Spanish-based Inditex plans to further expand in Canada, intending to open new Zara and Massimo Dutti stores. It's a bold move for the company, which barely advertises and currently experiences mediocre sales for its Massimo Dutti brand. Zara does gangbusters sales in Canada, however, warranting further expansion that will see new and expanded stores, as well as new Zara Home locations.
Zara currently operates 26 Canadian stores, as well as two Zara Home locations. Zara intends to substantially expand its Canadian operations, according to sources, including its Zara Home concept. Zara Home's first Canadian store opened in August of 2013 at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre, with a second location opening shortly thereafter at Montreal's Carrefour Laval. An Ottawa Zara Home location is confirmed for 2016, within a new two-level Zara flagship at Rideau Centre. We're awaiting further details of Zara's Canadian store expansion, and we'll update this article when we learn more.
Interestingly, Inditex plans to open more Massimo Dutti stores across Canada, despite mediocre sales in its first three locations. Dutti's first Canadian store opened in August of 2012, measuring 4,800 square feet at the Toronto Eaton Centre. It subsequently opened two more Toronto stores: last August at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and earlier this year at First Canadian Place. The company is now targeting Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and possibly other Canadian cities for new stores, according to a source familiar with the brand. Its first Montreal location just opened at Centre Rockland, and a Carrefour Laval store will follow next week. Its first Ottawa location is already confirmed, being a 5,000 square feet, scheduled to open in August of 2016 at Rideau Centre.
Inditex's brands will soon face increased competition in Canada, as Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo intends to expand, and de-throne Inditex as the world's largest fashion retailer. Uniqlo is currently working with a broker to secure Canadian space, and a source informs us that Uniqlo management was in Vancouver last week for a number of meetings. Uniqlo intends to open multiple stores in cities across Canada, and the company's CEO thinks that sales could surpass those of Zara. Last year, Inditex did sales of 16.7 billion Euros.
Canadian retailers could be hurt the most by these international expansions, as we discussed in an interview with CBC yesterday. Local retailers, traditionally complacent and lacking competition, will need to innovate if they hope to survive the increasingly global nature of Canadian retailing.