Kering-owned luxury brand Balenciaga has opened a large storefront in downtown Vancouver. It’s part of a much bigger investment by the brand to open standalone stores in major cities across Canada.
The Vancouver store has the address 1095 Alberni Street, and spans 4,817 square feet on one level. Balenciaga occupies the entire retail space at the base of an office tower on the site. Originally Balenciaga was going to take a smaller space and eventually negotiations led to it taking the entire retail podium that formerly housed an Escada store and coffee shop.
The store, featuring a subdued grey interior, houses the brand’s range of ready-to-wear for women and men as well as an expansive assortment of bags and footwear. Other categories including accessories can be found in the new store.
Mario Negris and Martin Moriarty of Marcus & Millichap negotiated the lease deal for the new Balenciaga.
The Vancouver store is part of a major investment by Balenciaga into Canadian retail. Most recently, Balenciaga opened a 3,930 square foot store at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, which carries the brand’s bags and footwear for men and women, as well as some ready-to-wear clothing.
Balenciaga is said to have been in talks with landlord Carbonleo to open a store at Royalmount. It’s not known if a deal has been finalized. Royalmount is scheduled to open mid-August 2024. Sources also say that Balenciaga is looking to potentially have a concession presence at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal by converting branded wholesale areas to leased spaces operated by Balenciaga.
Given that Balenciaga has opened in Edmonton, the Calgary market could become a target for the brand at some point. The most likely location for a standalone store in the city would be at CF Chinook Centre, given existing luxury brand tenants in the mall including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Burberry.
In downtown Vancouver, Balenciaga operates a sizeable ‘world of’ concession on the main floor of Holt Renfrew, in what has become a luxury hall. The Balenciaga boutique opened in late 2018 and carries a range of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear as well as footwear, bags and other categories. The Holts boutique will remain open after Balenciaga opened its standalone store just blocks away.
That’s also the case in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville, where Balenciaga operates both a standalone flagship store and a ‘world of’ concession in the nearby Holt Renfrew. The concession opened on the main floor of Holt Renfrew at 50 Bloor Street West in the summer of 2019, spanning about 2,000 square feet with expansive frontage. In the summer of 2022, Balenciaga opened a 7,000 square foot two-level store at 92 Yorkville Avenue which is considered to be the Canadian flagship. The store is unique in Canada with its design, which uses ample concrete and metal which was distressed on purpose to make the store appear “raw and dishevelled”.
Balenciaga’s first standalone store in Canada opened in December of 2019 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The store spans about 4,700 square feet with about 3,000 square feet being retail space.
Luxury brand Balenciaga was founded in 1919 by Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga in San Sebastian, Spain. The brand is now headquartered in Paris and is owned by French conglomerate Kering.