Quebec City-based street wear and urban clothing retail concept WLKN has announced that, after securing $2.3 million in financing, it will open three stores in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) by the end of this summer. The new locations will be located at Vaughan Mills, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, and at Oshawa Centre.
The stores, targeting the 15-35 year age demographic, will feature men's and women's sneakers, accessories, and fashion in an environment where "fashion, music, sports and pop culture reunite". Over 75 new sales and marketing jobs will be created in the GTA as a result of the store openings. WLKN's stores look unique, featuring black interiors contrasting with natural wood and bright lighting, designed by Hatem + D.
WLKN's first store location, which opened in 2010 at 2828 Chemin Quatre-Bourgeois in Quebec City, recently saw an overhaul for its five-year anniversary. The company's second location opened in October of 2014 at Quaratier DIX30 outside of Montreal and since then, WLKN has opened locations at Laurier Quebec in Quebec City, at CF Carrefour Laval north of Montreal, and at 137 Rideau Street (across from CF Rideau Centre) in Ottawa.
Oakmont Real Estate Services represents WLKN as its brokerage across Canada and according to Oakmont's website, WLKN will look to open between 20 and 30 Canadian stores over the next three-to-five years, as well as three-to-five in the United states over the same period. Stores are ideally in the 3,200 square foot to 4,000 square foot range, located in enclosed shopping centres, high streets and outlet centres, according to Oakmont's website.
Founded in 2010 by CEO Pierre Mercier, WLKN offers a wide selection of merchandise targeting young and trendy customers including unisex clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, wallets and other accessories from over 100 international brands such as: Grizzly, Crooks and Castles, Homme + Femme, Obey and Vans. The company also designs and sell its own products. WLKN considers itself to be a niche retailer which prides itself on carrying unique brands and product exclusives, as well as offering exceptional customer service. Staff are paid higher than industry wages to encourage loyalty.
*All images are via WLKN, including the map in this article.