Vancouver-Based Tableware Retailer Fable Discusses Plans for Canadian Store Expansion [CEO Interview]

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Tableware retailer Fable has expanded with the opening of a new store in Vancouver.

Joe Parenteau, Co-Founder and CEO of the Vancouver-based company, said the retailer is in expansion mode these days.

Joe Parenteau

“One is through product expansion. So we’re working on a lot of new pieces for the living room and part two is through different channel growth. We do some wholesaling like Hudson’s Bay and Indigo,” he said. “But we’re also starting to open up more and more stores for us.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things for the future.”

Fable at 2871 Granville Street in Vancouver (Image: Fable)
Fable at 2871 Granville Street in Vancouver (Image: Fable)

With The Bay, products are sold online currently. At Indigo, they are sold in the stores.

“We’re in a variety of restaurants and places like that too,” said Parenteau. “Like some Earl’s locations. CRAFT Beer. We’re in a lot of places.

“When we’re looking at new store locations, we’re hoping to open up one or two more next year, primarily in markets where we have a good community base. We’re thinking something like Calgary, Edmonton. They’re big markets for us today. We’d like to complement those online markets with an in-store experience but we also consider locations like New York, L.A., where again we have a lot of community there, a lot of customers, as a great opportunity for expansion as a good portion of our sales does come from the United States.”

Fable began in November 2019.

“We are crafting home decor, starting with tabletop, you’ll see us do more home decor pieces in the future. Primarily working on creating a design concept that is timeless. Pieces that are all designed to match each other and items that are all crafted ethically and sustainably,” said Parenteau, whose partners are Tina Luu and Max Tims.

“So we do quite a vetting process on the people who make our products and the way in which we design them and the technologies we use. Hopefully we’ll have your product lasting you a lot longer than typical home decor.”

Mitchell Knoepfel of Avison Young represented Fable in the transaction. Mario Negris, Martin Moriarty and Josh Cochrane of Marcus & Millichap represented the landlord.

Fable at 2871 Granville Street in Vancouver (Image: Fable)

The concept had its roots from a personal problem. Parenteau said most generations looking for home decor initially shopped at IKEA.

“I think IKEA is really great, and they ultimately design all their pieces to match. So when you want to graduate from the IKEA days, which is where I found myself, you turn to the traditional stores, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel. But those stores are nothing like IKEA. In fact, they had designed nothing to match each other.”

And for a consumer like himself, Parenteau found that challenging.

“So the concept behind Fable is to make the shopping experience even easier for home decor and make it as simple as possible,” he said.

Parenteau said its products are made in Portugal, Germany, Italy and Japan. They are sold in Canada, the U.S. and the UK. Products are also sold online and in other retail stores.

The first store opened on Queen St West in Toronto and the latest one in Vancouver opened at 2871 Granville Street in South Granville “which is kind of the home decor mecca,” he said.

The new store is about 3,500 square feet. 

“I think a lot of people are looking for a more sustainable option when they’re shopping and they want products that are timelessly designed and can last a longer time,” said Parenteau. “That’s ultimately what we offer.

“Most of our customers love our products not only because of the sustainability and transparency focus but the design style is much more modern take and it’s not too in your face and it’s not too old timeless classic. It hits the modern mark but not being too bold or over the top.”

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. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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