Quebec City-based large format fashion retailer La Maison Simons has unveiled its 15th store location at Edmonton’s Londonderry Shopping Centre. The store is unlike any in the company to date. Hundreds lined up in anticipation of the opening on the morning of August 24.
The 90,000 square foot store is the second for Edmonton, making it the only city outside of Quebec to feature two Simons stores. Simons is located at the north end of Londonderry, which has seen an overhaul that has resulted in an essentially new shopping centre that dominates Edmonton’s northeast quadrant. The impressive space was created with Quebec-based Lemay Michaud, leading both the architecture as well as design of the Londonderry location.
The store is particularly notable for its artwork, first-of-its-kind shoe departments, and environmental sustainability initiatives, as follows:
Art: As with all Simons stores, the new Londonderry location features art installations from local Alberta artists. Alberta-based artist and activist Peter von Tiesenhausen agreed to his first ever corporate commission for the Londonderry store, with a piece called ‘Drawn by Desire’. The 50-foot-long art installation is notable — suspended from the second floor ceiling, it has the appearance of being an abstract grouping of human figures that are cut out of aluminum plates. When viewed directly from Simons’ first level mall entrance, however, the 500 carefully positioned plates come together to form a large, single human silhouette.
As well, artist Hayley Wright, a former Simons employee from the West Edmonton Mall location, created illustration and skateboard designs in the store’s Twik department (catering to young women) with a large-scale watercolour portrait in the fitting room entrance and a custom set of skate boards mounted in the denim area.
“Our store concepts are constantly evolving to reflect our commitment to art, fashion and now, more than ever, the environment,” said President Peter Simons. “While the essence of the Simons experience at Londonderry will be the same as it is at our popular West Edmonton Mall store, the expanded shoe department and the local art add new elements for shoppers who visit the new location.”
Shoes: The Londonderry Simons is the first in the company to feature expanded shoe departments for both men and women. In a recent interview, Peter Simons explained that some of Simons’ vendors, as well as customers had requested that designer footwear offerings be provided to compliment the retailer’s fashion offerings. Both shoe departments at the Londonderry store are about 1,000 square feet in size. ’Shoe zones’ will be rolled out into other Simons locations within their accessory departments in the men’s and women’s areas, and additional back-of-house storage will allow Simons to carry an expanded assortment.
Environmental Sustainability: Simons is becoming a leader in the trend of environmental sustainability in retail spaces, with over 50% of the Londonderry store’s electricity usage coming from on-site renewable energy sources. In its north parking lot, there are about 80 car parking spots that have canopies covered in 720 bifacial solar modules (the latest in solar technology), which have glass on both surfaces to capture both direct and reflected sunlight. When combined with 950 high efficiency solar modules on Simons’ roof, the entire solar-electric system generates over 550,000 kWh/year (equivalent to 80 homes) and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 350 tonnes/year.
The store’s interior also includes LED lamps and fixtures throughout that reduce electricity devoted to lighting by more than 40 per cent when compared to traditional halogen light fixtures.
Furthermore, electric car charging stations have been installed in the parking lot adjacent to the store, including two level 2 chargers and one level 3 fast-charger, which will charge most electric vehicles to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
Layout: Design form Lemay Michaud used contrasting colours and materials to define each department, while maintaining a cohesive design that weaves all the sections together. This is a guide to which departments are on each floor:
- Djab (cutting edge, urban streetwear for young men)
- Le31 (classic and avant-garde fashions for men of all ages)
- iFive (stylish activewear for men)
- Men’s Accessories
- Men’s Shoes
- Customer Service
- Twik (dynamic fresh looks for young women)
- Icône (cosmopolitan styles for the modern woman)
- Contemporaine (elegant women’s career and casual wear)
- iFive (stylish activewear for women)
- Miiyu (feminine lingerie and loungewear for women)
- Women’s Accessories
- Women’s Shoes
- Maison (modern décor elements for the home)
See below for more photos of the new La Maison Simons store at Edmonton’s refreshed Londonderry Shopping Centre, courtesy of the University of Alberta School of Retailing.