Unique Sneaker Retailer, Inspired by Seafood Culture, Opens in Halifax and Sets Sights on Global Expansion [Interview/Photos]


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Market Price, a new concept store in Halifax, has opened its first location in Bishop’s Landing and has plans to expand throughout Canada and internationally.

The new location opened July 1st and will have an official grand opening on August 19th where there will be new releases, DJs, promotions, and giveaways. The founders, Lauren Ferguson and Matthew Smith, say the concept behind Market Price is to create a unique sneaker store in Canada that takes inspiration from the seafood industry and the East Coast culture.

“We decided to enter a really underrepresented market and create Market Price, the most unique sneaker store in Canada. In terms of the name, we really saw a parallel between the seafood industry and the sneaker industry when it comes to pricing. The seafood industry is always fluctuating and typically on menus you will see it labeled as market price and right now in the sneaker industry, we are sort of seeing the same thing with the resale of high end sneakers,” says Smith.

Founders Matthew Smith & Lauren Ferguson (Image: Market Price)

Ferguson and Smith decided on Halifax as the first location as the city currently has nothing to offer that is similar. Unlike larger cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, Halifax does not have a good representation of sneakers.

“Nova Scotia is really lacking in that really unique experience in shopping. We have so many students coming from big cities in Canada and internationally as Halifax has a lot of universities, but these students have nowhere to shop. We really saw the opportunity with the demographic here to be able to hone in and open up something really special and unique,” says Ferguson.

The storefront is located at Bishop’s Landing, a mixed use building of residential, shopping, and restaurants on the Halifax waterfront. Ferguson and Smith decided on this location as it was perfect under their seafood concept as it is along the waterfront. The boardwalk also attracts a lot of tourists, is within walking distance from the universities, and Smith says Bishop’s Landing ended up to be the perfect location for the brand.

Brand Partnerships And In-house Collections

Image: Market Price

Consumers can find a variety of products in apparel, footwear, and accessories. Ferguson and Smith say a lot of people think they are a resale store, but are wrong as Market Price works directly with brands under partnerships.

“We have brand partnerships we work with. So on the sneaker side, we have New Balance, Reebok, Puma, Saucony, and a few other brands as well. And then on the apparel side, we really want to focus on Canadian streetwear brands. When we were in New York City, you would walk into a store like Macy’s or Nordstrom and you would see Canadian brands on the shelves, but in stores in Halifax – you are not seeing a representation of Canadian brands,” says Smith.

Market Price also has its own in-house offerings that will be released seasonally. The current collection is Launch 23 and will be offering a limited edition collection at the grand opening.

In terms of shopping online, Market Price is available throughout Canada and for certain products, Smith says they ship internationally.

Coast to Coast Expansion Plans

Image: Market Price

“We would love to keep the same story behind seafood and the East Coast is not the only place where you see that – it is coast to coast. There are lots of people who move from the West Coast from the East Coast and to cities such as Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton that want to feel the sense of home,” says Smith.

Within the next ten years, Smith says they would like to expand Market Price by adding three or four locations and then in about ten years expand internationally.

Smith and Ferguson see potential opportunities to take Market Price into the international market. Keeping the original connection with seafood, Smith says they would be looking to expand in Asia and in Europe as those places also have a strong seafood culture.

“Our consumers have really thought it is something totally different, something they have never seen before – but they are embracing it and willing to understand what we are trying to do and I think it really does resonate with the East Coast consumer. The seafood culture here is something that is home to people, so it feels comfortable when they come into the store. It takes a really interesting spin on what they are used to and it is really becoming a destination location,” says Ferguson.

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.


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