Mark's Rebrands to Attract New Customers

  (Photo: Mark's) 

(Photo: Mark's) 

By Mario Toneguzzi

Mark’s, a Canadian clothing and footwear retailer specializing in casual and industrial wear, has embarked on an ambitious new branding campaign to attract new customers.

Well Worn is an expression of the company’s new brand platform with the goal of getting back to the retailer’s heritage which began in 1977 as Mark’s Work Wearhouse with its first store in Calgary.

“It’s about being authentic and real,” says PJ Czank, president of Mark’s, which today has 384 stores across the country. The retailer falls under the umbrella of Canadian Tire.

  (Updated store interior. Photo: Mark's) 

(Updated store interior. Photo: Mark's) 

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“Mark’s has been around for 40 years and it’s a brand that people know and trust. We built the company on quality and durability. So for us Well Worn is really a positioning that celebrates the Canadians like us who persevere with grit and determination.”

Canadians who work hard and play hard.

“Mark’s is still the same Mark’s that customers have known for 40 years but our goal is to expand and to introduce the brand to a new consumer as well,” adds Czank.

To that end, Mark’s is opening three pop-up stores November 30 on Spring Garden Road in Halifax, Queen Street in Toronto and CF Market Mall in Calgary.

  (Well worn is being a jack of all trades, and master of a few. - Marks Canada Instagram)

(Well worn is being a jack of all trades, and master of a few. - Marks Canada Instagram)

“We were looking for spaces in places that would reach a customer who traditionally wouldn’t consider Mark’s. It’s a bit of a first for Mark’s. It’s a different approach. It’s allowing us to bring the brand platform - the Well Worn platform - to a new consumer,” says Czank.

“The goal of this is to have fun with the concept. We want to introduce a new concept and we’re putting these stores up very quickly. And this shows the new approach that Mark’s is going to have. We want to be nimble and we want to react to consumers. We want to be able to understand what it is that’s going to resonate with a Well Worn customer.”

The pop-up locations will be operating for six months.

Recently, Mark’s turned its store at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre into a new concept. The assortment was edited and re-merchandized as the company focused on its hero categories which include outerwear, jeans, casual shoes and industrial - its leading categories of clothing.

  (Well worn is seeing your 7-day week turn into 8. - Marks Canada Instagram)

(Well worn is seeing your 7-day week turn into 8. - Marks Canada Instagram)

“The appeal of the store is already attracting a different customer into the store. It’s created an easier shopping experience. We’re showing people how to wear clothes versus  traditionally commodity merchandising,” says Czank, adding that the concept has found its way into 85 stores across the country.

“Anybody that has shopped at Mark’s will still feel comfortable but anybody new walking into Mark’s is going to look at Mark’s in a whole new way.”

The overall goal is to change perceptions and introduce new customers to Mark’s thereby expanding its target audience.

“I think there’s a lot of very exciting things that are going to happen for Mark’s in the future,” says Czank.

The first Mark's Work Wearhouse store opened August 14, 1977 in Calgary as an industrial accessories retailer. With early success, the company expanded rapidly going public in 1981. Mark's Work Wearhouse was purchased by Canadian Tire Corporation for $116 million in 2002.

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Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

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Mario Toneguzzi

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com.