Quebec City-based street wear and urban clothing retail concept WLKN is looking to open three stores this year, after recently securing $3 million in financing. It will also renovate its Quebec City flagship as it celebrates five years in business. We spoke with its CEO, Pierre Mercier, to learn more.
Founded in 2010, WLKN offers a wide selection of merchandise targeting young and trendy customers including unisex clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, wallets and other accessories from over 150 international brands such as: Grizzly, Crooks and Castles, Homme + Femme, Obey and Vans. The company also designs and sell its own products. It currently operates two stores - one in Quebec City (2828 Chemin Quatre-Bourgeois) and the other at Quartier DIX30 in Brossard, just outside of Montreal. The Brossard store opened in October of 2014 and its WLKN's CEO says it does exceptional sales at both locations.
WLKN considers itself to be a niche retailer which prides itself on carrying unique brands and product exclusives, as well as offering exceptional customers service. Staff are paid higher than industry wages to encourage loyalty.
According to Mr. Mercier, WLKN is now ready to further expand their brand across Canada. The retailer is seeking retail space in the 3,500 to 4,500 square foot range in urban streetfront, power centres and high-traffic enclosed malls. According to retail leasing reference website Locations!, WLKN is represented by Oberfeld Snowcap with the following contacts: Ben Labrecque (email@example.com) 514-670-3002 or Kathleen McGuigan (514) 738-4330 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mr. Mercier says he's currently negotiating for retail space in central Ottawa, and that he's seeking retail space in Hamilton -- possibly Lime Ridge Mall, and at Scarborough Town Centre suburban Toronto. Ultimately, Mr. Mercier says he could see three or four Toronto locations, possibly another in Montreal, and possibly stores in Alberta and British Columbia, depending on economic factors. He says WLKN could eventually operate as many as 10 Canadian stores, and could even expand into Los Angeles and other American cities.
In November of 2015, WLKN will celebrate its 5th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the Quebec City flagship will be overhauled.