FatFace to Enter Canada with Multiple Stores

Date:

Share post:

A fashion brand with an unusual name will be entering the Canadian market this year. UK-based FatFace will open an initial three store locations in Ontario, and more are planned as the brand becomes established in the country. 

The company has over 200 stores in the UK, Ireland and the United States, and it’s now setting its sights on international expansion which includes Canada. The company was founded by friends Tim Slade and Jules Leaver in 1988. Inspired by the name of the black mountain ski run in Val d’Isère, La Face, FatFace was born.  

The Canadian expansion will see FatFace’s first location open in April in the quaint community of Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls. The store will be in a historic building at 65 Queen Street, and it’s unusual for such a small community to see a first-to-Canada store location for an international brand.  

Other confirmed FatFace stores to open in Canada will include locations at Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket near Toronto, as well as at Georgian Mall in Barrie, Ontario. 

Image: FatFace Canada
Future Niagara-on-the-Lake Location at 65 Queen Street (Image: FatFace Canada)

According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, one of the reasons FatFace is expanding into Canada is because some Canadians were traveling to the United States and buying the brand. FatFace thus identified that there was a brand awareness in Canada and made the decision to open standalone stores. The same article says that a total of six FatFace locations will be opening in Canada over the next year or so, with that information coming from the retailer’s CEO.

Jennifer Bowyer of Aurora Realty Consultants represents FatFace in Canada and negotiated the three lease deals for the brand’s first stores. According to Aurora’s website, FatFace stores will ideally be in the 1,200 to 1,800 square foot range in tourist markets (such as Niagara-on-the-Lake) as well as high streets and shopping centres. 

Given the tourism focus, locations could eventually open in places such as Banff, Alberta and Whistler, British Columbia (neither of these were confirmed by FatFace). And given that Barrie and Newmarket are places where FatFace is opening, it’s anyone’s guess where the next stores will be — typically many fashion brands launch in Canada through Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Aurora Realty Consultants has been very active in that centre in terms of placing first-to-market tenants. 

FatFace has 24 stores in the United States where it’s also seeing an expansion. France, Germany, Spain and Italy are also possible targets for stores according to chief executive Will Crumbie in the Daily Mail article.

Product categories in FatFace stores include womenswear, menswear, children’s fashions, footwear and accessories. 

Image: FatFace Windsor

The new head of Canadian Stores, Raylin Noble, has been with the company since 2004 in the UK. She’s helped to lead the company’s growth in various roles including being instrumental in expanding its operations into Ireland. 

In 2020 ownership of the operating group transferred from Bridgepoint Capital to the group’s existing lenders, who, amongst others, include Alcentra, Goldman Sachs, HIG and Lloyds.

We’ll follow up on this story as FatFace enters the Canadian market with stores this spring. 

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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Related articles

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.