French women’s fashion brand ba&sh has opened its second standalone Canadian store in Montreal’s affluent Westmount area. The impressive two-level space is the first to feature an in-store cafe as well as a second level mezzanine intended for events.
NEW MONTREAL BA&SH LOCATION FIRST TO FEATURE IN-STORE CAFE
The Montreal ba&sh store is located at 4932 Sherbrooke Street in a 3,300-square-foot space. That includes a street level spanning about 2,300 square feet, as well as a 1,000-square-foot second level. The main level includes a cafe in a partnership with Montreal-based Pastel Rita — the decor in the ba&sh store was inspired by the St. Laurent Blv. Pastel Rita location. The mezzanine level is intended for special events and is otherwise not accessible to the public.
The stretch of Sherbrooke Street in Westmount where ba&sh is located is also home to upscale retailers such as WANT Apothecary, Zadig & Voltaire, L’Occitane, Aesop, Maska Mode, James Perse, Sarah Pacini, and others. Westmount is a wealthy enclave in the city of Montreal with about 20,000 residents. Annual household incomes and real estate prices are among the highest in Canada, with Westmount being home to many prominent millionaires and even several billionaires.
This spring, ba&sh opened its first Canadian store at the base of the Hazelton Hotel at 118 Yorkville Avenue in Toronto, spanning about 1,300 square feet on one level. Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represents ba&sh in Canada and negotiated both lease deals on behalf of the retailer.
CANADIAN BA&SH ECOMMERCE WEBSITE SET FOR 2020
As part of its Canadian direct-to-consumer expansion, a dedicated Canadian ba&sh e-commerce website will be launched later this year as well.
In the fall of 2019, ba&sh launched its Canadian wholesale expansion in a partnership with the Hudson’s Bay Company to open ba&sh shop-in-stores inside Hudson’s Bay locations in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Holt Renfrew also carries the ba&sh line at its stores in Canada. In Toronto, ba&sh opened a pop-up space at the Yorkville Village shopping centre in Toronto in a partnership with local retailer TNT and it remained open until the new 118 Yorkville Avenue store opened to the public for two days in March of this year (before shutting temporarily along with other retailers because of COVID-19).
The ba&sh brand was founded in Paris by two best friends, Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, in 2003. The name ‘ba&sh’ is a hybrid of their first names. The brand, described as being a hybrid of “rock and roll and bohemia” focuses on feminine clothing that is also comfortable. Collections include ready-to-wear, bags, accessories and footwear. The price-point is in the ‘contemporary’ range with dresses generally in the $400-$1,000 range, blouses costing in excess of $300, bags priced over $500, and shoes priced into the hundreds of dollars depending on style.
The brand’s international expansion was made possible in part by a significant investment by LVMH. In the United States, ba&sh opened a US headquarters about two years ago and the company currently operates more than a dozen stores in the country. Department stores in the US carrying ba&sh include Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. ba&sh also has stores in countries globally as well as wholesale distribution in various multi-brand retailers.
More ba&sh stores are expected to open in Canada. Given the brand’s exposure in the Vancouver market through Hudson’s Bay and Holt Renfrew, British Columbia could be in line for at least one standalone ba&sh storefront.