On Thursday of last week, Change opened a 550 square foot location at CF Carrefour Laval, north of Montreal. Change took part of the retail space formerly occupied by accessory retailer Bentley, and Spanish accessory retailer Uno de 50 will soon occupy the remainder. CF Carrefour Laval is the most productive major shopping centre in the province of Quebec, according to Retail Council of Canada’s Shopping Centre Study.
Change’s next locations will include a 650 square foot location at CF Richmond Centre near Vancouver, as well as a 750 square foot unit at Oshawa Centre, east of Toronto. These are part of a considerably larger expansion for Change Lingerie that will extend into 2018 and 2019 — the retailer plans to open at least 25 more Canadian locations, and it’s working with Tony Flanz of Think Retail to secure more locations. Ideally, retail spaces will be in the 500 to 850 square foot range, and target markets include Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.
Change launched its Canadian retail operations in 2006 and it now boasts 16 locations with five in British Columbia (Vancouver x 2, Burnaby, Coquitlam and West Vancouver), one in Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), five in Ontario (Toronto x 2, Thornhill, Oakville, Burlington), and five in Quebec (Montreal x 4 and in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu).
Change Lingerie’s value proposition is why it’s growing, and why there’s such a considerable demand — its bra sizes are larger than most retailers, so it caters to a different niche than other lingerie retailers such as Victoria’s Secret and La Vie En Rose. Approximately 75% of Change’s bras are in the DD to M cup size range, with a wide range of fits and styles (most lingerie retailers operating in Canada sell bras in the B-D size range). Change stores offers free bra fitting to ensure that its products meet the needs of its diverse customers, and prices are kept reasonable to attract a broad clientele. Approximately 75% of Change’s revenue comes from underwear and bras, with the remainder from loungewear, swimmer, nightwear and stockings.
The company launched in Denmark in 1995, with its first retail store having opened in Copenhagen in 2001. The company now operates more than 240 corporate and franchised stores globally and most of its stores are in Europe and Scandinavia — with the exception of Canada and Singapore.