American footwear brand Steve Madden has launched a new multi-brand shoe concept in Canada, and it plans to open multiple locations across the country. Called SHOO by Steve Madden, its first Canadian store recently launched at CF Toronto Eaton Centre.
As it expands, ‘SHOO’ locations will feature Madden-owned brands such as Steve Madden, Freebird, Betsey Johnson, Dolce Vita, Brian Atwood, Blondo and others. Shoes, handbags, accessories, and footcare products will be included. Brian Atwood is a particularly remarkable brand, given its high prices and limited availability at The Room at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and Vancouver.
A Steve Madden company representative noted that the CF Toronto Eaton Centre SHOO location is in its ‘infancy’, and that it will carry more of the company’s brands next spring. In 2016, as well, Steve Madden will look to expand its shoe concept into other Canadian markets, utilizing brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap. The broker’s website says that Steve Madden seeks retail space in the 2,200 to 2,600 square foot range for SHOO, ideally in enclosed malls.
SHOO’s first Canadian location is located in the recent Level 2 expansion at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, formerly occupied by Sears. The 71,000 square foot expansion opened last month, featuring about 25 retailers. In September of 2016, Nordstrom will open a 213,000 square foot three-level flagship directly above the expansion.
Antony Karabus, CEO of leading retail consultancy HRC Advisory, commented: “Madden's new multi-brand concept will benefit the company by providing additional brand exposure and typically more substantial vertical margins from selling its own brands, not to mention being able to expand their distribution within a controlled retail environment. Consumers will also benefit by gaining access to a variety of popular footwear brands in the new SHOO stores, including the popular Steve Madden namesake brand”. Mr. Karabus further described how “competition in the Canadian retail footwear category is increasing meaningfully as consumers gain the benefit of additional choices from new chains and well-curated assortments to buy footwear. DSW Canada has opened very strongly with 13 stores already and 4 additional stores announced, resulting in parent Town Shoes Limited increasing market share. Relatively new online retailers such as Shoes.com also continue to gain market share in Canada”.