Upscale Quebec City-based multi-brand footwear retailer Jean-Paul Fortin is launching a Canadian store expansion this year, that will see it open its first location outside of Quebec. More locations are expected to follow as the retailer seeks to gain an expanded national presence.
Founded in 1964 in Quebec City, the Jean-Paul Fortin name is notable — it’s a combination of its founder’s name (Paul Fortin), and the street on where its first store was located (St-Jean Street in Quebec City). The company currently has 11 locations, including seven Jean-Paul Fortin stores, three Les Pieds sur Terre (comfort-focused fashionable footwear) locations, and one Le Placard store. Of these, six are in the metro Quebec City area, and five are in/near Montreal. Jean-Paul Fortin also operates the footwear concession at the upscale Ogilvy department store in downtown Montreal.
Jean-Paul Fortin’s first location outside of Quebec will open late summer of this year at Toronto’s Yorkville Village shopping centre. According to its President, Francois Monat, the Yorkville Village Jean-Paul Fortin store will feature a product offering tailored to the area, with upscale brands such as Stuart Weitzman, Aquatalia, Kate Spade, Peter Kaiser, AGL, Brunate, DVF, Ted Baker, Vince and the more upscale Michael Kors collection, among others. Both men’s and women’s collections will be carried in the new Toronto store.
The Yorkville Village store’s interior will feature a new look for Jean-Paul Fortin — leading design firm GH+A is creating a new signature look that will include marble walls and gold accents, in a 2,400 square foot retail space that will become the company’s Ontario flagship. Luxury brands Belstaff and Eleventy will be opening freestanding boutiques in close proximity (Beltaff’s first in Canada, and Eleventy’s first for North America) and spin cycle concept Soul Cycle is about to open its second Toronto location behind the new Yorkville Jean-Paul Fortin.
Jean-Paul Fortin is working with Aurora Realty Consultants for its Canadian store expansion, under the direction of Jeff Berkowitz.
Mr. Monat said that a national expansion is in the works for Jean-Paul Fortin, and that the company is examining opportunities in various markets. Ontario will be the initial focus for the next couple of years, prior to expanding westward. The Vancouver market is a target for at least one store, and Calgary could see a Jean-Paul Fortin location as well. Mr. Monat noted that the Greater Toronto Area could easily support multiple locations, given its size.
We’ll update this article with photos of the new Yorkville Village store when it opens, and will be following the company as it embarks on its expansion beyond Quebec.