British footwear manufacturer and retailer Clarks is looking to operate as many as 50 Canadian stores within the next several years, up from its current 13 locations. Clarks is seeking franchise partners for these Canadian stores, in contrast to its fleet of about 300 corporately-owned American Clarks locations.
Until last month, all of Clarks' Canadian locations were in Quebec and Ontario. On September 12th, Clarks opened at Winnipeg's St. Vital Centre, marking its first for Western Canada. Clarks' stores are ideally sized in the 1,600-1,800 square foot range, located in high-traffic shopping centres and street front locations. The company is also looking to open outlet stores and has confirmed its first Canadian outlet location at Premium Outlets Montreal, opening on October 30th.
All of Clarks' licensees in Canada are represented by brokerage Aurora Realty Consultants Inc..
Clarks was founded in 1825 by Quaker brothers Cyrus and James Clark in Street, Somerset, England. It continues to maintain its headquarters there. The company has over 1,000 branded stores and franchises worldwide and also sells through extensive third-party distribution. It has almost 16,000 employees and has annual revenues in excess of $2.5 billion. The company is best known for its Desert Boot – a distinctive ankle height boot with a crepe sole usually made of calf suede leather traditionally supplied by Charles F. Stead & Co. tannery in Leeds.
We'll update you when we learn more on Clarks' significant Canadian store expansion.