UK-based luxury brand Burberry is relocating its Bloor Street flagship store in Toronto after almost 15 years at the same location. Sources tell Retail Insider that Burberry has secured the main level of the former Pottery Barn space nearby, and as a result will be vacating its current location at 144 Bloor Street West.
The new Burberry store will span about 6,125 square feet on the main floor of the former Pottery Barn at 100 Bloor Street West, and will feature soaring ceilings and a unique facade. The former Pottery Barn was said to be difficult to lease because of a heritage protected facade that was once a movie theatre, and the space has remained without a permanent tenant since Pottery Barn exited in 2015.
Burberry will be next to luxury jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels, which recently opened a beautiful 2,500 square foot store next door — other tenants at 100 Bloor include an Hermes flagship store and a Holt Renfrew men’s store that will be relocating back into Holt’s 50 Bloor building in about a year or so.
JLL listed the 100 Bloor space and negotiated the deal for Burberry’s relocation.
CBRE is now listing Burberry’s multi-level space at 144 Bloor Street West, which presents a unique opportunity for a new retailer. Arlin Markowitz of CBRE explained how the entire seven-floor building’s exterior can be branded, creating a unique opportunity on the street for a major global name. From 1950 to 1978, Holt Renfrew occupied 144 Bloor Street West with a store spanning about 60,000 square feet on several floors, of which 32,000 square feet was retail space according to historical records.
Burberry opened its 9,000 square foot flagship at 144 Bloor in November of 2009, at a time when the world was coming out of a financial crisis. Bloor Street was the second location for Burberry in Canada, following the 2006 opening of a standalone 3,200 square foot storefront at the Shangri La Hotel on Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. Burberry opened more standalone stores after 2011 at Yorkdale in Toronto and at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary.
It’s not yet known if Burberry will open more stores in Canada — there’s currently no information on negotiations for a store at Royalmount in Montreal (opening August of 2024) or Oakridge Park in Vancouver (opening in 2025), both of which will include a substantial roster of standalone luxury brand stores.
Burberry also operates concessions at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, Calgary, Mississauga, Toronto and Montreal. Until last year, Burberry also wholesaled at retailers in Canada including Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, prior to pulling back distribution to focus on concessions in multi-brand retailers. The shift to concessions resulted in the Burberry spaces at Nordstrom in Vancouver becoming concessions (prior to Nordstrom’s exit from Canada in the spring) while Burberry boutique spaces shuttered at Nordstrom in downtown Toronto and Yorkdale as well as at Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Toronto.
Bloor Street in Toronto is seeing substantial construction activity as new luxury brands move into the area. We’ll continue to report on new developments in the area as new leases are signed and announcements are made.