-based women’s fashion brand recently opened its first Canadian store at Yorkdale, and will open its second location in a downtown luxury hotel. 

Retail Burnout Crisis in Canada: The Call for Empathetic Leadership and Proactive Solutions Amid Operational Strains [Feature]

It's never been more difficult to work in retail, with store managers burning out amid lower staffing numbers, increased task and store robberies. Two industry experts discuss the situation.