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Quebec-Based Fashion Retailer WLKN Opens Downtown Toronto Store and Launches Expansion with Plans for Several Locations [Interview]

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WLKN has recently launched its new store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, the eleventh store in Canada with the goal of opening nine more. 

Founded in Quebec City in 2010, WLKN provides a variety of streetwear clothing for men, women, youth, and provides unisex options. The store also carries a variety of accessories and jewelry. WLKN expanded into Ontario in 2016 and opened stores located in Vaughn Mills, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, and a store in Oshawa. The new location is WLKN’s 4th store in the Greater Toronto Area. 

The new location at CF Toronto Eaton Centre is 2,456 square feet, a location WLKN has been waiting for. 

“When we opened in Ontario, the CF Toronto Eaton Centre or on Queen Street was our main target, at that time the prices were too high and these locations did not have any empty locations, so we had to put it aside,” says Pierre-Olivier Mercier the CEO of WLKN. This is the first time we have opened in Toronto, and this was the first location we were looking for, so we are happy that even after Covid, we were able to open this store.” 

WLKN at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
WLKN at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Pierre Mercier

Mercier said the only reason he was able to get this location was because of the pandemic. 

“Covid was tough for all retailers, but it has opened doors for negotiations with the malls. If you go back in 2015, the malls did not have available spaces at the time. Now, Covid has made a lot of retail stores close so that has helped find a good location which can be hard for us as we are still a small retail store.” 

WLKN currently has eleven stores in Canada and will be growing until it hits around twenty. 

This upcoming October, WLKN will be opening its new store in Bramalea City Centre in Brampton, this will be opening sometime during the first two weeks in October. Additionally, WLKN is looking to expand more in 2023 with stores in Scarborough at the Scarborough Town Centre and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. 

WLKN Montreal Centre-Ville (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Customers shopping at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre store, and at other locations, can expect friendly customer service, worldwide products, and Canadian made clothing. 

“60 percent of our brand is made over seas, but 30 percent is made in Canada,” says Mercier. “That is what customers can find in our stores – a Canadian base streetwear brand and we are going to try to produce more Canadian made items.” 

Customers can find a variety of clothing in unisex, women’s, men’s, and youth clothing in over 100 different brands including Obey, Vans, Champion, Puma, and more. 

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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