We interviewed Roots Canada co-founder Michael Budman about his company's proposed renovation and expansion to Root's Downtown Vancouver flagship store. Roots recently re-signed a long-term lease for the Vancouver retail space as part of its renovation and expansion plans.
Vancouver's Roots flagship is one of the chain's highest-selling stores. Mr. Budman noted that the store has recently seen double-digit growth yearly (he wouldn't provide exact numbers). 2013 marked Root's 40th anniversary and overall sales were the highest in the company's history, fuelled by domestic growth, online sales and an expansion of Roots stores in Asia. Roots has over 120 stores in Asia and Mr. Budman says that his brand has become very popular overseas. As the Vancouver flagship enjoys tremendous sales, and Vancouver is Canada's 'gateway to the Pacific', Roots has decided to enlarge the store's interior and upgrade its appearance.
Roots will completely renovate the interior of its Vancouver store as well as annex an adjacent retail space at 789 Burrard Street, formerly occupied by a currency exchange business. Budman estimates the current Roots store to be about 4,000 square feet in size, and the expansion will enlarge the store slightly though not nearly to the size of its largest store known as 'Roots Central' at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Roots Central measures 7,665 square feet according to lease plans provided by landlord Cadillac Fairview. We had heard from sources that Roots wanted to add a second level to its current one-level Vancouver Roots flagship. Mr. Budman confirmed that to be only a 'pipe dream' for the company at the moment.
Vancouver's Roots flagship store sits prominently at the north-west corner of Robson and Burrard Streets. The same intersection boasts the world's second-largest Victoria's Secret store, as well as a Lululemon flagship store that is currently under construction. The last of the intersection's four corners is currently occupied by a 5,000 square foot Bebe store which will be closing at the end of this month. The space is currently for lease and anticipation is growing as to who might replace Bebe.
Construction on Root's Vancouver flagship is expected to begin in April of 2014, with completion estimated to be some time in the summer.
All photos in this article are by Colin Arber.