LVMH-owned Italian luxury jewellery brand Bulgari has renovated and expanded its flagship location at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The retail space has doubled in size and the store is now one of the only locations globally to carry Bulgari’s high jewellery collection.
The renovation of the Yorkdale store took about five months, expanding the retail space from about 1,500 square feet to approximately 3,000 square feet. Architect Peter Marino conceptualized the space which now has two private salons.
The main entrance to the Roman-inspired store is made of Black Grand Antique marble, and the interior includes white Tarvertino Navona marble walls that are finished in white and gold hand-applied Scagliola plaster. The middle of the store features the recognizable Bulgari Condotti eight-point star in red porphyry, which dates back to the first Bulgari shop opened by Sotirio Bulgari in Rome in 1884. Condotti windows within the store reference the original windows still present in Bulgari’s historic flagship on Via Condotti in Rome, and there are two Murano crystal chandeliers made by Italian artisan Vistosi that illuminate the interior.
Three Andy Warhol silk-screen prints in the store were issued specifically for Bulgari by the Warhol Foundation. Andy Warhol was known for being a longstanding fan of Bulgari, so much so that he had called the New York boutique “the most important museum of contemporary art.”
“I am thrilled to celebrate the re-opening of our flagship boutique in Toronto. The store’s newly imagined concept seamlessly blends the luxurious materials and iconic Italian designs that reflect Bulgari’s heritage, with a contemporary, best-in-class client experience. I look forward to welcoming our clients back inside to discover our iconic creations within this new expression of Roman art & design,” said Joshua Gaynor, Managing Director of Bulgari Canada.
The Yorkdale store originally opened in December of 2014 and was recently expanded by annexing part of a retail space formerly occupied by UK-based luxury brand Mulberry which exited its Canadian stores during the pandemic. The remainder of the former Mulberry space will be occupied by luxury jeweller Cartier which is also expanding and renovating its Yorkdale store.
The expanded Bulgari flagship carries an expansive range of jewellery as well as watches, eyewear and fragrances. Handbags and leather goods also sell very well in the Yorkdale store according to a Bulgari representative, with the store now carrying a more extensive selection than what one may find in other Bulgari locations.
The Yorkdale flagship is said to be one of Bulgari’s top-selling in North America, prompting the brand to add its high jewellery collection as part of the store expansion. Prices for Bulgari’s high jewellery line can be into the six and even seven figures with designs featuring precious metals and stones. Other Bulgari stores in North America carrying high jewellery include 5th Avenue in New York City, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and Costa Mesa California (South Coast Plaza).
In Canada, Bulgari also operates concessions at Holt Renfrew in Toronto at 50 Bloor Street West and at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver at CF Pacific Centre. Travel retailer Dufry operates Bulgari boutiques in Vancouver International Airport as well as in Toronto’s Pearson Airport in Terminals 1 and 3. Multi-brand retailers in Canada carrying Bulgari include Chateau d’Ivoire in Montreal, Bandiera Jewellers in Toronto, and Montecristo Jewellers at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby BC.
Attendees of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) would have seen Bulgari’s recent marketing — the luxury brand advertised heavily during the event and was a presenting sponsor of some awards. Splendid looking high jewellery pieces from Bulgari were part of advertising that included billboards and videos at the beginning of TIFF films. The TIFF partnership spans an initial three-year term which means Bulgari will be part of the festival in 2023 and 2024.
Bulgari was founded in Greece in 1884 and is now headquartered in Rome. LVMH acquired Bulgari in 2011 as part of a strategic alliance. Bulgari operates a network of standalone stores, concessions, and wholesale accounts in major markets globally. Marriott operates Bulgari Hotels and Resorts which has seven locations globally with more to come, and there are Bulgari-branded restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka.
Yorkdale has become one of North America’s top shopping centres in terms of both sales per square foot as well as the number of luxury brands carried within. Yorkdale now boasts the highest density of luxury brands anywhere in Canada and more are said to be on the way into 2023.