Brief: The Art Shoppe Shuttering After 83 Years, Holt Renfrew Ogilvy Unveils Ground-Level Luxury Boutiques

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Holt Renfrew Ogilvy Unveils 3 Ground Floor Luxury Brand Concessions

David Yurman Boutique at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal. Photo: David Yurman

Montreal’s Holt Renfrew Ogilvy is continuing with its spectacular store overhaul that will be completed next year. Over the past week, three ground-floor luxury brand concessions have opened, including shops for David Yurman, Tiffany & Co. and Bottega Veneta.

The 1,200 square foot David Yurman boutique, double the size of the previous location up the street at the Holt Renfrew on Sherbrooke Street, features collections for men and women. The storefront features a modern wall of rich black concrete, while the interior includes live edge walnut, travertine counters and touches of antique bronze as well as artisan plaster wall features. The millwork is a mix of walnut tambour and antique bronze. The store’s fixtures are made up of 90% repurposed materials, in an effort to increase the brand’s sustainability initiatives. David Yurman will also open a similar boutique at Holt Renfrew on Toronto’s Bloor Street West in a few months, and last year it opened its largest concession in the world at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew flagship. David Yurman also operates a standalone unit at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Tiffany & Co. has opened an impressive ‘new look’ boutique on Holt Renfrew Oilvy’s main floor that spans about 2,500 square feet. The store’s aesthetic is different from other Tiffany locations in Canada, including the 2,000 square foot standalone Montreal store on Sherbrooke Street West that is only two blocks from Holt Renfrew Ogilvy.

Bottega Veneta Boutique at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal (Image: Maxime Frechette)
A Chanel Boutique will open at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal in September. Photo: Maxime Frechette

Bottega Veneta, which is expanding its operations in Canada, unveiled an impressive accessories shop at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy last week. It also features the brand’s updated look Bottega Veneta recently converted its Holt Renfrew areas to leased concessions that started with the Holt Renfrew Vancouver location late last year, prior to opening a 3,700 square foot standalone flagship store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Bottega Veneta will also open a new accessory boutique on the ground floor of Holt Renfrew’s Bloor Street flagship in Toronto, and is expected to open in late 2019 or early 2020.

The adjacent Four Seasons Hotel also opened last week, with some of the priciest hotel rooms in the city, along with 18 large and expensive residential condominium units above it.

Holt Renfrew Ogilvy will span 250,000 square feet when completed, making it one of the largest luxury department stores in North America in terms of square footage. Last month the store unveiled its 28,000 square foot concourse-level beauty hall as well as a 40,000 square foot men’s floor, with other departments to open as they are finished over the course of about a year. We’ll continue to report as renovations are completed — the ground level luxury hall will be mostly completed by early summer and Chanel’s new fashion/accessory boutique will open in September, according to Holts. Next spring, as well, Holt Renfrew’s 1300 Sherbrooke Street West store will close when the Ste-Catherine Street Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’s overhaul is completed.

Iconic ‘The Art Shoppe’ Announces Store Closing After 83 Years


Upscale Toronto-based home furnishings and accessory retailer The Art Shoppe will shutter its 70,000 square foot store at 71 Kincort Street, located in the city’s Castlefield Design District. The Art Shoppe said that the move is “part of a strategic reassessment.”

The Art Shoppe was founded in 1936 with a storefront near the Yonge and Eglinton intersection, and was once a destination for tourists, designers and celebrities. In 2015 after 78 years at its original location, the Art Shoppe moved to its current store which will close once product is sold via a substantial clearance sale.

It’s sad news for the storied retailer that has been a part of Toronto’s history, and increased competition could be partly to blame. Other major design showrooms have opened nearby in the Castlefield Design District as well as in the up-and-coming King East ‘Design District’ and other areas north of Toronto (including the massive ‘Improve’ home improvement centre that opened in 2016). As well, RH Restoration Hardware opened an impressive four-level storefront at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in late 2017.

pop-up go Teams up with Tsawwassen Mills to Launch Menta Swimwear Store


After what felt like a never-ending winter, the first signs of summer are beginning to emerge. To mark the change of season, Menta Swimwear’s new pop-up store at suburban Vancouver’s Tsawwassen Mills has opened in partnership with space connector, pop-up go and landlord Ivanhoé Cambridge.  The timing is no coincidence, as the launch was strategically planned to align with Menta’s peak season and maximize sales. Due to its strong mix of brands and strategic location between downtown Vancouver and Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, pop-up go identified Tsawwassen Mills as the perfect location for Menta’s activation.

“When it comes to pop-ups, timing and location are always two key ingredients for success,” said Linda Farha, Founder and Chief Connector at pop-up go. “In Menta’s case, the timing obviously couldn’t be better given the brand’s target consumer. Tsawwassen Mills is also clearly an ideal mall for a swimwear company because of its central location in a province that embraces and celebrates spring and summer wholeheartedly due to its fantastic natural surroundings.”

The store launched this month in a space formerly occupied by Swarovski and is located near Saks OFF 5TH and Tommy Hilfiger.  Menta is unique among other swimwear retailers — they offer rare, modern, and trendy products for men and women.  “We’re really excited to expand our brand to Tsawwassen Mills and feature our unique selection of swimwear brands from around the world,” said Menta’s CEO, Peter Kretschmer.

pop-up go is working with Ivanhoé Cambridge to bring more temporary retail activations to its “Mills” portfolio in properties like Vaughan Mills near Toronto and at suburban Calgary’s CrossIron Mills.

ARCHIVE Returns to Vancouver for Canada’s Largest Consignment Warehouse Sale

The second-annual ARCHIVE consignment warehouse sale is back. On May 31st and June 1st, 2019, shoppers can browse Canada’s largest consignment warehouse sale to find fabulous pieces for all seasons. 

ARCHIVE focuses on pre-loved women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel, shoes, and accessories from contemporary to luxury designer brands.  Vancouver-based consignment retailers Mine & Yours and Shop Reluxe will return to the ARCHIVE warehouse sale in addition to new sponsor POSHMARK, the popular US consignment platform, ahead of their Canadian expansion.

Those looking to sell some of their pieces can join in on the fun as well. ARCHIVE will accept 15 – 100 items that are clean, intact, and in re-sale condition.  Sellers can earn 60% of the gross re-sale price via e-transfer.  ARCHIVE is the brainchild of Randa Salloum of CIEL Creative Marketing, and Kelly Turner of Fall for Local Markets.  The inaugural warehouse sale was an effort to introduce Vancouver fashion lovers to the sustainable fashion world and circular economy of textiles.

ARCHIVE does not want clothing to go to waste; the average Vancouver shopper throws away the equivalent of 44 t-shirts per year.  The slow fashion movement continues to gain momentum as criticism of the fast fashion industry stacks up.  Founder and CEO of Montréal-based clothing rental company Ocurent, Marlee Rabin, published an article on LinkedIn discussing issues with the fast fashion industry like the enormous amounts of water and harmful chemicals used in the production process of the clothing to low-level labour standards for workers in the facilities.

To get your tickets to ARCHIVE’s second-annual consignment sale, click here.  The event will take place at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver BC. 

Sleep Country and the Canadian Mental Health Association Launch Campaign for Mental Wellness

Canada’s largest sleep retailer, Sleep Country Canada, has teamed up with Serta for a mental health awareness campaign to support the Canadian Mental Health Association.  During the month of May, $5 from the sale of every Serta plush sheep or Snuggable Weighted Blanket will go towards the CMHA.  All donations collected will go towards CMHA-related efforts in the local community of each Sleep Country or Dormez-vous location.

Dr. Patrick Smith, National CEO of the CMHA explains that insufficient or disrupted sleep is associated with a variety of health issues, including mental health. “Without quality sleep, we lose one of the key pillars our body relies upon physically and mentally. It’s certainly an important aspect of overall mental health and we’re proud to partner with Sleep Country Canada to spread awareness about the critical connection between quality sleep and mental wellness.”

One in five Canadians experience mental illness or problems each year. CMHA is a fundamental organization committed to helping all Canadians flourish. “Partnering with such an important organization to help raise awareness for mental health in communities across Canada is something that our entire company stands behind,” Christine Magee, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Sleep Country Canada.

CMHA provides support to over 1.3 million Canadians in 330 communities.  The organization offers programs, access, and resources that are designed to help Canadians with their mental health.  To learn more about the campaign, visit or

Toronto Neighbourhood BIAs Hosting Community Events to Support Local Businesses


As we continue to observe the uprising of shopping local, Toronto will see two campaigns encouraging citizens to follow suit.  The city has a great variety of specialty stores, boutiques, and service providers and the local business improvement areas are showcasing their retailers.

In a first for Toronto west-end history, BIG on Bloor and Ossington BIA are joining forces to help generate more funds for their respective summer festivals, BIG on Bloor and OssFest.  Together, Beasts of Bloordale and Ossington will present a night of art, music and games on May 30th, 2019 at 146 Ossington Avenue from 6pm – 11:30pm.  The local organizations share a common purpose of promoting the businesses in their individual communities.  Events like this collaboration create genuine connections and emphasize the importance of the arts in the community.

From May 27th to June 2nd, 2019, the Bloorcourt BIA will be hosting its support local, shop Bloorcourt campaign.  The Bloorcourt neighbourhood is home to over 250 businesses from restaurants to entertainment venues and beyond.  Founded in 1979, the Bloorcourt BIA represents business owners on Bloor Street West between Dufferin Street and Montrose Avenue.  Shopping local comes with a whole host of benefits, one of the most important being that they showcase the diversity of cultures in the community.  Additionally, it keeps money circulating within the community it was spent.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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