Swatch Unleashes Ambitious Expansion Plan with 5 New Canadian Stores this Year [Interview]


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Watch retailer Swatch has aggressive plans to expand its retail presence in Canada.

Recently it opened a new store at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto and in Victoria on Government Street and has plans to open another three new stores in the country this year.

Shawn Kotania, brand manager in Canada, said the company currently has 11 stores operating in the country. 

He said the current store on Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal will also be moving to the Montreal Eaton Centre in a couple of weeks followed by new store openings in Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto in July, CF Chinook Centre in Calgary in September and then a flagship store on Robson Street in Vancouver in September as well.

Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)

“We’ve been around for 40 years now. We were founded in 1983. Swatch actually stands for second watch,” said Kotania.

“What we’re about is a watch that anybody can wear and anybody can basically afford. It’s about showing each person’s individuality and personality through our product. We do different collaborations throughout the year. Right now our latest collaboration is the Art Journey where we’ve partnered with different museums around the world.”

Kotania said the brand is exploring further opportunities for expansion in Canada.

“I can’t get into those opportunities right now as they’re under negotiations. But yes we are looking at continuing to grow in 2024,” he said.

Swatch Victoria on Government Street (Image: Swatch Group)
Future Swatch at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“Right now the way we’re kind of approaching this is we don’t expect a Swatch store to be in every mall throughout Canada. We want people to come back to our store, to come back to the mall.

“For real estate what we’re trying to do is make sure that we have a cross country presence. Last year we opened Halifax. Now we’re opening Victoria. So we can say we are coast to coast basically right now. With opening up Calgary we’ve got coverage in Alberta. Robson Street in Vancouver. We will have that coverage in downtown. Where we see opportunities are in the Prairies and a couple of other cities within Canada but we are covered off in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.”

Future Swatch at Montreal Eaton Centre (Image: Craig Patterson)
Future Swatch in Vancouver (connect2source via Vancouver Skyscraper Forum)

Kotania said the store size varies depending on the real estate and the location.

“We go from 500 square feet and we will go to 2,000 square feet. So it really depends on the location. The position we want to take as a brand,” he said.

“Our store that will be opening in Vancouver will be something nobody has ever seen before. It’s going to be a very special store in that way. Our store in Montreal in the Eaton Centre that we’re opening is close to 1,800 square feet. And both those stores will have something that the other stores will not have and this fall people will actually be able to go there and look at different art work, and basically lay our watch over the artwork then we will print that watch to the customization that the consumer wants and they’ll be able to leave with it from the store within 20 minutes.”

Additional Photos from CF Sherway Gardens

Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
Swatch at CF Sherway Gardens (Image: Swatch Group)
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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