Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre already boasts the densest clustering of luxury brands stores in Canada, and more are being added this year as landlord Oxford Properties secures new tenants. Since January, several retailers have already opened and more are on the way.
For years Yorkdale had upscale stores including Holt Renfrew, and things really began to pick up in 2009 when Tiffany & Co. opened a store in the mall. A substantial number of luxury brands followed over the years and Retail Insider has reported on many of them.
The following is an update on some of the new retailers that have either recently opened at Yorkdale or will be over the next several months.
Burberry: The UK-based luxury brand has reopened its Yorkdale store featuring a new simple design with a bright interior accented with gold. Burberry was one of the first global luxury brands to open a standalone store at Yorkdale in August of 2009 in a newly formed luxury wing that is now home to numerous high-end retailers.
Rolex: Raffi Jewellers recently unveiled an impressive new space for Rolex which involved converting most of the former Raffi store space into a dedicated Rolex storefront. Raffi Jewellers also has an entrance to its own multi-brand space next to Rolex, and on the other side is North America’s first location for luxury watch brand Tudor which was profiled in Retail Insider and opened in 2020.
Marc Jacobs: Upscale New York City-based brand Marc Jacobs opened its first standalone Canadian location at Yorkdale mid-January in a 1,900 square foot retail space formerly occupied by Davids Footwear. The Marc Jacobs storefront carries a range of bags and accessories as well as some ready-to-wear for women and men. The store is temporary and a new location will be built in the mall according to an employee. More Marc Jacobs stores are expected in Canada including an outlet store outside of Toronto.
Läderach: Swiss chocolate retailer Läderach opened its third Canadian storefront at Yorkdale last week in a 775 square foot retail space formerly occupied by Godiva. Läderach will continue to open more Canadian stores under the guidance of broker Mary Mowbray of Colliers.
Lucid Motors: US-based electric car brand Lucid Motors will soon be opening its second Canadian storefront in Yorkdale’s 2016 Nordstrom-anchored expansion wing. The first Lucid location in Canada opened in early January at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver.
Emporio Armani: Italian luxury brand Giorgio Armani will open the only Canadian location for its sub-brand Emporio Armani this year in Yorkdale’s 2012 expansion wing. Emporio Armani will be located in a space formerly occupied by Ann Taylor in a space measuring about 4,200 square feet. Most recently, a pop-up store for Montreal-based outerwear brand Quartz Co. occupied the space which is now being taken back to the studs for the construction of the Emporio Armani store.
Emporio Armani once had a Canadian store on Bloor Street in Toronto — between 1990 and 1995, the brand had a 6,000 square foot store at 80 Bloor Street West which then-licensee Holt Renfrew relocated to the Holt Renfrew Centre at 50 Bloor Street West between 1998 and the early 2000s.
TWG Tea: A Vancouver-based licensee will open Canada’s second location for Singapore-based TWG Tea this spring. The 1,400 square foot storefront will be between the mall’s Furla and Longchamp storefronts. TWG Tea is also about to reopen its Vancouver store in a smaller space on Robson Street after shuttering its first Canadian location which was much larger on W. Georgia Street late last year. The team at DWSV Realty negotiated the Yorkdale TWG lease deal on the part of the retailer.
Prairies & Petals: The upscale pop-up flower retailer recently unveiled a unique storefront designed by Montreal-based GH+A. The store features an assortment of roses that can last over a year costing into the hundreds of dollars per bunch. The storefront itself is unique in that it is only about 10 feet wide. The store is open through to January 2023.
Acne Studios: Signage went up for the construction of a new store for upscale Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios at Yorkdale in a newly formed luxury wing occupied by Louis Vuitton, Thom Browne and several other brands. Acne is an edgy brand with fashions for women and men and it is also carried in a handful of retailers in Canada. A lease deal hasn’t technically been finalized as of press time despite the painted construction hoarding.
Store Renovations/Expansions: Three luxury retailers in the mall will be seeing updates. In mid-February we will be touring the renovated storefront for US-based luxury brand David Yurman. The brand is currently housed in a nearby pop-up space formerly occupied by Mulberry and when David Yurman vacates, the neighbouring Cartier and Bulgari stores will both take part of the former Mulberry location to expand their respective storefronts.
Upscale US-based Tory Burch is preparing to renovate its Yorkdale store, which was the first in Canada when it opened in the spring of 2012. Tory Burch is moving into the pop-up CONCEPT space at Yorkdale temporarily for construction.
Other luxury retailers that recently opened at Yorkdale include Alexander McQueen which we profiled in December.
Final Thoughts: Oxford Properties has managed to successfully create a significant closeting of luxury brands at Yorkdale that places the mall among some of the world’s top retail centres. Yorkdale is the most productive shopping centre in terms of sales per square foot and that’s primarily due to the sales numbers at luxury stores as well as productive retailers such as Tesla, Canada Goose and Apple. More luxury brands are said to be opening at Yorkdale with whispers that one of the biggest concession names at Holt Renfrew in the mall will be opening a standalone location nearby, with details to follow.
Yorkdale’s success, at least in part, has resulted in something of a loss for Toronto’s downtown core. For decades the Bloor-Yorkville area has been home to Toronto’s luxury shopping and the growth of high-end nodes at Yorkdale as well as at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, CF Sherway Gardens and Square One in Mississauga have all taken market share from the Yorkville area which itself is seeing new luxury store openings. Some brokers are saying that Yorkdale’s success might ultimately be a good thing as some brands look to open second Toronto locations in the Bloor-Yorkville area after testing the market with Yorkdale stores.
We will continue to report on happenings at Yorkdale as the shopping centre continues to add new retailers including many first-to-Canada concepts.