American footwear brand Rockport will open five Canadian locations this year, including two flagships and its first for British Columbia. We spoke with Rockport's Retail Operations and Real Estate Manager, Shawn Kotania, to learn more.
Founded in Massachusetts in 1972, Rockport is known for comfortable, well-made footwear. Last month, Boston-based athletic shoe maker New Balance and Berkshire Partners bought Rockport for U.S. $280 million. Aurora Realty Consultants represents Rockport across Canada, specifically represented by Jeffrey Berkowitz and Ashley Lebofsky.
In April, Rockport will open stores at Polo Park in Winnipeg and Southcentre in Calgary. In June, it will open a Vancouver flagship -- its first location in British Columbia -- at Pacific Centre. In August, Rockport will open a flagship at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre and in September, it will open a location at Scarborough Town Centre.
Rockport currently operates eight 'concept stores' in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Oshawa ON, Ottawa, Laval QC and Halifax. It also operates 15 outlets with locations in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.
According to Mr. Kotania, new locations will reflect the brand's brighter interior aesthetic, as opposed to darker interiors characteristic of some Rockport stores.
Rockport's Vancouver flagship will locate in Pacific Centre's new expansion below Nordstrom, joining new retailers such as Kate Spade, Microsoft, Hugo Boss, Tumi, Pandora, Weekend Max Mara, a popular British brand we'll discuss next week, and an expanded Apple Store.
Rockport plans to open roughly two or three Canadian locations a year, provided the brand's new owners approve existing expansion plans. It seeks retail space in the 1,000 to 1,200 square foot range, typically within high-traffic enclosed shopping malls. We'll update you when we learn more on Rockport's Canadian expansion plans.