Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre has recently seen several retailers open, with more to come in 2024. That includes a newly dedicated luxury wing which is currently under development.
The shopping centre is the most productive in Canada in terms of sales per square foot, and it also boasts the most comprehensive clustering of luxury brand stores anywhere in Canada.
That clustering of luxury brands continues to expand with new entrants. A couple of months ago, Kering-owned luxury jewellery brand Qeelin opened its first store in North America at Yorkdale in a 715 square foot space in the mall’s under-construction luxury wing. Construction on the jewel box-like boutique took months, with a challenge including sourcing black marble for the store’s facade that features two white streaks running through it. Construction firm Elevate Build carried the project to completion.
US-based women’s fashion brand Anine Bing recently entered the Canadian market with its first store being at Yorkdale. Included is Bing’s range of women’s apparel, footwear, bags and accessories. The store’s design and interior appear rather minimalistic compared to some of the more lavish luxury brand storefronts nearby. Anine Bing opened in a retail space recently vacated after the exit of TWG Tea, who’s Canadian owner passed away.
Sleep Country Canada-owned luxury concept ‘the rest’ recently opened in Yorkdale’s 2017 west wing. The lovely new store features a range of premium mattresses, including one at the back of the space priced at about $50,000.
Watch brand Swatch recently opened a storefront at Yorkdale, as part of a national expansion for the brand.
Several brands have also recently relocated at Yorkdale and all were formerly in the central wing of the mall that is now being re-tenanted exclusively for top luxury brands. That includes toy retailer Lego, men’s fashion brand Untuckit, streetwear retailer Plus, and Michel’s Bakery. Lego recently moved into a space in the north wing of the centre, which is very busy with pedestrian traffic. Untuckit relocated to a retail space next to Mango and across from Harry Rosen. Plus will soon open in the north wing of the mall. And Michel’s Bakery next year will move into a space recently vacated by Tristan in the north wing of the mall — Michel’s Bakery has been located in the central ‘spine’ corridor of the mall for decades, so this is a major change for them.
Vancouver-based outdoor brand Arc’teryx just relocated its Yorkdale store from the mall’s 2016 expansion wing to a 3,600 square foot space that was created for a pop-up area called CONCEPT. The new Arc’teryx features a dramatic facade with a video screen showcasing snow sports, which can become mesmerizing for someone passing by.
The west Starbucks at Yorkdale relocated to a much larger 2,300 square foot space in the mall’s 2017 expansion wing, near Restoration Hardware. Starbucks will increase foot traffic into the area, which has been a bit quieter than other parts of the mall. A Delysées cafe moved into the former 775 square foot Starbucks space next to Rolex.
Pop-ups are part of the mall as usual in December — that includes a Lululemon pop-up for its Wunder Puff jacket in the north wing, as well as an elevated concept for liquor label Johnnie Walker in the mall’s 2017 west expansion wing. Dior sponsored this year’s Christmas tree near the mall’s TTC entrance, and the tree is beautiful.
As we head into January, more luxury will be coming to Yorkdale. Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli is building a 3,250 square foot store in the mall’s new central luxury wing that opens in January, and construction hoarding is also up for Canada’s first location for Spanish luxury brand Loewe. No other construction hoarding is up for luxury brands opening in the new wing, though sources say some standalone stores will include relocated brands currently operating concessions at Holt Renfrew.
One brand staying at Holt Renfrew is Chanel, which will significantly expand its concession at Holts. The 4,000 square foot Chanel concession will annex the adjacent Brunello Cucinelli concession space, and will also expand upwards by taking a significant amount of space on the second level of Holt Renfrew where women’s contemporary fashions are located. This move will coincide with a partial renovation to the Holt Renfrew store, according to sources. The expanded Chanel concession will likely become the largest Chanel boutique in Canada, and possibly the largest shop-in-store concession for Chanel anywhere in the world.
We’ll be reporting more on Yorkdale in 2024 as new retailers open in the mall. Happy holidays to you from everyone at Retail Insider.