Turkish Children’s Clothing Chain ‘Panco’ to Enter Canada with Stores [Interview]


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Panco, the popular international children’s clothing chain is coming to Canada.

Entrepreneur and Canadian partner Mehmet Varol is bringing the concept to the country with plans to open Panco’s first Canadian store in Vancouver. 

“I have worked as an executive for the Canadian subsidiary of a global clothing brand since 2009. I recently completed my tenure at the company to embark on a new chapter in my professional journey. I collaborated with the Panco brand to bring it to Canada,” said Varol.

Image: Panço

“Panco is a brand with a rich legacy, shaping children’s fashion in Turkey for over four decades and now in 37 other countries. Recognizing the potential of Panco’s unique designs and commitment to quality, I saw a wonderful opportunity to introduce Canadian families to this beloved brand. Panco has dressed generations of children, and my aim is to create that same sense of comfort and style for Canadian kids.

“Panco stands out in several ways. Firstly, Panco’s uniqueness lies in its ability to blend original designs with a focus on children’s health and comfort. Our collections aren’t just about fashion; they’re about confidence and well-being. Secondly, Panco prioritizes quality materials and craftsmanship, ensuring that each piece is not only fashionable but also durable. Lastly, Panco has been a trusted choice for Turkish families for decades, and our success can be attributed to our dedication to high-quality materials, breathability, and attention to detail. We plan to communicate this uniqueness to Canadian customers through our storytelling, emphasizing how Panco has been a part of cherished moments for generations.”

Image: panco-kids.com

Varol said the company is committed to sustainability as it prioritzes natural fabrics and avoids harmful substances, aligning with international standards. 

“We’re proud to have earned the “Ecological Reliability Certificate” for our efforts. As Panco expands globally, we’re also working towards reducing our carbon footprint and exploring eco-friendly production methods to ensure we’re taking care of the environment for the generations to come,” he said.

“We believe that using natural materials in our products is beneficial for both our children and our planet. Natural materials such as cotton, wool and linen are breathable, durable and biodegradable. They also reduce the risk of allergies, irritation and infection for children’s sensitive skin.

“Panco ensures quality production and service for our customers by following our core values of highest quality under innovative production, always protecting our brand’s credibility, and providing the best service to our guests in our stores who are not only customers but parents. We understand that children’s clothing should prioritize their health and comfort. That’s why we use 100 per cent cotton fabrics, ensuring breathability and sweat absorbency. We have a rigorous quality control system that checks every stage of our production process, from sourcing materials to finishing products.”

Image: Panco Children’s Clothing

There are 142 stores in Turkey and 77 stores in 37 countries.

“We are exploring high traffic, super regional mall locations in Vancouver right now. We also want to raise awareness and recognition of our brand among Canadian consumers by launching marketing campaigns, sponsoring social causes, collaborating with influencers, and creating loyal customer programs,” added Varol.

“Introducing a new brand is always a thrilling endeavor, and with Panco, we see both challenges and opportunities. One challenge is establishing brand recognition in a competitive market. However, we view this as an opportunity to showcase Panco’s unique identity and story. Canada’s multicultural landscape also offers a chance for us to connect with diverse communities that might appreciate our remarkable brand.

“I’d like Canadian consumers to know that Panco is not just a clothing brand; it’s a quality production for children’s health and happiness. Every Panco piece tells a story, combining tradition with modernity and reflecting the values of quality, comfort, and individuality. We invite Canadian families to embark on this journey with us, as we bring a touch of Turkish charm and creativity to their children’s wardrobes.”

Varol said the Vancouver store is expected to open sometime in 2024. In the short term, the goal is to have five stores in the Greater Vancouver Area then eventually move across the country.

Image: Panco Children’s Clothing

Tony Flanz, of Think Retail which is helping the brand with its real estate needs, said Panco Children’s Clothing opened its first retail location in Istanbul in 1984. 

Tony Flanz

“(Vancouver is) a great fit for the brand, which radiates a fun, fashion-forward vibe that is both stylish and accessible. Its collections target newborns up to age 14, with designs and patterns that go beyond the usual children’s fare. From tanks and t-shirts to shorts, cold weather gear, sleepwear and a wide-range of accessories, Panco will appeal to parents and kids looking for a fresh approach to fashion for school or play,” he said.

“Think Retail is thrilled to work with Mehmet Varol as he brings this exciting and well-established children’s clothing brand to Canada. The initial focus is on finding a debut space in Vancouver that’s 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, preferably in a super regional mall.

“Panco will hit the ground running: This is a strong brand with a proven track record and deep experience with new market entries.”

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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