Downtown Vancouver’s retail ‘Luxury Zone’ continues to expand westward along Alberni Street with the addition of two more premium luxury jewellery brands. Construction signage recently went up for new storefronts for watch brand Tudor and jewellery brand Chopard, both of which will be operated by local licensee Global Watch Company.
The Tudor and Chopard storefronts will replace fashion retailer Blubird which shut down over the summer. The Blubird space which spanned 2,200 square feet is being demised for a Tudor boutique which will occupy space next to the lobby of the 745 Thurlow office tower and Chopard which will be next to it — Blubird’s address was 1108 Alberni Street when it was open.
The Tudor boutique will be a second for Canada, following the opening of North America’s first Tudor storefront at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in the spring of 2021. And while Tudor will be new to the Vancouver market, Chopard already has a store nearby at 925 W. Georgia Street which will be relocating next to Tudor on Alberni Street. The Chopard boutique on Georgia Street opened in 2017 and is operated by local retail brand Global Watch Company (GWC).
The lease for the new Tudor and Chopard storefronts was negotiated by Mario Negris and Martin Moriarty of Marcus & Millichap. QuadReal is the landlord for the 745 Thurlow office building where the new luxury boutiques will be located. The same building is also home to a recently opened Thom Browne storefront (which replaced Versace) and a Brunello Cucinelli store which opened in 2017.
Vancouver’s downtown Luxury Zone has been expanding in recent years as more brands look to operate in the city. The 1000 block of Alberni Street has become a row of luxury stores spanning from Burrard Street to Thurlow Street, and now the stretch between Thurlow and Bute Streets is getting more attention. Luxury watch brand Rolex (also operated by GWC) opened at 1119 Alberni Street in the fall of 2016 and was the second luxury mono brand store to move onto the block. More luxury brands could move westward along the 1100 block of Alberni Street which is home to several foodservice businesses on the south side of the street and an Urban Fare grocery store on the north side of the street within the Shangri-La Hotel complex.
The Luxury Zone’s boundaries extend roughly from the Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street to the former Trump Tower on the 1100 block of West Georgia Street, with Alberni Street being a focus as well as retailers that have stores on the 700 blocks of both Burrard Street and Thurlow Street. Some of the world’s biggest names have stores in the area.
In the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Gucci is expanding its storefront to more than 6,000 square feet by annexing space formerly occupied by watch brand Omega — and a new Omega store is now under construction in the hotel across the hall to replace it. Other luxury brands in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver include flagships for Louis Vuitton, Dior and St. John Knits.
Across Burrard Street, Hermes opened an impressive two-level flagship in 2019, and jewellery retailer Birks opened boutique spaces for Patek Philippe and Graff next to it. Alberni Street is home to big names including Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC Panerai, Vacheron Contantin, Montblanc, De Beers, Hublot, Prada, Burberry and others, and Thurlow Street is home to brands including Saint Laurent and Moncler, as well as a pop-up store for Gucci in the former Escada space at 710 Thurlow which will operate into 2022 while the Hotel Vancouver Gucci store is expanded and renovated.
On West Georgia Street, a licensed boutique for Italian luxury brand Stefano Ricci occupies a prominent space on the 1100 block. Next year, luxury jeweller brand Cartier will relocate its downtown Vancouver store from the city’s ‘Heritage District’ to the Luxury Zone in a 3,200 square foot retail space at 755 Burrard Street at the corner of Alberni Street.