European Children’s Fashion Retailer Catimini Enters Canadian Market with 1st Store

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Upscale European children’s clothing retailer Catimini, known for its colourful and fashionable designs, is breaking into the Canadian market with a new store in Vancouver and potential for expansion to other cities.

The premium brand, which was established in 1972 in France, carries clothing for children ranging in age from newborn to 14 years old. Catimini has approximately 145 locations in more than 20 countries around the world, including both standalone stores and sales points within department stores.

Kidz Global Apparel Ltd., the licensed distributor for Catimini products in Canada, opened the first Canadian Catimini store on August 18th in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood.

“We have identified a gap in the market where there is increasing demand for premium European children’s wear,” says Niki Gloet, co-owner of Kidz Global Apparel.

Catimini is unique, Gloet explains, due to the high volume of designs and collections that it releases each season.

“‘Le voyage des couleurs’ – ‘the journey of colours’ – says it all,” she says. “Catimini is in the ‘creative Bohemia’ category of children’s wear. We have more than 50 designers each season for our creation, whereas most other brands have only 20.”

For each age group, Catimini’s collections feature a variety of different themes each year. For example, some of the brand’s current girls’ themes include ‘Graphic Floral’, ‘Eau La La’ (a rain-themed collection) and ‘Creative Fantasy’ (featuring unicorns), among others. Within each collection, all items can be mix-matched to create a unique outfit.

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Catimini’s apparel is also designed to be practical and functional. Its signature raincoats, for example, are completely waterproof, padded for warmth and feature large zipped exterior pockets. Most items can also be machine washed.

Catimini is often compared with Jacadi Paris – another French-inspired upscale children’s fashion brand. In contrast with Jacadi’s classic styles, however, Catimini’s designs evolve and change drastically from year to year, incorporating creative new colours, patterns and features.

“Our target market is families with high disposable income, who appreciate the quality and image of European children’s fashion,” says Gloet.

The Kerrisdale neighbourhood in Vancouver was a perfect fit for the first Canadian store, she says, since it’s in the heart of the affluent Vancouver west side.

“Kerrisdale has changed drastically over the last five years,” Gloet says. “With more younger families moving in, and new shops and restaurants opening, it is becoming a more diverse and family-oriented neighbourhood.”

With a variety of established children’s clothing stores already in the area, such as Isola Bella, Jacadi, Gap and Blake & Riley, Gloet says the area is already a popular shopping destination for young families.

“Catimini, with its unique designs and fresh concept that is new to the Vancouver market, as well as friendly personal service, we are confident families will love Catimini, as it has been loved by our customers all around the world for over 40 years,” she says.

The new store, located at 2263 West 41st Ave., is 800 square feet in size and was custom-designed by Catimini’s corporate design team in France. A bright and modern space, the store features neutral tones that effectively showcase its colourful collections.

“From our colour scheme, decorations, window display, mannequins, to Catimini-logo hangers and folding techniques,” Gloet says, “our store adheres to the highest standards of all Catimini stores in the world.”

Kidz Global Apparel is currently considering a couple of other metropolitan cities in Canada for future locations. The company also offers online shopping for Canadian customers, through its website http://www.kidzglobalapparel.com.

Megan Harman
Megan Harmanhttp://torontoretail.wordpress.com
Megan Harman is a business reporter based in Toronto. She writes about topics including retail, financial services and technology. Megan covers Toronto’s retail industry through her blog Retail Realm (torontoretail.wordpress.com).

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