Holt Renfrew segregates its menswear business

 Photo: Holt Renfrew/  Jenna Marie Wakani

Photo: Holt Renfrew/Jenna Marie Wakani

Holt Renfrew's first free-standing menswear store opens this fall in the heart of Toronto's 'Mink Mile'. Measuring 14,000 square feet, the 100 Bloor Street West location will feature distinctive branding, as well as luxury amenities. Holt Renfrew is upping its game to compete with neighbouring Harry Rosen, as well as new-to-market entrants Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, both opening in Toronto in 2016. 

  For its new men's store, Holt Renfrew's 'HR' logo is contained in a square

For its new men's store, Holt Renfrew's 'HR' logo is contained in a square

From what we can see from the new store's hoarding, Holt Renfrew's 'HR' logo is contained within a square. This is different from the traditional logo, which comprises of a circle surrounding the HR logo. Holt Renfrew representatives won't reveal if the company's signature colour, magenta, will be incorporated in any way in the new men's store branding. A Twitter account for the new store has been created, currently with 83 followers. 

  Holt Renfrew's logo features the colour magenta & a circle around the 'HR' as well as the year that the company was founded.

Holt Renfrew's logo features the colour magenta & a circle around the 'HR' as well as the year that the company was founded.

Holt Renfrew's new men's store will utilize some of the innovations introduced in the new men's department at Holt Renfrew's Yorkdale Shopping Centre location, including a men's lounge. Appropriately called 'The Lounge', the space features a black BMW motorcycle and foosball table. Free services are provided, including straight-razor shaves on vintage barbershop chairs, and shoe shines. 

Interestingly, menswear will continue to be carried at Holt Renfrew's flagship, a block east at 50 Bloor Street West. The 180,000 square foot store will be expanded and renovated over the next two years, with construction beginning this fall. 

Holt Renfrew president, Mark Derbyshire, recently told Women's Wear Daily: "The stand-alone men’s shop will be a classic sartorial store and supports our growth plans to further enhance our luxury men’s wear and Holt Renfrew’s presence on Bloor Street — the destination for luxury."

The two-level, 14,000 square foot store replaces Roots Canada which, until recently, occupied the prominent corner location. We're told that Holt Renfrew signed a long-term lease for the space, paying a premium for what is arguably ground zero for Canadian luxury retailing. 

  Holt Renfrew's two Bloor Street stores will be geographically removed from Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, both opening in 2016 at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Holt Renfrew's two Bloor Street stores will be geographically removed from Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, both opening in 2016 at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Competitor Harry Rosen is located directly across the street from Holt's new men's store. Being substantially larger, Harry Rosen occupies a multi-level, 55,000 square foot space. CEO Larry Rosen says he isn't concerned about his new neighbour, as Harry Rosen's exceptional product and customer service keeps his customers loyal.

Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, both opening at the Toronto Eaton Centre in 2016, will provide competition to Holt Renfrew men's store. Both are geographically removed from Holt's, however, being about two kilometres south. As competition increases for Canadian luxury shopping dollars, it will be interesting to see if Toronto's affluent will venture out to Saks and Nordstrom, being physically removed from the city's premier luxury shopping strip.

Today's retail news from around the web: July 28, 2014