Icebreaker Plans Continued Canadian Expansion, Confirms 2 New Locations

New Zealand-based merino wool outdoor and sport clothing designer and manufacturer Icebreaker confirms that it will open two more freestanding Canadian locations this year, with plans for further growth in the years to come. 

Icebreaker is the world’s largest merino outdoor apparel company, and was founded in 1994. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Auckland, with its North American operations headquartered in Vancouver. It's products are now carried in over 5,000 outdoor and sporting goods stores in 50 countries around the world. 

The company's freestanding stores are called 'TouchLabs', while its shops-in-stores are called 'TouchPoints'. Besides its extensive wholesale accounts/TouchPoint shop-in-stores, Icebreaker operates two Vancouver TouchLabs (in Kitsilano and at Park Royal) as well as single locations in Montreal (1515 Sainte Catherine Street West) and in Calgary (at CF Chinook Centre). Icebreaker also operates two Ontario outlet stores --  at Toronto Premium Outlets, and at Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

Icebreaker's next TouchLab will open late summer/early fall at 278 Queen Street West in Toronto and according to head of stores, Bob Matheson, the store will measure about 2,070 square feet. The location is ideal, he explained, being near strong co-tenants Arc'teryx, Nobis and MEC -- which will open a flagship nearby, next year. A 1,136 square foot Icebreaker outlet is also confirmed to be opening in August at McArthurGlen Designer Outlets, south of Vancouver. 

Mr. Matheson explained that Icebreaker will carefully and selectively continue expanding its freestanding TouchLab concepts while being respectful to existing wholesale accounts. The company is looking to augment its wholesale business in North America with premium locations in underserved markets. The company will disclose more details soon. 

According to Oberfeld Snowcap's website, Icebreaker seeks retail space in the 1,400 to 1,700 square foot range in enclosed malls, street-front and outlet centres, and is represented by Jannine Maginniss

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: July 5, 2016