Popular online menswear retailer Frank & Oak will open brick-and-mortar stores across Canada, according to sources familiar with the company. Its second store will open next week in a trendy Toronto shopping area, and other locations are also said to be in the works. Until now, the Montreal-based retailer has sold online, in pop-up shops, and in its Montreal bricks-and-mortar location.
Frank & Oak's Canadian flagship will located at 735 Queen Street West in Toronto, according to a press release, and is scheduled to open on November 13th. The store will measure about 2,600 square feet, and will carry Frank & Oak’s monthly menswear collections and special capsule collections, as well as host a variety of community-oriented events. Besides clothing, the Toronto location will also boast an in-house café (featuring Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters) and a full service barbershop.
The company's first brick-and-mortar location opened last year 160 Rue Saint Viateur Est #613, in Montréal. Known as the Atelier, the Montreal shop is dubbed a “store and community space”. There's an on-site Café Névé, and the Atelier also boasts resident barbers.
Sources say that another Frank & Oak location could be in the works for a Powell Street address in Vancouver's Gastown area, though the company won't confirm these details. Other Canadian cities are also being considered, and an Ottawa location is already advertising a store manager position. The company's brick-and-mortar expansion comes partly from a recent $15 million from investors. About 70% of Frank & Oak's revenue comes from the United States, so free-standing American locations could also follow.
Frank & Oak continues to push to stay original by promoting its brand with its own magazine interface, using online video trailers to announce new products, and personalizing hand written notes in each order.
“We’re thrilled to be opening our flagship location in the vibrant city of Toronto,” explained Frank & Oak co-founder and CEO Ethan Song. “It’s rooted in everything we stand for—culture, a sense of community, and entrepreneurship—and we are passionate about developing this local approach in the context of the digital world.”
“We’ve always been focused on offering a simple and seamless customer experience,” noted Song, “and this storefront further contributes to our vision of being an advisor to our customers.”
Frank & Oak launched its online business in 2012. It quickly gained notoriety because of its use of vertical integration and technology. By centralizing design, distribution, and the personalization process, Frank & Oak creates a unique shopping experience based on value for quality. The menswear retailer focuses on 'fast fashion', and each month offers new basic pieces at a moderate price point of under $50. This affordability allows millennials, the brand's target market, easier access to the product. As more and more men are utilizing technology in the digital era, so it comes as no surprise that 15% of Frank & Oak's sales are comprised from their mobile app. About 40% of millennial men are shopping online, spending twice as much on clothing than any other age cohort. This contributes to menswear sales growing 8% over the last year to $8 billion dollars worldwide.
In 2013, Frank & Oak sold 700,000 items of clothing, placing over 35,000 orders each month. As a result, it added 1.1 million members to its personalized VIP 'HuntClub'. Members may chose up to three items to be shipped to their door every month and if not satisfied, may ship them back free of charge.
Elisabeth Okrainec is currently completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta, pursuing a career in retail leasing and strategy. She also works for Cushman & Wakefield's leasing team. Ms. Okrainec is involved in various activities at the University of Alberta School of Retailing.