Women’s Activewear Brand Lorna Jane Enters Canadian Market

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Megan Harman

Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane has quietly entered the Canadian market, with a new store that opened at CF Shops of Don Mills this summer, and a popup shop at Yorkdale Shopping Centre that’s running for the month of December.

The company, which operates more than 220 stores across Australia and 20 stores in the U.S., offers high quality, fashionable activewear for women.

“It’s very fashion-forward and very colourful, as opposed to the greys and blacks of the typical activewear clothing,” says Georgina Jobbagy, brand manager for Toronto with Luxeactivewear, which is the licensee for Lorna Jane in Ontario. “And at the same time, the product also has technical benefits.”

(Inside the CF Shops at Don Mills store) 

(Inside the CF Shops at Don Mills store) 

Specifically, Lorna Jane products are comprised of fabrics that are designed to provide benefits such as breathability, moisture wicking, shrink and fade-resistance, anti-pill, durability and increased blood circulation.

The items cater to a range of different types of activities, from high impact sports to everyday activities. “It actually works for any sport,” Jobbagy says.

Unlike most womenswear brands that release new styles each season, Lorna Jane puts new items on its shelves every month. Between 60 and 80 new styles are released each month, which provides shoppers with fresh looks and new limited edition pieces each time they visit a Lorna Jane store, Jobbagy says.

“It is very different from everybody else in the market,” she says.

Lorna Jane’s first permanent location in Canada opened during the summer at Shops at Don Mills. With a renovation of the shopping centre having been recently completed, and several new condominium developments underway surrounding the complex, Jobbagy says the mall was an attractive location for Lorna Jane.

(Lorna Jane Opening at Yorkdale Shopping Centre - Lorna Jane Toronto Instagram)

(Lorna Jane Opening at Yorkdale Shopping Centre - Lorna Jane Toronto Instagram)

“It seemed to be a good entry level location for us to test the brand,” she says.

The store is approximately 1,400 square feet in size, and boasts simple design features. “It’s a very modern, minimalistic store,” Jobbagy says. “The products stand out in that minimalistic environment.”

The popup store at Yorkdale, which opened on Dec. 1st, provides an opportunity for the brand to gain more exposure among Toronto-area shoppers during the busy holiday season. The 1,300-square-foot store is located next to Club Monaco Men and across from Coach.

“We think thousands of people will be exposed to Lorna Jane who have never heard about this brand,” says Jobbagy.

(Inside the CF Shops at Don Mills store) 

(Inside the CF Shops at Don Mills store) 

In addition, the popup will help Lorna Jane to test its success within a major shopping centre in Canada.

“We think that will give us an opportunity to make a decision about which direction we go, in terms of expansion,” Jobbagy says. If the popup is successful, she says the brand is likely to explore other permanent locations within shopping malls in Ontario. If sales fail to meet expectations, however, the brand will likely concentrate its growth plans on boutiques within open-air shopping plazas.

“We do have plans to expand,” Jobbagy says, “but we’re at the stage when we want to evaluate how the brand is performing. That’s why we’re doing the popup in Yorkdale.”

Lorna Jane merchandise is also available for purchase online, through Luxeactivewear.ca.

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Megan Harman is a business reporter based in Toronto. She writes about topics including retail, financial services and technology. Megan covers Toronto’s retail industry through her blog Retail Realm (torontoretail.wordpress.com). Follow her on Twitter at @meganmharman.

Read More: 

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: December 7, 2017

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