Balenciaga to Open Large Store at West Edmonton Mall


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Kering-owned luxury brand Balenciaga will open a storefront at West Edmonton Mall as part of Balenciaga’s ongoing expansion into the Canadian market. Balenciaga is expected to open before the end of the year near other luxury brands in Canada’s largest shopping centre. 

Balenciaga will occupy about 3,900 square feet on the second level of the mall — the storefront was made possible by joining former locations for Matt & Nat (1,775 square feet) and Marc Cain (2,150 square feet), the latter having recently relocated to Phase 1 of the mall near Harry Rosen. 

The Balenciaga store at West Edmonton Mall will be located between an APM Monaco store and Kate Spade. A Tiffany & Co. store is located next to APM Monaco and across the way, three global luxury super brands have opened over the past three years. That includes standalone storefronts for Louis Vuitton (which opened summer 2019), Saint Laurent (opened winter 2020) and Gucci (opened spring 2021). 

Click image for interactive West Edmonton Mall map

Kering also owns Gucci and Saint Laurent, and the French conglomerate is said to have agreed to open Balenciaga after seeing exceptional sales numbers at West Edmonton Mall for its two other brands. Louis Vuitton is also said to be seeing strong sales numbers at West Edmonton Mall, prompting the brand to consider expanding its existing storefront according to sources. 

Edmonton will once again have bragging rights over Calgary with the announcement of Balenciaga — the two cities have an unofficial rivalry and since the pandemic, Edmonton has seen the opening of two luxury brands not currently having standalone Calgary stores. Calgary currently lacks standalone Saint Laurent and Gucci storefronts, though Gucci is said to be looking at opening in the city. Louis Vuitton opened a standalone store at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary in the fall of 2018, exiting a concession in downtown Calgary at Holt Renfrew. It remains to be seen if Balenciaga will open a standalone Calgary location which, as per the ongoing trend, would be located at CF Chinook Centre.

Scoring Balenciaga also means that West Edmonton Mall won’t need a retailer such as Holt Renfrew to move in to service the Edmonton market with luxury goods. Holt Renfrew exited the Edmonton market in early 2020 primarily because its luxury brand concession partners did not see a future in downtown Edmonton, particularly after Louis Vuitton made the decision to exit downtown Edmonton’s Holt Renfrew for West Edmonton Mall. Now West Edmonton Mall is home to most of the top-selling brands at the downtown Holts (including Canada Goose and Hugo Boss) and more brands could be on the way, given the strong sales numbers for high-end retail at West Edmonton Mall. 

Images from the fall 2022 Balenciaga collection via Hypebeast

Kering has been investing in the Canadian market significantly by opening stores. For Balenciaga specifically, a 7,000 square foot two-level flagship store was unveiled in July of this year on Yorkville Avenue in Toronto. It joins a 4,700 square foot Balenciaga location that opened at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in December of 2019. A Vancouver location is said to be next. 

Balenciaga currently operates “world of” concessions at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver and in downtown Toronto at 50 Bloor Street West. Both locations feature the brand’s range of ready-to-wear for women and men as well as bags, accessories and footwear. 

Several other high-end retailers in Canada carry Balenciaga. Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto currently features an area for bags and accessories and womenswear and men’s collections are also available.  

Nordstrom’s Vancouver flagship features a Balenciaga accessory boutique on the main floor as well as a dedicated women’s Balenciaga boutique space on the women’s floor. Balenciaga footwear can also be found at Nordstrom’s stores in Toronto and Vancouver. 

In Montreal, Balenciaga has a boutique presence at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in a licensed arrangement where Holts runs the stores for the time being. 

According to the Q2 2022 Lyst Index (the most recent at press time), Balenciaga was ranked as the world’s second-most popular brand while Gucci was ranked first. It’s a switch from the past several quarters where Balenciaga ranked number one. Balenciaga is also having an ongoing fashion moment — the brand returned to haute couture after 53 years last year, launched a Fortnite collaboration, and teamed up with Kanye West on the launch of his Donda album. Last year the brand also showcased its fashion collection in cartoon format at Paris Fashion Week via popular television program ‘The Simpsons’.

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.


    • I need to get over to Calgary, I wasn’t aware the brand had a presence at Holts there. I’m doubting Saks in Calgary will have it much longer — or that Saks will be in the market specifically for that matter.


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