First Look: Kit + Ace Debuts Pop-up Store Expansion in Key Canadian Markets Amid Retail Growth [Interview]

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Kit + Ace, a brand renowned for its blend of high-quality fabrics and modern design, has unveiled plans to enhance its retail footprint in Canada’s top-performing markets. With the November 1st, 2023 opening of new pop-up locations in Toronto and Calgary, the brand continues to cater to its dedicated clientele and expands its reach to new customers.

David Lui

“Our presence in Toronto and Calgary reflects our commitment to bringing ‘Timeless Technical Fashion’ closer to our customers,” said David Lui, CEO of Kit + Ace. “These cities have shown us incredible support, and we’re excited to be deepening our roots in these communities.”

With the acquisition of Kit + Ace by Unity Brands Inc. earlier this year, helmed by Canadian entrepreneurs Joe Mimran, Frank Rocchetti and David Lui, the retailer is embracing a reinvigorated direction.

Kit + Ace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Kit + Ace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The Toronto strategy kicked off with a permanent storefront on Queen Street and has added a pop-up shop on the third floor at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, leveraging the mall’s reputation as the highest-traffic shopping destination in the country.

“The Eaton Centre’s vibrancy and high footfall offer the perfect synergy with our brand ethos, aimed at the modern professional,” Lui said. “The pop-up is a precursor to what we hope will be a long-term relationship with this premier shopping location.”

Nearby retailers at CF Toronto Eaton Centre include Jo Malone, Moose Knuckles and is down the hall from the recently shuttered Nordstrom. The store is also across from Club Monaco, which has a connection with the current ownership.

In 1985 Joe founded Club Monaco, a vertical retail concept known for its distinctive minimalistic style and monochromatic palette. Club Monaco instantly became a cult brand that grew to over 150 stores in Canada, US, and Asia. In 2000, Club Monaco and Caban it’s home products lifestyle concept, were purchased by Ralph Lauren, marking Ralph Lauren’s first-ever acquisition.

Kit + Ace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Kit + Ace at CF Market Mall (Image: Kit + Ace)
Kit + Ace at CF Market Mall (Image: Kit + Ace)

The Calgary expansion centers on the Mount Royal Village store, a top performer for the brand. The new CF Market Mall location is set to broaden the brand’s appeal, strategically positioned among prominent brands, heralding a robust presence in the northwest part of the city.

Beyond these immediate expansions, Kit + Ace has its sights set on a series of announcements slated for 2024 that promise to energize the brand and its offerings.

For its real estate needs, KIT + ACE is working with Oberfeld Snowcap. It is also working with BURDIFILEK on the design of the new stores.

Kit + Ace at CF Market Mall (Image: Kit + Ace)

Future growth for Kit + Ace includes a new flagship store on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver, set to open in spring 2024. But that’s just the beginning of the expansion narrative the brand is keen to tell.

“Next year, we will share a story of change, momentum, and growth,” Lui teased. “With new stores in the pipeline for 2024, we’re on track to elevate our retail experience and product offerings to new heights.”

This calculated expansion will see the brand’s presence grow to up to ten stores by the end of 2024, signalling a significant uptick in its market penetration.

Kit + Ace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Kit + Ace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The temporary shops not only offer the full range of the brand’s products but also provide a tangible glimpse into the future of this evolving brand. With the planned renovations and the brand’s investment in community-centric retail spaces, Kit + Ace is poised for a prominent role in Canada’s retail landscape.

For more details on the pop-up locations and job opportunities, visit the Kit + Ace Career Portal.

Dustin Fuhs
Dustin Fuhs
Dustin Fuhs is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, Canada's most read retail trade publication. He has over 20 years experience in the retail, marketing, entertainment and hospitality industries. He has worked with Retail Insider since October 2020 in a number of roles, including associate publisher of the Retail Insider magazine. Dustin was named as Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider in 2022. Dustin was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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