German luxury fashion brand Bogner has opened its first corporately-run storefront in Canada on Toronto’s Mink Mile. The boutique opened in partnership with retail consultancy Flagship RTL and spells confidence in brick-and-mortar retail in Canada’s largest city.
Bogner’s ‘Winter Boutique’ to Stay Open on Toronto’s Mink Mile At Least Until March 2021
The Bogner ‘Winter Boutique’ pop-up store will remain open at least until March of 2021. Construction began earlier this month in a 3,320-square-foot space located in The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. Bogner is located next to competitor Moncler, the Italian luxury outerwear and fashion brand which opened there in 2017.
Dark metal modular fixtures are used to showcase the product in the new Bogner store. Stock includes outerwear which Bogner is known for as well as ready-to-wear from the Bogner Sport and Fire & Ice collections. The store features LED video screens and ample use of mannequins to showcase various styles.
“We’re very excited to extend our business in North America, especially during these exceptional times. With FlagshipRTL as our partner, Bogner has been able to test new markets and strategies seamlessly, and without the traditional long-term financial commitments associated with opening stores. Canada has been an opportunity for Bogner for years. We want to connect with our longtime Canada fans in a way that is real, and a stand-alone pop-up store at the iconic Colonnade in the heart of Toronto’s luxury district is the most impactful way to do that,” said Heinz Hackl, co-CEO of Bogner.
The 70 year old Bogner brand features pricey fashions that will be right at home on the stretch of Bloor Street in Toronto is known as the Mink Mile. Ski jackets are priced in the $1,000 to $3,000 range depending on style.
The resort town of Whistler near Vancouver is also home to a Bogner ‘partner store’ run by a local franchisee. The only other North American storefront for Bogner is a permanent store in New York City’s Soho area. Bogner operates stores globally with a focus on European cities and resort towns known for skiing.
Bogner was founded in 1932 by Willy Bogner who imported skis, equipment, and Norwegian knit wear. His wife Maria revolutionized fashion in 1948 when she designed trousers made out of stretch material with stirrups — the dictionary now refers to these as ‘Bogners’. The iconic “B” zipper was introduced to garments in 1955. Willy Bogner Junior launched Bogner’s first ski collection in 1971 called ‘Formula W’. Last year Bogner relaunched its classic jackets with a modern interpretation and is now in expansion mode.
Bogner’s New Store Spells Confidence for Brick & Mortar Retail Amid COVID-19
Bogner’s move onto Toronto’s Mink Mile spells confidence for brick-and-mortar retail. The Bogner storefront acts as a brand activation which educates and creates awareness for the Bogner brand in the affluent Bloor-Yorkville area and beyond. At the same time, Bloor Street has struggled with vacancies following spring shutdowns due to COVID-19.
David Wyatt, VP of Retail Leasing at Morguard, said that there’s a possibility that the Bogner lease could be extended and could become a permanent location depending on performance. Morguard owns heritage-designated The Colonnade which was Canada’s first mixed-use building when it opened in 1963. The Colonnade’s retail podium originally consisted of a two-level enclosed shopping centre with about 50 stores. Over the years the retail component was transformed into a street-facing row of luxury stores along with a second-level William Ashley store and a newly opened restaurant called Amal. Last year Dior opened its largest store in North America at The Colonnade, joining other tenants including Coach, Prada, Cartier, Black Goat Cashmere, and Escada.
The previous tenant in Bogner’s space was also a pop-up. William Ashley operated there for several months prior to opening its new store at The Colonnade in the spring of 2018. And prior to that, Sephora operated a store in the Bogner space as well as in the adjacent Moncler space — Sephora relocated to 77 Bloor Street West in the fall of 2016.