Italian luxury brand Max Mara is relocating its downtown Vancouver store into a new retail space at CF Pacific Centre at the end of January. The relocation is part of some bigger changes in the shopping centre that involve the imminent closure of the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel.
The newly relocated Max Mara storefront will span slightly more than 2,000 square feet, and will be located on the upper level of CF Pacific Centre directly across from Max Mara’s existing store in the mall. The new Max Mara store replaces Bose which relocated to a street front space in the fall of 2019, and will be next to CF Pacific Centre’s H&M flagship as well as a large Aritzia store. CBRE Vancouver negotiated the deal under the direction of Mario Negris and Martin Moriarty. Cadillac Fairview owns CF Pacific Centre.
Max Mara’s updated store design will be rolled out in the new CF Pacific Centre location. The Italian luxury brand has honed in on its brand identity with new and renovated units globally. A partner boutique at Nordstrom in downtown Toronto was recently unveiled with the new look.
The current Max Mara store at CF Pacific Centre more than doubled in size in September of 2014 when it annexed an adjacent retail space formerly occupied by a La Swiss jewellery store. The 975-square-foot Max Mara store grew to more than 1,800 square feet. Vancouver-based Vestis Fashion Group is the local franchisee for Max Mara in Vancouver and in October of 2019, Vestis opened Canada’s first standalone location for Italian luxury jeweller Pomellato next to the Max Mara store. Pomellato shuttered in the fall of 2019.
Max Mara’s relocation in CF Pacific Centre is part of a bigger scheme that will see some big changes in the shopping centre. The Four Seasons Hotel, which has operated at CF Pacific Centre since the 1970’s, is shuttering this month and the building will be repurposed, with details to follow. The hotel had an entrance directly into the CF Pacific Centre shopping complex and the retail units adjacent to that entrance will all close to make way for redevelopment. That includes a Siba jewellery store located opposite from the former Pomellato location. To the south of the Four Seasons Hotel building, a new Apple flagship store is said to be opening at the northeast corner of W. Georgia Street and Howe Street, replacing an igloo-shaped glass dome which over the years has become an iconic component to the CF Pacific Centre property.
Established in 1951, Max Mara is known for its womenswear as well as accessories and shoes, and has stores around the world. The company also retails other fashion lines including Weekend Max Mara, Sportmax, Marella, Pennyblack, iBlues, Max & Co., and Marina Rinaldi, among others.
Vancouver is North America’s top-selling city for luxury Italian fashion brand Max Mara, even surpassing sales in New York City. Vancouver also has the highest number of Max Mara stores of any North American city with six locations operating under the Max Mara and Max Mara Weekend banners.
Vancouver has three Max Mara stores and three Weekend by Max Mara stores. Located on Vancouver’s South Granville strip, Vancouver’s largest Max Mara store (at 3,850 square feet) boasts North America’s first Max Mara bridal salon. In 2012, Max Mara’s Oakridge Centre location relocated to a 2,475-square-foot space. Its lower-priced Weekend Max Mara brand currently has three Vancouver locations: a 1,240 square foot Oakridge Centre store and a 2,060 square foot store at Burnaby’s Metropolis at Metrotown. A third Weekend store opened in September of 2015 below Pacific Centre’s flagship Nordstrom store.
Vancouver’s Max Mara stores are franchises owned by Catherine Guadagnuolo, founder and owner of Vestis Fashion Group. In 2014, we asked Ms. Guadagnuolo why Vancouver does such high sales for Max Mara, and she told to us that her company puts great effort into working with its customers, and has done so for almost 30 years. Vestis expanded beyond the Vancouver market in 2015 when it opened a Weekend Max Mara store at CF Chinook Centre. Max Mara’s only other Canadian store location is at 151 Bloor Street West in Toronto, and a building application in the summer of 2019 indicated that a large Max Mara store would open at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.