Holt Renfrew Launches Discount Store Called hr2

Rendering of First hr2 at Quartier DIX30, Montreal
This morning Holt Renfrew announced that it will open a discount concept called hr2 March 2013 at Quartier DIX30 in Montreal and an undisclosed suburban Toronto location. The concept will include discounted designer merchandise similar to Nordstrom Rack. It should be noted that new merchandise will be included, differentiating the concept form Holt's current 'Last Call' discount concept. It is expected hr2 will have between 15 and 20 Canadian locations, generally 25,000-30,000 square feet.

hr2 will be an attempt by Holt Renfew to secure space in Canada's lucrative discount retail market, and to potentially broaden its shopping market without down-scaling its luxury department store concept.

The concept may be similar to BT2, a contemporary (lesser-priced) fashion concept developed for Ireland's Brown Thomas luxury department store. Brown Thomas and BT2 are owned by the same owners as Holts.

Holt Renfrew's growth targets are expected to increase with the implementation of this concept. The chain is hoping to reach $1billion in sales by 2015, and is expected to pull in about $800million in 2012. The hr2 chain may allow Holt's to attain and even surpass this goal.

One retail insider notes the Quartier DIX30 location was slated to be a satellite location of the Montreal-based Ogilvy department store. After Ogilvy was purchased by Holt Renfrew, it was speculated that Holt Renfrew would close its Sherbrooke Street W. location and relocate to the current 180,000 square foot Ogilvy building. We cannot confirm at this time that this will happen, though our insider at Holt Renfrew corporate office tells us to watch for that and other interesting Holt Renfrew-related announcements.

Holt Renfrew website: www.holtrenfrew.com

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