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Gucci to Expand and Renovate Hotel Vancouver Store into Flagship

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Sources say that Italian luxury brand Gucci will renovate and expand its standalone downtown Vancouver store at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver by annexing an adjacent space currently occupied by an Omega jewellery store. Gucci will relocate to a temporary location nearby at the northeast corner of Thurlow and Alberni Streets for the construction. 

The current 3,900 square foot Gucci store, which opened in the Hotel Vancouver in 2006, will annex the 2,300 square foot Omega store next to it to create a flagship-sized 6,200 square foot location to house Gucci’s entire collection of ready-to-wear for women and men as well as bags, accessories, footwear, jewellery and other categories. The current Gucci store does not carry the men’s ready-to-wear line which is available nearby at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew store. 

The expanded Hotel Vancouver store will feature Gucci’s most updated store concept that was recently rolled out with new Gucci stores at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton and a renovated Bloor Street flagship store in Toronto. Interiors will be plush with velvet, marble and wood. 

OMEGA exterior at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (June 2021)
OMEGA exterior at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (June 2021). Gucci will be taking over the space in early 2022 according to sources. Photo: Lee Rivett
OMEGA interior entrance at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (June 2021)
OMEGA interior entrance at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (June 2021). Photo: Lee Rivett.

Watch and jewellery brand Omega is relocating its Hotel Vancouver store within the hotel podium to an interior space that will lack a street-front presence. The Omega store is currently located in a prime location with frontage facing the hotel’s West Georgia entrance and street with a dedicated exterior door. Omega opened at its current location before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as a pop-up and was expanded to become a permanent location because of its success. 

GUCCI interior entrance at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (June 2021)
GUCCI interior entrance at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (June 2021). Photo: Lee Rivett.
Older lease plan of the retail main floor of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Future Omega location within Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (July 2021).
Future Omega location within Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (July 2021). Photo: Lee Rivett.

Signage went up for a temporary Gucci location at 710 Thurlow Street in a retail space vacated several months ago by German women’s luxury fashion brand Escada. Mario Negris and Martin Moriarty of Marcus & Millichap negotiated the temporary Gucci lease deal. A building proposal shows that the retail base of the 1090 W. Georgia Street office tower where the temporary Gucci store is located will eventually be expanded to the sidewalk with about 8,000 square feet of retail space and a future tenant is not yet known. 

710 Thurlow Street. Photo: Martin Moriarty via LinkedIn

Gucci also has a presence at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver where it operates concession boutique spaces for women’s ready-to-wear on the upper level, a men’s boutique space downstairs in the men’s store as well as a bag and accessory boutique on the street-level of the Holt Renfrew store. 

Historically, Gucci has had a presence in Vancouver for decades in Holt Renfrew. A small boutique for bags and footwear operated in the former/smaller Holt Renfrew store at CF Pacific Centre in the 1990s and the brand expanded its presence to include ready-to-wear as Vancouver’s locals and tourists began increasingly purchasing luxury goods. Between 1985 and 1987 when Gucci had a lower price-point, the brand had a bag and accessory boutique in the Hudson’s Bay flagship store in downtown Vancouver at 674 Granville Street.  

Gucci – Toronto, ON – Holt Renfrew Yorkdale. Photo: Gucci

Gucci has been investing heavily in the Canadian market for several years. Most recently the brand opened a 5,000 square foot storefront at West Edmonton Mall, marking a milestone for North America’s largest shopping centre which has been adding luxury brand storefronts to the mix. Several months ago Gucci also renovated its 6,500 square foot flagship at 130 Bloor Street West in Toronto to reflect the brand’s most updated store design. Since 2019 Gucci has unveiled concession spaces for women, men, footwear and accessories at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal — the accessory shop on the main floor features a unique green checkered floor pattern. In the summer of 2019 Gucci unveiled a stunning 6,000 square foot ‘world of’ concession at Holt Renfrew in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre which to many would appear to be a standalone store, given its dedicated mall entrance. 

GUCCI bag/accessory boutique at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal. Photo: Maxime Frechette

Gucci also has a presence at Holt Renfrew in Calgary where it has separate concession boutique spaces for women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and bags/accessories. At Square One in Mississauga, Gucci operates a bag/accessory concession with a facade facing onto the mall corridor. In Toronto, Gucci also operates a bag/accessory concession at the Nordstrom store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Gucci shoes and belts are also carried at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Canada.

In terms of off-price, Gucci also 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.

Gucci is one of the world’s leading luxury brands with billions of dollars in annual sales. Gucci was founded in 1921 and is now part of the Kering conglomerate of luxury brands. Gucci operates about 500 stores globally. In the United States, Gucci operates a network of standalone stores as well as boutique spaces in large-format/department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s (Manhattan store only).

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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1 COMMENT

  1. Saw the signs off Alberni and Thurlow for the new Gucci store. I think they should just stay in that location, instead of only temporarily. The location is better than the current location at Hotel Vancouver and it sounds like they could have a bigger store (8,000 sq ft) to better compete with the nearby Prada and Louis Vuitton stores, which are both over 8,000 sq ft .

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