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Gucci Opens 1st Standalone Store in Alberta at West Edmonton Mall [Photos]

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Italian luxury brand Gucci has opened its third standalone Canadian location at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. The store is part of a continued Canadian investment for Gucci which has included new stores and renovations.

The West Edmonton Mall Gucci store spans 5,040 square feet on one level and is located in what is becoming a ‘luxury run’ in the mall. Gucci is strategically positioned between a Louis Vuitton store that opened in the summer of 2019 and a Saint Laurent storefront that opened in December of 2020. Tiffany & Co., which opened in 2013, is located across the way.

Gucci opened at the the end of March at West Edmonton Mall and the store has been busy from day one. On Saturday March 27, a reader informed us that a lineup to get into the store was more than a three hour wait, and sales were being made.

The store carries a standard selection of Gucci bags, footwear, accessories, jewellery, silks, watches, fragrances, and eyewear. Given the vast space in the new store, sections have been created including footwear boutique spaces for men’s and women’s shoes. One reader noted that some of the ‘new’ collections found in Gucci stores in markets such as Vancouver and Toronto are not yet carried in secondary market stores such as Edmonton.

Some shoppers recently interviewed by Retail Insider noted with some disappointment that the West Edmonton Mall store does not carry Gucci’s ready-to-wear clothing as many had expected given the size of the space. We’re told that Gucci will look to do trunk shows with ready-to-wear items to test the market and that the fashion collections may be brought in at a later date if there is demand. The store currently lacks dressing rooms to try items on which means that modifications to the space would be needed.

The store’s interior is attractive and similar to other updated Gucci stores in Canada. Velvet armchairs contrast with hard surfaces and industrial elements such as rivets. Artisan painted floors were handcrafted in Italy with optical patterns that are integrated with herringbone wood flooring. Other design elements include sage green velvet upholstery, and vintage oriental rugs. Toronto-based dkstudio Architects Inc. designed the West Edmonton Mall space.

Gucci was one of the top brands at the former Holt Renfrew store in downtown Edmonton which closed in January of 2020. Gucci handbags and shoes are said to have sold more than $3 million annually at Holts in Edmonton, prompting Gucci to maintain a presence in Edmonton after Holts shut. The manager of Gucci’s Edmonton concession, Kyle Goodwin, is now running the West Edmonton Mall Gucci store after a brief stint at Hugo Boss.

West Edmonton Mall is securing several of the top brands that were once available at Holt Renfrew in Edmonton, prompting them to open standalone stores. In the summer of 2019, Canada Goose opened a large standalone store at West Edmonton Mall, and Tiffany & Co., formerly only available at Holts, opened its West Edmonton Mall store in 2013.

Other brands carried at the former Edmonton Holt Renfrew store could look to West Edmonton Mall as well, including the likes of Burberry and Max Mara.

The West Edmonton Mall Gucci store is the brand’s only standalone location in Alberta. In Calgary, Gucci operates three concession spaces within the downtown Holt Renfrew store which includes an accessory boutique on the street level, a women’s ready-to-wear boutique on the second level, and a men’s Gucci area on the third floor.

In Canada, Gucci operates two standalone stores as well as several concessions. The first standalone Gucci store in Canada opened in the year 2000 at 130 Bloor Street West in Toronto in a 6,500-square-foot space that recently saw a full renovation. A second Gucci store opened in 2006 in Vancouver at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, spanning 3,875 square feet — the store will be renovated next year. Gucci’s other locations in Canada are located within Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom stores. In Vancouver, Gucci operates concessions at Holt Renfrew, including separate shops for bags/accessories as well as women’s and men’s apparel. Holt Renfrew’s Calgary store, as mentioned above, features the brand in concession spaces.

Interactive WEM map with red arrow pointing to the new Gucci location.

In Toronto, Gucci operates its large concession at Holt Renfrew in Yorkdale as well as separate bag/accessory and apparel boutiques at Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street. Nordstrom’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre store features a main floor Gucci bag and accessory concession. In Mississauga, Gucci operates a bag/accessory concession at Holt Renfrew. In Montreal, Gucci operates concession spaces at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy for bags/accessories, women’s apparel, and men’s apparel. The store also features Gucci boutiques for men and women. Gucci shoes and belts are also carried at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Canada.

Gucci operates a large outlet store at Toronto Premium Outlets which opened in late 2018, coinciding with the closure of Gucci’s outlet store at Montreal Premium Outlets which operated for several years.

In years past, Gucci’s Canadian distribution was primarily in Holt Renfrew stores. In the early 1990’s, Holt Renfrew in Edmonton housed a Gucci boutique space (most recently occupied by women’s shoes) with a mall-facing entrance carrying bags and accessories. Holt Renfrew also operated Gucci bag/accessory boutiques in its other stores including a particularly large selection in Toronto and Montreal.

Gucci is marking 100 years this year — the brand was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921 and the brand now has over 500 stores and concessions globally with revenues in excess of USD $10 billion annually. The brand is now under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, and Marco Bizzarri is currently President and CEO of the company. Gucci is owned by global luxury group Kering. In the United States, Gucci operates a network of standalone stores as well as boutique spaces in stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s in Manhattan.

In September of 2020 Retail Insider wrote an expansive analysis on the new Edmonton Gucci store while exclusively announcing its opening.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. 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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