Luxury Multi-Brand Retailer ‘Colton’s Couture’ Opens New Storefront with Plans to Expand Eastward in Canada

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Vancouver-based Colton’s Couture, a family-owned contemporary fashion boutique, recently opened a storefront at the Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver with plans to expand to Ontario.

Image: Howard Colton

The retailer, which was established in 2016, prides itself on building much more than a wardrobe for customers but building an image.

Howard Colton, founder of the business, said the retailer would like to open two new stores “hopefully this coming year” at the Markham Centre and CF Sherway Gardens.

“We have a very, very prominent Asian clientele. I would say we have an 80 per cent Asian clientele and those particular areas reflect the dominance of that clientele especially in Markham, Ontario. It’s very similar to Richmond (BC) where it caters to a very affluent Asian client,” said Colton.

The retailer’s first store was a small pop-up shop in Oakridge Centre in Vancouver that was about 1,000 square feet. It ended up being a permanent store that same year.

“The store was very successful. In that small square footage it did over $2 million in that small footprint. The unfortunate part of it is Oakridge is now closed for total renovation and will be reopened in approximately I think 2025. So hopefully we have plans to be part of that reopening as well,” said Colton.

Colton's Couture at CF Richmond Centre
Colton’s Couture at CF Richmond Centre. Photo: Geetanjali Sharma

The Richmond Centre store is the company’s flagship. It also has an outlet store at McArthurGlen called Designer Wearhouse. It recently closed a retail location it had at the Metropolis at Metrotown shopping mall.

The Richmond Centre store is about 1,600 square feet and the Park Royal store is about 800 square feet.

“We’re going to a smaller footprint. We find that it’s much more easier to manage and it gives that personal touch as well. More of a boutique,” said Colton.

“We specialize in customer service. We specialize in giving our customers what they want without any pressure. We kind of go with the trend and it’s ever-changing. We used to be very very (tied in) with our Italian merchandise with brand names as Prada, and Fendi, Gucci. But we find the trend for that is not what the client really wants anymore. Not so much the prominent brands. They’re looking for something that people don’t have. We can give them something that not everybody’s wearing.”

Colton’s carry a wide selection of the most current styles from a variety of contemporary designer brands around the world. The designers it selects represent what the retailer calls its love and devotion towards fashion as a way of life. It also carries accessories.

“Our goal is to impart our values and passion with like-minded individuals through the medium of apparel. We are committed to bringing customers an inclusive and intimate experience, catering towards the needs and style of each individual. We strive to play a guiding role in helping our customers find contemporary fashion items to construct a confident, trendy, and exclusive lifestyle,” says the company on its website.

Shuttered Colton's Couture location at Metropolis at Metrotown (July 2021)
Shuttered Colton’s Couture location at Metropolis at Metrotown (July 2021). Photo: Lee Rivett.

Colton said the retailer has had a number of inquiries from Asia to open stores there but with the pandemic over the last 16 months those conversations have been put on hold.

The initial success of the company came down to the brand and the concept and listening to what the customer wants.

“We listen to the client instead of just trying to ring the cash register. We found that when we did listen to the customer we did ring the cash register,” said Colton, who has been involved in the fashion industry for 30 years including bluefly.com which was the first luxury online retailer in the world in 1998.

Colton said the company is looking forward to meeting and servicing its new customers at Park Royal and giving them the Colton’s experience.

“We decided to go there because we felt that it was a good part of our clientele. It was a very affluent clientele. Very fashion conscious. And with not having to leave the west side of the city to go downtown to Nordstrom or Holt Renfrew without leaving their backyard really. We thought we could be there and service them,” said Colton.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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