Holt Renfrew Unveils Updated Flagship Footwear Hall in Toronto [Photos]

Date:

Share post:

Holt Renfrew’s Bloor Street flagship store in Toronto recently unveiled an impressive new footwear hall on its mezzanine level, which features a vast offering of luxury brands including impressive shop-in-stores. It’s all part of a renovation to the 50 Bloor Street West flagship that will be completed in 2020, at a time of unprecedented competition amongst luxury retailers in Canada.

The Bloor Street Holt’s footwear hall relocated downstairs for several months while the store’s mezzanine level was renovated. Last week, Holt’s unveiled a new 7,800 square foot footwear hall which was designed by creative agency Kramer Design Group and master architects Gensler. Terrazzo floors and fixtures and white oak tables contrast with glass pedestals and warm bronze accents, and there’s a dedicated sneaker area with smoked glass and plush felt fixtures. The new shoe space is about 60% larger than the previous department and the new footwear floor includes a ‘luxury personal shopping suite’ as well as an expansive assortment of handbags — something new for a Holt Renfrew shoe department.

About 40 leading designer brands are featured in the new Bloor Street footwear hall, with names such as Gianvito Rossi, Manolo Blahnik, Miu Miu, The Row and many others. Several branded areas highlight designs by luxury labels such as Balenciaga, Celine, Valentino and Prada.

The footwear floor also features three luxury brand hard-shops — Gucci and Christian Louboutin are now open, and boutiques for Roger Vivier and Dior are under construction and will open in the spring of 2019. 

The Gucci boutique reflect’s the brand’s most updated store design, which is now being rolled-out at Gucci stores internationally. The Christian Louboutin boutique joins women’s Louboutin shops at Holt’s in Vancouver, Montreal, and at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre location (Louboutin also operates a standalone flagship on nearby Yorkville Avenue in Toronto, as well as inside Nordstrom in Vancouver). Roger Vivier, considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious footwear and accessory designers, is a major score as very few stores feature dedicated Vivier areas. The Dior shop will be the first dedicated footwear shop-in-store for the brand in Canada.

Yorkdale was a prototype for Holt’s when it unveiled its new 10,000 square foot women’s footwear hall in early 2014. That store became the first to feature ‘hard shop’ shop-in-stores for top brands. When Holt’s opened its relocated store at Square One in Mississauga in the summer of 2016, it unveiled several luxury boutiques as part of the women’s footwear area. The highly-productive Vancouver Holt Renfrew store unveiled its new 8,500 square foot women’s footwear hall in early 2017, featuring a boutique area for Christian Louboutin, an adjacent Ladurée salon, as well as branded walls with shelves displaying designs from some of the world’s top shoe brands. 

Holt Renfrew will continue enhancing its footwear offerings into next year and onwards when it opens an expanded ‘Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’ store in Montreal. The 250,000 square foot large-format luxury store is being created by expanding the existing Ogilvy department store building on Ste-Catherine Street West and when finished, the current Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street West will close. Holt’s hasn’t provided details of the new Holt Renfrew Ogilvy footwear hall, though it’s worthy to note that Christian Louboutin opened a boutique inside of Holt’s in Montreal this spring. 

This is a time of unprecedented competition as luxury brands seek out Canadian shoppers, and Holt Renfrew continues to stand out by offering a wide assortment of luxury branded designers as well as shop-in-store boutiques. Holt’s main department store competition comes from the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom — both chains operate stores in Canada that include an array of luxury brands. Saks Fifth Avenue’s Toronto and Calgary stores include a range of luxury labels, though in slightly more conservative environments than Holt’s, and without the individually branded shop-in-stores. Nordstrom’s Canadian flagships in Toronto and Vancouver also carry an impressive roster of brands, many of which are also found at Holt’s. Only Nordstrom’s Vancouver store features a shop-in-store boutique in Canada, housing a Christian Louboutin on the store’s main level adjacent to the ‘Salon Shoes’ department. 

Holt Renfrew is also competing with upscale footwear concept stores in Canada — Toronto-based Davids Footwear plans to eventually operate stores across the country, and it features several of the top brands also carried at Holt’s. Browns Shoes and Jean-Paul Fortin are also expanding, and both carry some upscale lines. At the same time, some more mid-market shoe brands have exited Canada, or are about to — earlier this year the Nine West and Rockport brands closed their Canadian stores, and DSW recently announced that it was shuttering its Town Shoes chain.

Last week, Holt Renfrew hosted a private shopping event in partnership with Toronto Life. Retail Insider social correspondent Yana Brikker was there, and she said that she was impressed with the space and selection, not to mention the guest list. Ms. Brikker provided some of the photos in this article. 

Holt Renfrew’s Bloor Street store will see renovations conclude in the year 2020, and is part of an announced $400-million investment in the chain’s network of stores. Holt’s Bloor Street Store will see more changes — menswear will move back into the 50 Bloor mothership after locating in a standalone 16,500 square foot building at 100 Bloor Street West in 2014, for example, with the new men’s department expected to span about 25,000 square feet. The store’s cosmetics offerings will be expanded over two levels (much will locate on the concourse level, according to staff in the store) , and the store will get a new facade to replace the current white marble storefront. The store’s ground level is also seeing a renovation that will create something of a ‘luxury mall’ — Saint Laurent opened there several months ago and new boutiques for Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Dior and others will be opening, and we’ll report on these with regular updates.

The new 2,650 square foot Louis Vuitton boutique is under wraps and it opens to the public on Friday of this week.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Flexible Work Company ‘LAUFT’ Discusses Expansion Plans and New Government Collaboration [Interview]

Founder Graham Wong discusses the Canadian company's plans for new locations, enhanced spaces for events and content creation, and a future in places such as airports and hotels.

Ice Bath Spa Concept ‘Othership’ Opens 2nd Toronto Location with Expansion Plans for Major Markets in Canada and NYC [Interview]

The company's co-founder discusses the concept that began in his back yard in 2019, which is now a big business with a new Yorkville location and plans for Manhattan and other urban centres.

Anatomy of a Leader: Peter Mammas, President and CEO, Foodtastic

The man behind the food empire got started in Montreal where he wanted to be a pilot, then an architect. He eventually worked his way up in the world of foodservice, where he found his passion.

Nostalgia vs Reality: Exclusive Poll Shows Canadians Warm to Zellers’ Return but Hesitate to Shop One Year After Relaunch

Zellers relaunched a year ago as shop-in-stores at Hudson's Bay, and a poll done for Retail Insider shows that Canadians' think the current offerings fall short.

Cracking the Newcomer Code: Study Urges Canadian Retailers to Adapt for Inclusivity as Immigrants Reshape Retail Trends [Feature]

Making newcomers feel at home could mean increased sales for retailers. Ian Large of Leger says retailers should collaborate with communities as Canada's population changes.

Italian-Themed QSR Chain Fazoli’s Announces Major Expansion into Canada with 25 Locations Planned [Interview]

The chain could open even more locations according to its development officer, who discusses Fazoli's success being rooted in quality ingredients and speedy service.

Toronto-Based Fashion Designer Adam X Discusses Inspiration, Retail and Designing for the Future [Video Interview]

Craig and Adam X discuss the the founding and ethos of Adam X Atelier, a Toronto-based haute couture fashion brand which is rare to find in Canada.

Swatch Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver as it Expands Across Canada [Photos]

It's the 12th store in Canada for the popular Swiss watch brand, which almost doubled its store count in this country in less than a year.

Economic Strains Dampen Montréal’s Retail Growth, But Luxury and Transit Projects Could Spark Revival: JLL Report

Montreal retail has struggled recently and leasing activity has been particularly slow downtown, while a new luxury mall and a growing transit network could help things this year.

IKEA Canada Launches ‘Second-Hand Tax’ Initiative in Protest of Government Policies [Interview]

Ikea dropped the tax on its 'as-is' marketplace, stating that second-hand goods should not be subject to the same taxes as new products.

Significant Variances in Food Price Changes Not Reflected in Statistics Canada Numbers [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that StatCan numbers on food inflation do not reflect the reality of what consumers are seeing at the grocery store.

US-Based Women’s Fashion Brand Windsor Announces First 5 Canadian Stores, Plans National Expansion [Interviews]

The fashion brand is expected to be a runaway success in Canada, with an existing customer base and a void in the market.

Chop Steakhouse Set to Open in Downtown Toronto, Continuing an Influx of New Restaurants to the Financial District [Feature]

Chop Steakhouse is joining a number of new restaurants and dining options that have opened recently in the Financial District, as the area starts the journey back from a pandemic that took a huge toll on the core.

Virtual Reality Arcade Concept ‘Ctrl V’ Expanding in Canada and the US Following Pandemic Setback [Interview]

The world's first and largest VR arcade franchise is opening new locations across Canada and the US, seeking spaces of about 4,000 square feet.

Good Neighbour ‘Lifestyle Department Store’ Expanding with a New Flagship in Toronto’s Summerhill [Interview]

The unique retail concept that launched 10 years ago in Leslieville has grown its offerings with its newest location catering to locals with a range of produces and a beverage lounge.

Anatomy of a Leader: Ian Rosen, President and COO of Harry Rosen

Rosen discusses his life up to becoming head of the luxury menswear retailer, and discusses what's been happening with the family as new leadership emerges.

Mid-Market Retailers in Canada Navigating Challenges and Opportunities as Consumers Shift [Op-Ed]

Jared Gordon discusses challenges facing mid-market retail, such as declining consumer interest and competition from discount and luxury sectors. Mid-market retailers need to adapt to survive he says.

Canada Ranks Highly for Seamless Retail Experience, Embracing Digital and In-Store Integration: KPMG Report

The report says that Canadian retailers are improving blending online and in-store with a majority of Canadians preferring an in-store experience, necessitating seamless channel integration.

Indigo Books & Music to Go Private After Sale to Schwartz-Controlled Holding Company: Expert Commentary

The Canadian retailer is able to turn itself around privately after much public turmoil, according to experts, though its future remains uncertain with limited scrutiny.

Shift in Yorkville Retail as Harry Rosen Prepares to Relocate Bloor Street Flagship [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss Harry Rosen's flagship store moving from Bloor Street to Cumberland Street in Toronto's Yorkville, marking a significant shift in the area's retail landscape.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Flexible Work Company ‘LAUFT’ Discusses Expansion Plans and New Government Collaboration [Interview]

Founder Graham Wong discusses the Canadian company's plans for new locations, enhanced spaces for events and content creation, and a future in places such as airports and hotels.

Ice Bath Spa Concept ‘Othership’ Opens 2nd Toronto Location with Expansion Plans for Major Markets in Canada and NYC [Interview]

The company's co-founder discusses the concept that began in his back yard in 2019, which is now a big business with a new Yorkville location and plans for Manhattan and other urban centres.

Anatomy of a Leader: Peter Mammas, President and CEO, Foodtastic

The man behind the food empire got started in Montreal where he wanted to be a pilot, then an architect. He eventually worked his way up in the world of foodservice, where he found his passion.

Nostalgia vs Reality: Exclusive Poll Shows Canadians Warm to Zellers’ Return but Hesitate to Shop One Year After Relaunch

Zellers relaunched a year ago as shop-in-stores at Hudson's Bay, and a poll done for Retail Insider shows that Canadians' think the current offerings fall short.

Cracking the Newcomer Code: Study Urges Canadian Retailers to Adapt for Inclusivity as Immigrants Reshape Retail Trends [Feature]

Making newcomers feel at home could mean increased sales for retailers. Ian Large of Leger says retailers should collaborate with communities as Canada's population changes.

Italian-Themed QSR Chain Fazoli’s Announces Major Expansion into Canada with 25 Locations Planned [Interview]

The chain could open even more locations according to its development officer, who discusses Fazoli's success being rooted in quality ingredients and speedy service.

Toronto-Based Fashion Designer Adam X Discusses Inspiration, Retail and Designing for the Future [Video Interview]

Craig and Adam X discuss the the founding and ethos of Adam X Atelier, a Toronto-based haute couture fashion brand which is rare to find in Canada.

Swatch Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver as it Expands Across Canada [Photos]

It's the 12th store in Canada for the popular Swiss watch brand, which almost doubled its store count in this country in less than a year.

Economic Strains Dampen Montréal’s Retail Growth, But Luxury and Transit Projects Could Spark Revival: JLL Report

Montreal retail has struggled recently and leasing activity has been particularly slow downtown, while a new luxury mall and a growing transit network could help things this year.

IKEA Canada Launches ‘Second-Hand Tax’ Initiative in Protest of Government Policies [Interview]

Ikea dropped the tax on its 'as-is' marketplace, stating that second-hand goods should not be subject to the same taxes as new products.

Significant Variances in Food Price Changes Not Reflected in Statistics Canada Numbers [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that StatCan numbers on food inflation do not reflect the reality of what consumers are seeing at the grocery store.

US-Based Women’s Fashion Brand Windsor Announces First 5 Canadian Stores, Plans National Expansion [Interviews]

The fashion brand is expected to be a runaway success in Canada, with an existing customer base and a void in the market.

Chop Steakhouse Set to Open in Downtown Toronto, Continuing an Influx of New Restaurants to the Financial District [Feature]

Chop Steakhouse is joining a number of new restaurants and dining options that have opened recently in the Financial District, as the area starts the journey back from a pandemic that took a huge toll on the core.

Virtual Reality Arcade Concept ‘Ctrl V’ Expanding in Canada and the US Following Pandemic Setback [Interview]

The world's first and largest VR arcade franchise is opening new locations across Canada and the US, seeking spaces of about 4,000 square feet.

Good Neighbour ‘Lifestyle Department Store’ Expanding with a New Flagship in Toronto’s Summerhill [Interview]

The unique retail concept that launched 10 years ago in Leslieville has grown its offerings with its newest location catering to locals with a range of produces and a beverage lounge.

Anatomy of a Leader: Ian Rosen, President and COO of Harry Rosen

Rosen discusses his life up to becoming head of the luxury menswear retailer, and discusses what's been happening with the family as new leadership emerges.

Mid-Market Retailers in Canada Navigating Challenges and Opportunities as Consumers Shift [Op-Ed]

Jared Gordon discusses challenges facing mid-market retail, such as declining consumer interest and competition from discount and luxury sectors. Mid-market retailers need to adapt to survive he says.

Canada Ranks Highly for Seamless Retail Experience, Embracing Digital and In-Store Integration: KPMG Report

The report says that Canadian retailers are improving blending online and in-store with a majority of Canadians preferring an in-store experience, necessitating seamless channel integration.

Indigo Books & Music to Go Private After Sale to Schwartz-Controlled Holding Company: Expert Commentary

The Canadian retailer is able to turn itself around privately after much public turmoil, according to experts, though its future remains uncertain with limited scrutiny.

Shift in Yorkville Retail as Harry Rosen Prepares to Relocate Bloor Street Flagship [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss Harry Rosen's flagship store moving from Bloor Street to Cumberland Street in Toronto's Yorkville, marking a significant shift in the area's retail landscape.