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Herschel Supply Co. to Open Several New Stores This Year Amid Expansion [Interview]

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Vancouver-based global travel lifestyle and accessories brand Herschel Supply Co. continues to expand its retail footprint with several new stores planned for this year.

The popular brand, founded in 2009 by brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, currently has seven stores in North America with 50 partner stores in Asia.

The most recent store opened January 11 at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary.

“We opened up initially in North America four stores in Vancouver and four diverse stores. We have a Robson Street store that obviously serves the fashion channel and the high street shopper,” said Lyndon Cormack, Co-Founder & Managing Director. “We have Gastown which serves tourists and locals alike. We have a store in Metropolis in Burnaby which is our biggest mall in British Columbia and one of the most successful malls in Canada. And then we also have a McArthurGlen outlet store.

“As we look to expand to the other geographies we look to replicate clustering of stores in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Calgary and then as we build into the future other epicentres and other zones we’ll do cluster stores in as well.”

Herschel Supply Co at CF Chinook Centre (Image: Herschel)
Herschel Supply Co at CF Chinook Centre (Image: Herschel)

Niko George, Director of Global Retail, said the brand is focusing on the Vancouver, Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles markets.

“We have five more stores opening in those markets this year,” he said. “One more in Toronto, two more in New York, one in L.A and one in Banff.”

The company opened in December a store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre and plans to open an additional Toronto store at CF Sherway Gardens in late spring. 

There will also be a store coming to resort town Banff, Alberta.

“We tend to look for locations that tourists and locals unite. It’s very similar to building up the success we’ve seen in Gastown. And even when you look to a place like Soho in New York although it’s certainly a much different zone than a Banff or a Gastown but it also sort of builds off that energy. I grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and spent a lot of time living in that region as well.

“Banff’s obviously beyond just being an epic town, and epic scenery and a great place to visit, it’s also pretty close to home. I’ve spent thousands of days there over my life and that’s going to be a fun one for us as well.”

Cormack said a store in Banff is expected to open for the summer season.

“We don’t quite have possession of the space yet but the landlord’s doing some work. We’re moving into a location where it had the same tenant for over 40 years so there’s some improvements that need to be made from a landlord’s side and then we’re going in there and opening the store. Looks like everything’s on track. We should be all open and humming for summer,” said Cormack. 

Herschel Supply Co at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Herschel)
Herschel Supply Co at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Herschel)

Herschel Supply is named after the small Canadian town in Saskatchewan where three generations of their family grew up. The retailer’s first store opened in Gastown in 2018. 

“When we look at bags in general, it’s certainly our backbone. We looked at the outdoor industry. We looked at the luxury industry and how much bags were celebrated in those areas. We didn’t feel there was a heartbeat in the lifestyle category,” said Cormack. “So how do we take these very meaningful, utility products that people can take to school, to work, on trips, around the world, etc., just on many adventures and bigger adventures, and how do we really put a heart beat and a storytelling aspect into the category that will allow people not only to buy a product of utility but create a brand that people could fall in love with the design ethos and storytelling and classic, yet modern design.

“We’re not trying to be something to everybody on purpose. We’re trying to be classic with a modern twist and it seems to appeal to a ton of people who just love that aesthetic and that design ethos.”

George said there is a timeliness of the product.

“It has this quality that it could be from any generation. It’s not on trend which I really like. I think in addition it’s a really inclusive brand. The access to our product can be the mall or be the high-end boutique at Saks. So it’s really inclusive to all types of people. That’s a big appeal for the brand right now,” said George.

Career opportunities at Herschel Supply Co. are available at this link.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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