Digital lifestyle retailer iStore is continuing with its Canadian store expansion, after successfully opening its first full-sized, non-airport prototype last year. We interviewed iStore's CEO, Joel Teitelbaum, to learn more.
iStore's first non-airport prototype opened last summer at Montreal's Centre Rockland. The 3,000 square foot store has been wildly successful, prompting the company to expand nationally. Mr. Teitelbaum tells us that he has confirmed iStore's next two locations to be at Toronto's Scarborough Town Centre and at Edmonton's iconic West Edmonton Mall. Both will open later this summer. Mr. Teitelbaum tells us that iStore plans to open about five locations within the next 12 to 16 months.
iStores carry a broad range of digital products from leading tech brands, featuring about 80% accessories and about 20% hardware. Products include mobile devices, fashionable cases and accessories, audio goods, entertainment and lifestyle toys and gadgets, health and fitness products and other technologies for a connected home. iStore is also an Apple Authorized Reseller.
Mr. Teitelbaum's background it unique, and it reflects iStore's design. Twelve years before stepping in to run iStore, he was the president of lingerie retailer La Senza International. Mr. Teitelbaum's knowledge of fashion retailing influenced iStore's shop design, creating a fashion retailer-like shopping experience for the technology retailer. For example, iStores feature soundproof listening booths, allowing customers to try speakers before they buy them - not unlike dressing rooms to try on clothing. Mirrors in the store allow customers to try on headphones and other accessories. Fashionable iPhone cases are available to touch and try, differentiating iStores from competitors selling blister packed accessories.
Fashion-focus is also evident with iStore's interiors. Stores are uncluttered with black-and-white high-gloss ceramic floors, contrasting with the store's predominantly white colour scheme. Curved modular Corian tables feature floating trays, where out‐of‐box products are displayed. The Montreal store's facade and back walls are LED-surfaced, with the ability to customize both.
Mr. Teitelbaum tells us that iStore is seeking retail space in the 3,000 square foot range, primarily within enclosed shopping malls. iStore is represented in Canada by Aurora Realty Consultants.