$300million Holt Renfrew Expansion Will Be Largest in Company History

Holt Renfrew will spend over $300 million expanding total store square footage by about 40% by the end of 2015. Several stores are slated for significant expansions and we're giving you the preliminary breakdown, Canada-coast-to-coast. 

Holt Renfrew has nine full-line stores in Canada, ranging between about 32,000 sq ft and 180,000 sq ft. We have an 'insider' working at Holt Renfrew's corporate office in Toronto, confirming significant expansion plans for several Holt Renfrew stores. In summary: 

Vancouver BC: This 137,000 square foot store may (possibly) be expanded by about 40,000 square feet by annexing space currently occupied by a two-level sports retailer, as well as some current mall space. The configuration could include some storage space, opening the possibility of a top-level restaurant that had initially been planned for this store when it opened in 2007. It should be noted that this is only being investigated by the retailer, and that no current negotiations with landlord Cadillac Fairview are currently under way. 

Calgary, AB: This 151,000 square foot store includes about 30,000 square feet of unused fourth-floor space that may be opened up to include a spa/salon, restaurant and personal shopping suites. The store currently only uses about 120,000 square feet of its 151,000 square foot configuration of a former Sears/Eatons store.

Edmonton, AB: This 47,000 square foot store may annex 20,000 square feet on the third floor of Manulife Place. Edmonton's Holt Renfrew under-performs compared to most other locations, and its future may be uncertain. 

Toronto Bloor Street: This ~185,000 square foot store (175,926 sq ft in The Holt Renfrew Centre + 3800 sq ft ground level at 60 Bloor Street West + Personal shopping suites in the 60 Bloor tower) will lose its entire eastern-portion of retail, and will be oriented vertically over eight floors as part of a massive project we mentioned in one of our previous posts, taking this flagship to over 200,000 square feet. 

Toronto Sherway Gardens: This 33,670 sq ft store will be demolished and replaced with a 102,000 square foot store, as well as an expansion of the mall as we previously reported.

Toronto Yorkdale Shopping Centre: This 65,047 sq ft store will be expanded both Westward and via a new second-level, creating a ~120,000 square foot store as we previously reported. 

Ottawa ON: This 47,000 sq ft store may be relocated, though this is very preliminary. Holt's Ottawa struggles like the Edmonton location, and will face fierce competition once Nordstrom opens at Rideau Centre.

Montreal QC: This 83,000 sq ft store had initially been planned to expand to about 190,000 square feet. These plans were cancelled as sales in Vancouver and Calgary took off, while Montreal's continue to struggle. Regardless, Holt Renfrew will tentatively move into the ~180,000 square foot space currently occupied by the retailer Ogilvy, also owned by the parent company to Holt Renfrew. This expansion warrants a separate article to follow. 

Quebec City QC: This 32,943 square foot store is currently the smallest and worst-stocked Holt Renfrew store. It faces competition from a recently expanded La Maison Simons, and our source is unsure of the fate of this location. 

Our source also tells us Holt Renfrew management is examining replacing its trademark magenta colour scheme with something new. We fully support this endeavour, personally not liking magenta except when illuminating the exterior of Au Printemps in Paris. 

We'll update you further when we get updates! 

Holt Renfrew website: www.holtrenfrew.com

Ogilvy website: http://ogilvycanada.com/en

Louis Vuitton website: www.louisvuitton.com

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