Richemont-owned French jewellery brand Van Cleef & Arpels has opened its Canadian flagship store at 100 Bloor Street West in Toronto. It’s the third standalone location for the brand in Canada after Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first standalone storefront in the country in 2017.
The new Bloor Street store spans about 2,500 square feet on one level, with a soaring facade that is a first of its kind for the brand in the Americas. The Art Deco-inspired black and golden geometric and pyramidal pattern facade is said to be inspired by Egyptian history reminiscent of Claire-voie.
The beautiful space within features several rooms housing products, including a range of high-jewellery pieces not found in other locations. Two hand-crafted, French-made glass chandeliers illuminate the space, with rooms within featuring intricately panelled walls.
Unique to Canada, the Bloor Street store includes two rooms for private shopping and events. A salon, which has the appearance of a luxurious living room in a Paris apartment, can be made private for one-on-one shopping. Next to it is an ‘events room’ that has the appearance of a fine dining room, with custom fabric walls depicting a floral motif and an elegant oval shaped Veronese style chandelier that is encased by a gold leaf ceiling in the centre of the space.
It’s the third standalone Van Cleef & Arpels store in Canada. The brand opened its first store in Canada at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in the summer of 2017, spanning about 1,620 square feet on one level. A second Canadian location opened in Vancouver at 1069 Alberni Street in late 2017, spanning more than 4,000 square feet over two floors.
In Montreal, a licensed Van Cleef & Arpels boutique operates within the Birks flagship store on Ste-Catherine Street. On Bloor Street at the Manulife Centre in Toronto, as well, Birks currently houses a Van Cleef & Arpels store with its own street-facing entrance — it’s not yet known if the boutique will remain open or if another brand will replace it. The first licensed Van Cleef & Arpels boutique space in Canada opened at the downtown Vancouver Birks flagship in 2006 spanning about 300 square feet (and Toronto shortly thereafter). The Vancouver boutique was expanded in early 2016 to 1,435 square feet and it closed during the pandemic.
The Bloor Street Van Cleef & Arpels replaces a Zegna store that opened at 100 Bloor in December of 2018. The Zegna store involved a partnership with Ermenegildo Zegna and Harry Rosen, and the store was ultimately unprofitable and shuttered last year. JLL, under the direction of Brandon Gorman, leased the former Zegna space. Casdin Parr of JLL represented Van Cleef & Arpels in the lease deal to put the brand into 100 Bloor.
Toronto’s Bloor Street is seeing rapid change with the addition of luxury brands. Several stores are under construction with anticipated opening dates this year, including Rolex at 101 Bloor Street West, and a row of stores at 110 Bloor Street West including Saint Laurent, Alexander Wang, Anne Fontaine and Paris Baguette. Several luxury watch brands will open at the base of the Park Hyatt Hotel before the end of the year, and more leases are said to have been signed on the street with announcements to follow here in Retail Insider.
It’s not yet known if Van Cleef & Arpels will open more standalone stores in Canada. Sources were unable to confirm if any talks or negotiations had taken place for stores at Royalmount in Montreal or Oakridge Park in Vancouver, both of which will have an expansive roster of luxury stores upon opening. Royalmount’s opening date is set for August 15, 2024 and Oakridge Park is expected to open some time in 2025.
Richemont also operates standalone boutiques in Canada for its jewellery brands including Piaget, IWC, Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, Montblanc and Jaeger LeCoultre. These are all in the Toronto and Vancouver markets though Piaget has yet to open a store in Vancouver. Chloé, known for its women’s ready-to-wear and bags, operates a flagship at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre which is currently being renovated. Richemont also owns pricey Belgian luxury brand Delvaux which has concessions at Holt Renfrew stores in downtown Vancouver and at 50 Bloor Street West in Toronto.