SAXX Underwear Launches 1st Immersive Shop-in-Store at Hudson’s Bay Flagship in Toronto [Interview/Photos]


Share post:

Men’s underwear brand SAXX has launched its first immersive in store experience in the Hudson’s Bay flagship location in downtown Toronto on Queen Street.

The concept has started in a 400-square-foot space in the high-profile retailer’s space, showcasing its innovative underwear from everyday to athletic performance and expanded apparel collections.  

Wendy Bennison

“As a Canadian based company, working with Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s iconic oldest company and a retailer known as a destination for style and quality, we could not have found a more appropriate place for SAXX’s first shop-in-shop location,” said Wendy Bennison, SAXX CEO, in a statement. 

“At SAXX we are obsessed with ensuring men are comfortable throughout their day, this space will allow us to showcase the support of our propriety BallPark Pouch™, the cooling benefits of our DropTemp™ Cooling technology, as well as some of our newer collections such as swim, athletic apparel, sleep and socks.” 

SAXX at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street (Image: SAXX)

Adam Craig, Vice President of Sales for SAXX, said The Bay approached SAXX in January 2020 about the opportunity of putting a fully immersive SAXX store into the flagship store on Queen Street but the pandemic put those plans on hold.

“This has been a vision and something we’ve been imagining how we would bring it to life for a number of years,” he said.

The company, which is based in Vancouver, was founded in 2006. The company began its business through wholesale with its primary source of distribution out of the gate, working with retailers as well as distributors. Then the direct to consumer side of the business came about.

“If you think back, in 2015 our direct to consumer business was right around 15 per cent of our business. Over 85 per cent business was done through wholesale,” said Craig. “Wholesale is still a big part of our business so you’re going to find us both on the direct to consumer side of the business which is an important part where we work direct with the consumer but also our primary channels of distribution are going to be sporting goods, outdoor retailers, department stores, better men’s and contemporary stores, as well as we sell in some lingerie stores,” said Craig.

SAXX at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street (Image: SAXX)

At the wholesale level, the brand is sold through SportChek, Mark’s, The Bay, MEC, Harry Rosen, as well as some of the larger better known stores in the US.

“One of the unique things of our business is the balance between our bigger box retailers and our specialty business. Roughly half of our business is done through our independent specialty accounts. So it’s a lot of the mom and pops that really do a beautiful job of curating intelligent product stories.”

With consumers now returning to the stores following the pandemic, it was a natural progression for the retailer to open a physical presence.

SAXX at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street (Image: SAXX)

Craig said the company does envision more of these locations opening in the future.

“We have a strong desire to launch one in the United States before this holiday 2023. That is something that is on our radar to be able to execute but I think in general as consumers are moving back into physical retail environments and foot traffic was up across almost all channels of retail last year from all reports we’re seeing, we really want to make sure we’re doing a better job elevating our brand’s messaging and the storytelling,” he said. 

“So at SAXX we’re looking at not only trying to do more versions with what we did with The Bay but in total elevate our physical presence at retail.”

Craig said the company has thought about establishing its own branded stores but right now it believes the best opportunity is leveraging the expertise of its wholesale partners who do that really well today. 

“That’s where we see scale being in replicating what we did with The Bay with other retailers that know how to be great retailers in a physical environment versus teaching ourselves that skill right now. It’s something on a longer term road map, though,” he said.

SAXX at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street (Image: SAXX)

The retailer said key features of the concept area include:   

  • A deconstructed pair of SAXX underwear, that helps shoppers visually experience the BallPark Pouch™ technology; 
  • An educational zone to inform shoppers about the benefit of DropTemp™ – SAXX’s newest cooling technology in their self-care routine; and  
  • Humorous moments that nod to the brand’s focus on keeping gentlemen comfortable,  including a mirror that reminds shoppers to “Keep your eye on the ball” and a ball-shaped seat with the text “Gentleman’s chair.” 

Craig said The Bay location is the first retail environment where customers can see the depth and breadth of all of the product categories that SAXX has to offer.

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. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter


* indicates required

Related articles

Flexible Work Company ‘LAUFT’ Discusses Expansion Plans and New Government Collaboration [Interview]

Founder Graham Wong discusses the Canadian company's plans for new locations, enhanced spaces for events and content creation, and a future in places such as airports and hotels.

Ice Bath Spa Concept ‘Othership’ Opens 2nd Toronto Location with Expansion Plans for Major Markets in Canada and NYC [Interview]

The company's co-founder discusses the concept that began in his back yard in 2019, which is now a big business with a new Yorkville location and plans for Manhattan and other urban centres.

Anatomy of a Leader: Peter Mammas, President and CEO, Foodtastic

The man behind the food empire got started in Montreal where he wanted to be a pilot, then an architect. He eventually worked his way up in the world of foodservice, where he found his passion.

Nostalgia vs Reality: Exclusive Poll Shows Canadians Warm to Zellers’ Return but Hesitate to Shop One Year After Relaunch

Zellers relaunched a year ago as shop-in-stores at Hudson's Bay, and a poll done for Retail Insider shows that Canadians' think the current offerings fall short.

Cracking the Newcomer Code: Study Urges Canadian Retailers to Adapt for Inclusivity as Immigrants Reshape Retail Trends [Feature]

Making newcomers feel at home could mean increased sales for retailers. Ian Large of Leger says retailers should collaborate with communities as Canada's population changes.

Italian-Themed QSR Chain Fazoli’s Announces Major Expansion into Canada with 25 Locations Planned [Interview]

The chain could open even more locations according to its development officer, who discusses Fazoli's success being rooted in quality ingredients and speedy service.

Toronto-Based Fashion Designer Adam X Discusses Inspiration, Retail and Designing for the Future [Video Interview]

Craig and Adam X discuss the the founding and ethos of Adam X Atelier, a Toronto-based haute couture fashion brand which is rare to find in Canada.

Swatch Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver as it Expands Across Canada [Photos]

It's the 12th store in Canada for the popular Swiss watch brand, which almost doubled its store count in this country in less than a year.

Economic Strains Dampen Montréal’s Retail Growth, But Luxury and Transit Projects Could Spark Revival: JLL Report

Montreal retail has struggled recently and leasing activity has been particularly slow downtown, while a new luxury mall and a growing transit network could help things this year.

IKEA Canada Launches ‘Second-Hand Tax’ Initiative in Protest of Government Policies [Interview]

Ikea dropped the tax on its 'as-is' marketplace, stating that second-hand goods should not be subject to the same taxes as new products.

Significant Variances in Food Price Changes Not Reflected in Statistics Canada Numbers [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that StatCan numbers on food inflation do not reflect the reality of what consumers are seeing at the grocery store.

US-Based Women’s Fashion Brand Windsor Announces First 5 Canadian Stores, Plans National Expansion [Interviews]

The fashion brand is expected to be a runaway success in Canada, with an existing customer base and a void in the market.