Ray-Ban to Enter Edmonton Market with 1st Store


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Sources say that upscale sunglasses and eyewear brand Ray-Ban will be opening a storefront this year at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. It will be the fourth standalone store for the brand after it opened locations during the pandemic in Toronto and Vancouver. 

The West Edmonton Mall Ray-Ban will replace Icebreaker Merino Wool which has operated a 2,900 square foot storefront in the mall for several years. The second level location is between Browns Shoes and Hollister and is across from an Apple store. 

West Edmonton Mall will be the fourth store in Canada for Rayban. The first opened in September of 2020 at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. A second opened in the fall of 2021 at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto and a third most recently opened at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver. 

Click image for interactive West Edmonton Mall map
Ray-Ban at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Ray-Ban at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

More Rayban locations are expected in Canada. It appears that the store strategy includes top enclosed shopping centres, which means malls such as CF Chinook Centre in Calgary and CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa could be targets. 

Ray-Ban is also carried in Canada at multi-brand retailers. That includes Sunglass Hut, Hakim Optical, Sport Chek, Pearle Vision, LensCrafters, and other chains — not to mention a wide range of independent retailers specializing in optical goods. Ray-Ban’s direct-to-consumer move into standalone stores as well as a transactional Canadian website is a trend being seen by many other brands, some of which are pulling out of multi-brand retailers to open corporate stores. 

Given the limited number of corporate standalone Ray-Ban stores in the United States, multi-brand retailers are likely to be an important sales channel for Ray-Ban in Canada for years to come.

Image: Ray-Ban
Ray-Ban at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Ray-Ban is headquartered in Milan Italy, though it was founded in the United States. In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Rochester NY-based medical equipment manufacturer Bausch & Lomb to create aviation sunglasses optimized for pilots. In 1936, anti-glare lenses were introduced and in 1938, the company created impact-resistant lenses which were redesigned with metal frames for the patented Ray-Ban Aviator. Other styles were released in subsequent decades including the ‘Olympian’ which was worn by Peter Fonda in the 1969 film Easy Rider. In 1999, Milan-based Luxottica Group acquired Bausch & Lomb’s Global Eyewear Division for US$640 million.

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.


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