Ogilvy upscales by adding Armani Collezioni store

Photo credit: LeStudio1.comPhoto credit: LeStudio1.com

Photo credit: LeStudio1.com

An Armani Collezioni boutique has opened on the third floor of Montreal’s Ogilvy store. Armani is the latest addition in Ogilvy’s endeavour to move increasingly upscale, before becoming a merged Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew store in 2017.

Armani Collezioni is a sub-label of Milan-based designer Giorgio Armani. Although less expensive than its Giorgio Armani Black Label and Armani Privé labels, Armani Collezioni prices can still reach into the thousands.  

The current 160,000 square foot Ogilvy will expand by 60,000 square feet, creating a store of about 220,000 square feet. The new store, called ‘Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. collection’, opens in 2017. The 83,000 square foot Holt Renfrew on Sherbrooke Street West will subsequently close. Construction on the new Ogilvy/Holt’s begins this fall. 

Holt Renfrew’s parent company bought Montreal’s Ogilvy in the summer of 2011

Photo credit: Rainbow GroupPhoto credit: Rainbow Group

Photo credit: Rainbow Group

Incredibly, insiders (including sources at Women’s Wear Daily) speculate that sales in the new Ogilvy/Holt’s store could be as high as $250 million annually. If so, these could be the highest department store sales in Canada, surpassing those of Hudson’s Bay‘s Toronto flagship. 

Although Montreal will lose its dedicated Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street West, it will gain an even larger luxury department store that can compete head-to-head with Saks Fifth Avenue. Saks will open within Hudson’s Bay’s Ste Catherine Street West store in downtown Montreal and when finished, Saks will be a mere 800 metres east of the new Ogilvy/Holt’s. 

We expect that the new retailer will be similar to the company’s Selfridge’s store in London. Selfridge’s is one of the world’s most innovative retailers, offering a wide variety of merchandise and pricing. We think that the new Ogilvy/Holt’s will likely include the following similar improvements:

1. New luxury hall for designer boutiques: We expect the new retailer to feature multiple luxury designer boutiques in a sort of ‘luxury street’ similar to what Selfridge’s group has created for its London store as well as for its de Bijenkorf store in Amsterdam. Luxury boutiques could include Hermès, Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, Miu Miu, Mulberry and others. Apart from a few luxury boutiques on Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal generally lacks luxury ‘high streets’ like Toronto’s Bloor Street or Vancouver’s Burrard/Alberni Streets. We expect Ogilvy/Holt’s to capitalize on its large ground-floor space by featuring multiple luxury boutiques to compliment existing Ogilvy retailers such as Louis Vuitton. 

2. Massive shoe hall: We expect Holt Renfrew will create a massive women’s shoe hall that will include separate boutiques for the likes of Jimmy ChooManolo Blahnik, and Christian Louboutin, similar to the recently opened shoe hall at Holt Renfrew’s Yorkdale store in Toronto.

3. A substantial men’s store: We expect to see a large and luxurious men’s store within the new Ogilvy/Holt’s, offering such amenities as shaving services, shoe shines, personal shopping and a relaxation lounge, among others. We’re not sure where it would go, yet, though we think it will be over 30,000 square feet as it attempts to compete with rivals Harry RosenL’Uomo and Saks Fifth Avenue.

4. A top-notch women’s designer floor: We expect the women’s luxury clothing offerings at Holt’s to expand, featuring larger boutiques for Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Akris, Giorgio Armani and others. We also think Holt’s will bring its couture salon concept over from its current store.

5. More fine jewellery: We think an expanded jewellery selection will build on Ogilvy’s current Tous and Christofle boutiques to include many of the world’s finest jewellers, such as Graff, De Beers, Bulgari and others.

6. Restaurants: We expect to see at least one restaurant offering, if not several, in the new store. Restaurants aren’t our specialty so we’ll leave it at that.

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Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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