Digitally-Native Canadian Intimates Brand ‘Knix’ Opens 1st Physical Stores [Photos]

Date:

Share post:

Toronto-based intimates brand Knix, known for its leak-proof underwear, wireless bras, and bold marketing campaigns, is beginning to expand into physical stores after several years of selling products online only.

The brand, founded in 2013, opened its first two permanent retail stores in October—one in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, and one on Toronto’s Queen Street West. In addition, under a new partnership with Nordstrom, the full line of Knix products is available at all Nordstrom locations across Canada until the end of 2019.

PHOTO: KNIX

Knix’s direct-to-consumers online sales strategy has been very successful for the brand in recent years, helping the company become the sixth fastest growing company in Canada based on three-year revenue growth, according to Report on Business’s 2019 ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. 

However, after having success with pop up shops in the past, as well as with its by-appointment-only showroom, Knix determined that some customers liked having the opportunity to try on the products before making a purchase. 

“We’ve seen that there’s interest [in shopping at physical stores],” says Knix founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths. “We know that there is a group of people who want to touch and feel and get fitted for the product.” 

PHOTOS: KNIX

Griffiths notes that with bras, especially, it can be challenging for customers to determine the right size. To ease the experience for customers shopping online, Knix offers a flexible returns and exchange policy, as well as customer support seven days a week.

“We’ve done as much as we can to remove every barrier for online shopping,” Griffiths says. “But, some customers just want to come and touch and feel the product. So, it felt like it was time to open [some stores], and really invest and put our best face forward, and create more of a branded experience compared to what we’ve done before.”

PHOTOS: KNIX

Dominated by shades of pale pink and yellow, the new stores have a warm and bright feel, and each features an original mural by Toronto-based artist, Leia Bryans

The Toronto store, at approximately 2,500 square feet, is significantly larger than the 1,100-square-foot Vancouver store. “We’re testing two different concepts,” Griffiths says. 

PHOTOS: KNIX

A key difference in the Toronto location is the spacious fitting room area, which contains multiple individual change rooms as well as a seating area. The entire fitting room section can be separated from the rest of the store by a curtain, which aims to create a private and comfortable space for customers.

“We want to redefine the fitting room experience,” Griffiths says. “We’re trying to make it feel like a bridal salon.”

Knix will likely explore the possibility of opening additional locations once the brand has had time to assess the performance of the first two stores, Griffiths says. “We have a lot that we want to learn from the two locations, and then we’ll take best practices and go forward from there.”

The Nordstrom partnership, meanwhile, creates additional physical touch points for Knix in Toronto and Vancouver, while also bringing the brand’s products to Calgary and Ottawa.

“We really wanted to create a moment within Canada where people can go and have as many locations to try the product on as possible,” Griffiths says. 

The new distribution strategy comes as Knix has been steadily growing its product offerings. The brand recently launched a maternity and post-partum collection, as well as a product line geared towards teens.

All of Knix’s products are inspired by customer input, according to Griffiths. “We’ve really embraced our relationship with our end customer,” she says.

Knix also incorporates its customers into its marketing and advertising campaigns. The brand’s ads showcase real women of all shapes and sizes and at various stages of life, in an effort to help women feel comfortable in their own skin. Earlier this year, the brand was presented with the 2019 Retail Marketing Innovation Achievement Award from the Retail Council of Canada.

Griffiths attributes the company’s growth and success to its commitment to its customers. “The way that we’ve been building our brand, we’ve really put our customers at the epicentre of everything we do,” she says. “We tell their stories. We are facilitating conversations that aren’t being had elsewhere, and it’s really connecting people.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

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.

Leon’s Furniture to Develop 40-Acre Site in Toronto with Flagship Store, HQ and Thousands of Units of Housing [Interview]

The company is expanding in Canada as it looks to open new stores, while also establishing a REIT that will become its own entity.

Retail Insider the magazine Presents the Trends and Forcing Functions that will Shape the Future of Retail

Experts weigh in on the current and future state of the retail industry in Canada, as well as discussion on new retail entrants to Canada.

Québec’s Bill 96 Signage Laws are Bewildering for Many Retailers while Presenting Opportunities [Op-Ed]

Québec’s French-language sign rules are chaotic, yet they unearth an unforeseen opportunity for brand differentiation says Éric Blais.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

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.

Leon’s Furniture to Develop 40-Acre Site in Toronto with Flagship Store, HQ and Thousands of Units of Housing [Interview]

The company is expanding in Canada as it looks to open new stores, while also establishing a REIT that will become its own entity.

Retail Insider the magazine Presents the Trends and Forcing Functions that will Shape the Future of Retail

Experts weigh in on the current and future state of the retail industry in Canada, as well as discussion on new retail entrants to Canada.

Québec’s Bill 96 Signage Laws are Bewildering for Many Retailers while Presenting Opportunities [Op-Ed]

Québec’s French-language sign rules are chaotic, yet they unearth an unforeseen opportunity for brand differentiation says Éric Blais.