Jill Yoga, a Canadian brand under the parent company of Ranka, has recently opened its new concept store at Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill.
The Ranka Group of Companies, formed 45 years ago to cater to a market asking for reasonably priced apparel and home product, added Jill Yoga under its umbrella to focus on active wear for women and girls. Jill Yoga opened its doors on October 1st and unlike other retailers, the new concept store will have a retail space that will include a yoga studio where customers can enjoy free yoga classes.
The Yoga Studio started before the pandemic and was only once a month, now it has expanded to multiple classes every week.
“Our first pop-up location was at CF Shops at Don Mills three years ago and once a month we would have yoga classes and it was well received. Mothers would come in with their daughters, grandparents, and family would come in to do yoga together. This time around, we thought we would incorporate a studio space right into the store so we could have classes all week and it would be part of the retail experience. The pop-up at Hillcrest Mall is our first experiential pop-up. I say that because the pop-ups we have had previously, did not have the studio space inside,” says Nina Snow, the Creative Director of Jill Yoga.
The yoga studio is in the back of the store and can be expanded depending on the size of the class. Jill Yoga has partnered with three instructors, one is Little Yogis and is Toronto based. This group focuses on children’s yoga, ages three to six, will be sending instructors to the studio, and will have two sets of classes for different ages. One class will be for toddlers and the other class will be focused on children six years of age and above. The instructors will be focusing on yoga activities and will sometimes bring in toys and offer mindfulness activations.
Jill Yoga has also partnered with two individual yoga instructors, and they will be focusing on bringing classes that are for mom and baby class, family class, and kids play which will include different activities for kids and not just yoga.
“The mom and baby class during the week will be interesting for the moms and babies in the area who are at home. Yoga for kids is an amazing thing. The world and their lives are so full of distraction and being able to give them skills such as focusing, mindfulness, and the ability to get off their devices for around 30 minutes are things they can carry with them every day. This is a wonderful practice that kids really enjoy.”
All the classes offered at Jill Yoga are offered free of charge as part of the retail experience at Jill Yoga.
Fashionable Clothing for Women and Kids
Jill Yoga has a wide variety of products including active wear for women. Clothing sizes go all the way down to six months old. Customers can also find a wide variety of yoga accessories such as yoga mats and bags.
“We do fashion active wear, and it is all ages. It is for women and girls and starts at six months and goes all the way up through women’s sizing. It also gives a unique opportunity for a mom and daughter to match. So, we have a Mommy and Mini line, and it is adorable. We see it in a lot of classes, where people come in and dressed in Mommy and Mini – dressed alike and doing yoga together.”
Jill Yoga’s products, such as the Mommy and Mini line, are also carried at Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada.
What is Next for Jill Yoga?
Snow said the goal will be to open five new stores within the next two years. The difficult task will be to find a retail store that will also include a studio space so all its stores can continue with the new yoga studio concept.
“We do plan on moving forward with it, we just haven’t had a chance to decide where, when, and to put a plan together. But we would like to go forward with the experimental location where we do have a studio in the space. We are hopeful that the next expansion will be opening five stores within the next two years. We will venture out of Ontario, but the first few will be in Ontario, and we will see how it goes.”
Jill Yoga is also looking at expanding its class selection to add more breathing classes for kids, mindfulness, and “we really want to see what we can bring to the area in terms of health and wellness.” Snow said one thing it will be bringing in is dance classes for kids.
“We have the permanent studio space in the store, so we are looking at a wide variety of health, wellness, mindfulness, and interesting classes that will be posted on our site. We are coming out of the pandemic, and everyone has been inside – so, it has been well received. Kids can come out and have fun. We are bringing fun back and it is combined with a great retail experience. We are putting the joy back into yoga.”