Children’s Retailer Bambino Fine Shoes Reveals Store Expansion Plans in GTA and Vancouver [Interview]

Date:

Share post:

Bambino Fine Shoes, a family-owned footwear business, provides a unique experience focussing only on children’s footwear. After recently opening its second location downtown Oakville, the brand already has plans to expand by six stores within the next five years, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area and a possible location in Vancouver. 

Luis Roldan

The founder, Luis Roldan, created the brand as he was experiencing difficulties finding proper footwear for his five children. The first location opened in Toronto in May 2022 near High Park and the second location recently opened in downtown Oakville. 

“We wanted to bring high-quality footwear to the market as the proper footwear throughout childhood makes a significant difference in the child’s upbringing. A child’s foot is extremely malleable and very impressionable and if you are not using the correct size or the correct footwear – it can be detrimental to the child’s health. All of our brands are pediatrician approved and are engineered to help the child develop at the right stage.” 

Bambino’s New Oakville Location 

Bambino Fine Shoes in Oakville (Image: Bambino Fine Shoes)

The new location in Oakville was based on its shopping area, new street improvements, its family-oriented community, and its matching values. 

“When we were looking to expand and open our second brick-and-mortar store, we were very particular as to where that should be. We were looking for an upscale shopping district, one that had character, was family-oriented, and one that had services and products being offered with a very client-centric approach – not a transactional mindset, but somewhere where you can go spend the afternoon, walk around, and make it a destination and really an experience for the entire family. We found there was a perfect synergy between what our brand was looking to offer and what Oakville downtown was able to deliver.” 

The brand offers a wide variety of children’s footwear, ranging from newborns to around nine-years-old: baby, toddler, and youth sizes. Consumers can expect sizing assistance from staff and the store is set up to make shoe shopping interactive and engaging for both parents and children. 

Easy for parents; enjoyable for children 

Locations are designed to be a low-friction, fun environment for children to enjoy. This includes providing activities such as colouring and there is a section where children can go in and play. The brand also gives out balloons to every child and has a treasure chest where children can pick out a toy, whether they purchased a pair of shoes or not: “They are walking away with a gift. They select it, they take away this little treasure, and hopefully remember this experience.” 

“We find buying shoes for parents is almost as daunting as taking kids to the dentist. So we try to remove all of that by doing the homework for the parents and being able to provide them with solutions. It is a very fun experience for the child and I think it is important because when the child is in the right mind, their choices come out. Kids are very involved in the choice they make, so we look for ways to make it a fun environment for them. Often kids don’t want to leave the store and that is a win for us.” 

Bambino Fine Shoes in Oakville (Image: Bambino Fine Shoes)

The stores offer a warm, welcoming and enjoyable environment for families  – turning a difficult task into a pleasant experience.  

If the shoe choice is unavailable, the store offers a virtual inventory showcasing what shoes they have in its distribution centre; expanding the selection for kids shoes. “If you don’t find a particular style you are looking for, we can find it on the virtual wall. It is an interactive screen we can pull different sizes from, make recommendations, and ship for free within one day within the GTA.” 

Roldan says the brand offers shipping across Canada and provides free returns as the brand is trying to make the shopping experience “restriction free.” 

Image: Bambino Shoes

Bambino’s vision for future growth 

On top of Bambino’s currency loyalty program, the brand is also developing a loyalty program called the Bambino Club which will offer perks to frequent shoppers. The new loyalty program is set to provide more than just points; it will include special access to a resource library, special deliveries, and exclusive launches that would not be accessible online or in-store without the membership. The current loyalty program only offers points: “That is what most retailers are doing. Our new loyalty program will be giving back to our consumers. It is not only to earn points, but will also provide additional benefits by shopping through us.” 

Roldan says he is also ready to take the brand to the next level by expanding to six stores within five years. The plan would be to launch these locations within the GTA, locations will be provided at a later date but Roldan said two possible locations he is looking at includes Woodbridge and Bayview. Additionally, the brand is looking to expand in Vancouver by 2026. 

“We are a family based business and we are passionate about what we do. We don’t compromise the quality for the immediate financial gain, we are in this with a community mindset. We want parents to really look at the health component in how footwear really does affect a child’s upbringing – we can’t emphasise that enough.” 

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Related articles

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.