Italian luxury brand Gucci has reopened its store at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 W. Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. The store recently saw a significant expansion to add new product categories which involved joining an existing Gucci store with a neighbouring retail space.
For the first time, menswear is now available in the standalone downtown Vancouver Gucci store — when it opened in 2006, the location catered primarily to women. Now the Vancouver store, considered to be a flagship, is large enough to house men’s categories as well as the new Gucci Pet collection — prior to the expansion Gucci men’s ready-to-wear was only available in the Vancouver market at Holt Renfrew where Gucci has a concession presence.
The expanded flagship store’s design includes custom geometric painted wood floors and marble polychrome inlays that produce decorative three-dimensional effects on the floors. As with other updated stores, Vancouver’s Gucci location also includes ample use of herringbone wood flooring which contrasts with rich fabrics in some rooms. Varnished pink iron wall finishes complement the moss green velvets used for upholstery of some furniture items as well as in fitting rooms. Plush chairs and vintage oriental rugs are found throughout the space which features LED lighting to promote energy efficiency.
The expanded store has become the largest in Canada for Gucci. The original Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Gucci store opened in 2006 and spanned just under 4,000 square feet on one level. An adjacent 2,300 square foot storefront for luxury watch and jewellery brand Omega was annexed by Gucci which now occupies about 6,200 square feet on the main floor of the hotel as well as some space upstairs on a mezzanine level that was once part of luxury retailer George Straith, which had a store in the hotel until the mid 1990s. Omega relocated to a new interior storefront space on the main floor of the hotel last year.
Gucci has been investing heavily in the Canadian market over the past several years and is said to be seeing strong sales in its stores in this country. The brand opened a standalone store in Edmonton in the spring of 2021 at the West Edmonton Mall, spanning more than 5,000 square feet on one level. That location is said to be doing so well that parent company Kering will be opening another luxury brand store in the mall with details to follow.
In 2020 Gucci renovated its 6,000 square foot flagship at 130 Bloor Street West in Toronto and 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. Since 2019 Gucci has also unveiled concession spaces for women, men, footwear and accessories at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal.
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 — rumour has it that a standalone store is on the way. 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 retail, 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.
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 (as well as at Bay stores in Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, and at then-HBC-owned Simpsons in downtown Toronto).
Gucci, owned by Kering Group, 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 Herald Square store only).
The Gucci brand was recently the subject of the 2021 Ridley Scott film House of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga, which was watched by millions and created a new buzz for the Gucci brand. Lyst also recently ranked Gucci as the second hottest brand in the world after Balenciaga, which is also owned by Kering Group and will be opening a standalone store in the Vancouver market with more details to come.