By Megan Harman
Amsterdam-based clothing brand Sandwich is embarking on a plan to boost brand awareness in the Canadian market, with the launch of its first Canadian store in Montreal this month.
Sandwich specializes in casual contemporary fashion geared to women in the 40-plus age demographic. The brand, sold worldwide, is owned by Switzerland-based global fashion house Veldhoven Group, which also operates the brands Turnover, DEPT, and Olsen.
Although Sandwich fashions have long been available in the Canadian market through more than 350 multi-brand retailers across the country, the launch of a dedicated boutique will help to bolster the brand’s presence in this country, says Terry Rosen, sales director with Sandstyle Canada Group Inc., which handles distribution for Sandwich in Canada.
“At this point in time we decided to add another dimension by opening a flagship store in Canada which would support our existing client base and expand the brand awareness in North America,” Rosen says.
With versatile garments ranging from basic t-shirts and leggings to trendy blazers and dresses, along with a wide range of accessories, Sandwich caters to customers who are willing to pay a moderate price for quality everyday merchandise.
Since the brand has had success distributing its merchandise through external retail partners for more than 20 years, Rosen says the company is confident in Sandwich’s prospects for the Canadian market.
The new store, located at 1007 Laurier Avenue West in Montreal’s Outremont neighbourhood, will be 1,400 square feet in size. Located in a trendy area populated by a variety of other boutiques and restaurants, Rosen says the location is likely to resonate with Sandwich’s target market.
“We were looking for the perfect ‘quartier’ to launch our first boutique and chose Laurier because it is an exciting street filled with diverse fashion shops and we felt that it was the right match for the DNA of the Sandwich brand,” she says.
The design of the store is being handled internally at Veldhoven Group, with most of the materials having been imported from overseas. The boutique will have a look and feel consistent with Sandwich stores in other countries. Unlike the minimalist feel of many modern boutiques, Sandwich shops are designed to feel cozy and comfortable.
“The ambience is a warm and welcoming atmosphere where friends can come together and enjoy a pleasant shopping experience,” Rosen says.
Following the launch of the Montreal store, Rosen says the brand will consider expanding to other major Canadian cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Currently, however, she says there are no firm expansion plans in place.
“There are no plans at the moment for further branching out,” she says. “We are concentrating on making this first Canadian shop a success.”
*All photos are of a Sandwich location in Essen, Germany, via retaildesignblog.net.
Megan Harman is a business reporter based in Toronto. She writes about topics including retail, financial services and technology. Megan covers Toronto’s retail industry through her blog Retail Realm (torontoretail.wordpress.com). Follow her on Twitter at @meganmharman.