Canadian fashion brand Danier is continuing to open stores in new markets as it becomes a national brand again, after it relaunched its operations in the fall of 2016. By the end of next week, the company will have opened 10 stores in the country, and within three years plans to operate as many as 30 locations nationally.
The new Danier is a reincarnation of the former ‘Danier Leather’ which sought creditor protection in February of 2016 and as a result, closed all of its stores. The company’s intellectual property was purchased in July of 2016, and the new owners re-established the Canadian company with a focus on a broader range of fashions for both men and women including ready-to-wear, outerwear (including some leather styles), bags and accessories. Designs are modern, fashion-forward and of a high quality (including luxurious fabrics and lambskin), and prices are kept reasonable in order to attract a broader demographic.
Danier’s first new store opened in the fall of 2016 at the Oshawa Centre, east of Toronto, followed soon after by locations at Mapleview Shopping Centre in Burlington, and at Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket. As of today, the company operates eight locations in Ontario’s ‘Greater Golden Horseshoe’ which extends south to the Niagara Falls area where it has a store at Outlet Collection Niagara, as well as at the Falls View Casino Resort. A location at Outlet Collection Winnipeg is currently its only store outside of the province.
This week, Danier’s ninth store opens at the Scarborough Town Centre in Toronto, which will be its third store in the City of Toronto. Danier’s other two stores include a unit at Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto’s Financial District which opened early summer 2017, as well as at CF Toronto Eaton Centre which opened a couple of months ago.
On Friday, October 5, Danier opens its 10th store at CF Masonville Place in London, Ontario. The mall is one of Canada’s most productive in terms of annual sales per square foot — Retail Council of Canada will launch its 2018 Canadian Shopping Centre Study this fall (Retail Insider’s Craig Patterson is putting it together) and CF Masonville is on track to surpass $1,000 per square foot within a couple of years.
Over the next two-to-three years, Danier expects to operate between 20 and 30 stores Canada wide. The goal is to have enough locations so that customers can try on and feel the garments, with an omni-channel strategy which also encourages online purchases. Danier launched its e-commerce site in December of 2016, recognizing that the way consumers shop is changing rapidly. Its physical stores are designed to be bright and modern, reflecting the brand’s positioning of being ‘accessible luxury’.
Having the ‘right’ location is key for Danier, and the company is working with broker David George of DEG Consulting. Stores are ideally in the 1,500 to 2,000 square foot range, and may be located in major shopping centres, outlet centres, on high streets, and even in a casino retail concept as with its Niagara Falls store.
Danier is seeing strong sales in Canada with its mix of leather and fabrics such as wool, with a focus on flattering basics which can be layered depending on the climate and look. Fashions are contemporary in nature and are made to be wearable.
This fall, the company is launching a new product called the ‘Danier Collar’, which is a racoon fur detachable collar that can be worn with comparable Danier jacket styles for men and woman, or on its own with other garments. The Danier Collar will come in an array of colours, allowing consumers to personalize their style and change the look of garments. Each costs $237 and will be available at Danier stores as of October 11.
It’s all part of the trend towards customization, which is being adopted by leading retailers globally.