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BRIEF: Golden Goose Opens 1st Store, David Rocco Opening Yorkville Wine Bar

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1
Golden Goose Opens Stunning 1st Canadian Store

Exterior of soon-to-beDavid Rocco Bar Aperitivo in Yorkville. Photo: Craig Patterson
Exterior of soon-to-be ‘David Rocco Bar Aperitivo’ in Yorkville. Photo: Craig Patterson

Upscale Italian fashion brand Golden Goose, known particularly for its pricey sneakers, has unveiled its first standalone Canadian store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. More locations could open in Canada as the brand expands its operations in North America.

The Toronto store will open to the public when pandemic lockdowns are lifted, which may happen on Monday, March 8.

The 1,600-square-foot Yorkdale Golden Goose store’s interior is immersed in metallic silver — the walls, floors, and ceilings are entirely covered with aluminium foil which Golden Goose says brings “energy and brightness to the interior while maintaining the hand-made artisanal touch that defines the brand”. Fixtures are made of galvanized steel and super mirror stainless steel.

The retail space focuses on Golden Goose’s most iconic sneakers with a full collection for women, men, and children, as well as accessories and small leather goods which are only available in selected stores and not available elsewhere in Toronto.

The retail experience is unique as well. When a purchase is made, customers are invited to capture the moment of their Golden purchase with a personalized Polaroid that becomes a “souvenir embodying the beginning of their journey together with Golden Goose, a way to feel even more part of the Golden Family and its community of lovers,” according to the company.

Globally, Golden Goose operates about 120 stores in major markets. The brand was founded in Venice, Italy in the year 2000 by Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo. The company was owned by Italian fund DGPA SGR between 2013 and earlier this year when Golden Goose was sold to investment firm Permira. The deal closed in June and Permira is now spearheading a direct-to-consumer store expansion which launched under the previous owner.

More Golden Goose stores could open in Canada. Given the number of locations in Asia, the Vancouver market could very well become home to a Golden Goose retail store. Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area, which continues to add new luxury brand stores, could be another target. Given that Golden Goose has opened stores in markets such as Nashville, there is a possibility that the brand could eventually open mall-based stores in markets such as Edmonton and Calgary and the Montreal market might also support at least one Golden Goose storefront. In Canada, Golden Goose footwear is available at various upscale retailers including Holt Renfrew and Hudson’s Bay.

2
David Rocco to Open Upscale Yorkville Wine Bar

David Rocco
David Rocco

A signal that the future will again be social, Toronto-based food celebrity David Rocco is opening a wine bar on Cumberland Street in Yorkville. It will be called ‘David Rocco Bar Aperitivo’ and will open this spring at 95 Cumberland Street in a retail space formerly occupied by HÖM Cafe.

A range of Italian wines, Prosecco, Champaign, and mixed drinks will be available, as will a tapas-stye menu featuring small portions. “Everyone knows what they’re getting,” said Rocco during a discussion with Retail Insider about the concept. A mini wine shop will sell bottles as well, and Rocco has his own wine label. The vibe in the space will be intimate with high-top tables. The front-of-house space will span about 575 square feet with a capacity of about 25 seats. The total leased space is about 1,200 square feet at street level facing the recently-completed 88 Cumberland Street condominium apartment tower.

Rocco said that the interior will impress visitors, saying that “people will be shocked” in what he said would be “quite spectacular with some surprises”. The overall design of the space will be inspired by the culmination of Rocco’s travels to Italy and other passions.

He’s still shooting new TV shows during the pandemic, and Rocco said that he’s excited to open a large restaurant, called David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, at the KLCC Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Rocco is a celebrity chef who expanded his business to become an executive producer, best-selling author and host of several internationally syndicated TV series. Acclaimed Toronto restaurant Oretta on King Street West is among Rocco’s other business ventures.

Screenshot of Maison Birks website showcasing its range of TUDOR watches fro sale.
Screenshot of Maison Birks website showcasing its range of TUDOR watches fro sale.

3
Maison Birks Expands E-Commerce Platform to Include TUDOR

Victoria's Secret at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Photo: Victoria's Secret
Victoria’s Secret at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Photo: Victoria’s Secret

Iconic Montreal-based jeweller Maison Birks has expanded its e-commerce platform, MaisonBirks.com, to include luxury watch brand Tudor for the first time.

The award-winning Swiss-made watch brand is already available at three Birks in Canada and the brand is now available for purchase through MaisonBirks.com.

This expanded online offering comes as Maison Birks announces the reopening of boutiques in Quebec and Ontario following the lessening of restrictions imposed by the Quebec and Ontario provincial governments as a result of COVID-19. Following the guidelines put in place by the provincial governments, the following boutiques have reopened on the indicated dates:

Quebec – February 8th: Maison Birks downtown Montreal, CF Carrefour Laval, Quartier Dix30, Place Ste-Foy, and CF Fairview Pointe-Claire

Ontario – February 16th: Maison Birks CF Rideau Centre, Bayshore Centre, Oshawa Centre, and Mapleview

Clients can continue to make arrangements for storefront pickup through Maison Birks’ Concierge Service by phone at +1 (855) 873-7373 and email at info@birks.com. Select boutiques are also offering virtual appointments, where clients can receive elevated service through video chat. Virtual appointments can be scheduled online at https://www.maisonbirks.com/en/virtual-appointment. Clients can continue to shop online 24/7 at MaisonBirks.com and benefit from complimentary shipping across Canada.

4
Victoria’s Secret to Close More Canadian Stores

International Women’s Day cartoon

US parent company L Brands says that it will be closing more Victoria’s Secret stores in Canada this year as the retailer adjusts its footprint in North America. Between 30 and 50 of Victoria’s Secret’s stores will shut in Canada and the US this year and the number of Canadian locations has not yet been announced.

Victoria’s Secret closed a whopping 241 stores in North America in 2020 reducing its store count to 848 locations from more than 1,100 a year earlier. Last year at least 15 locations closed in Canada following a substantial number that also shut in 2019, leaving Victoria’s Secret with just 23 storefronts in Canada.

We reported last year that 13 of Victoria’s Secret’s then 38 Canadian stores would be shuttering, representing about 35% of its store fleet. Some are now questioning if Victoria’s Secret might shut all of its Canadian stores, given the momentum of closings over the past two years as well as the retailer’s decreasing performance. In an interview about a year ago, Darryl Schmidt, Vice President of Retail Leasing in the Western Portfolio Office of mall operator Cadillac Fairview, said, “For the last 24 to 28 months we’ve seen deep double-digit comp sales declines in Victoria’s Secret across the entire portfolio from British Columbia all the way to the Maritimes. As we got closer to some of the expirees it was becoming apparent that there was going to be a disconnect between their rental expectations and our rental expectations given their declining sales performance”.

5
Recent GoDaddy Survey Reveals Driving Force Behind Female Entrepreneurship

A recent survey conducted by GoDaddy Canada revealed that passion is the driving force behind millennial women starting their own small business.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, the web hosting company interviewed women entrepreneurs to get a sense of what it’s like to be a female small business owner in Canada. The survey found:

  • The retail industry was the third most popular business owned by women entrepreneurs
  • Younger women are more likely to actively recruit and employ women (62%)
  • Younger women are much more likely to actively seek out other women-owned businesses when looking for products/services
  • Millennial women are four times more likely to raise capital through angel investors or venture capitalists than older generations
  • Nearly a third of women business owners are a member of a minority ethnic group
  • The majority (68% ) of Canadian women entrepreneurs feel a strong sense of representation in their business industry
  • Passion is the driving force behind millennial women starting their own small business while older women identify flexibility as their top motivator
  • Just over half (51%) of women launch their business full time while slightly less than half launch it as a side hustle when they begin

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