By Craig Patterson
Japanese athletic fashion and footwear brand ASICS has opened its Canadian flagship on Toronto’s popular Queen Street West. This follows the opening of a large Manhattan location in December of 2017, as ASICS rolls out flagships globally.
The Toronto store is located at 364 Queen Street West between locations for MAC Cosmetics and nobis, in a retail space most recently occupied by fashion retailer GUESS, which has been closing some of its Canadian stores. The store spans 4,400 square feet over two levels, according to ASICS.
ASICS is a Japanese multinational corporation which produces footwear and sports equipment designed for a wide range of sports. The name is an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano which translates as "a healthy soul in a healthy body". Its running shoes have been ranked among the top performance footwear in the market.
The company was founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka in 1949 in Kobe. ASICS rose to international prominence over the decades for its unique and innovative designs. A vintage range of ASICS shoes are produced and sold under the Onitsuka Tiger label.
ASICS unveiled its U.S. flagship in December of 2017 at 579 Fifth Avenue (just south of the Rockefeller Center and Saks Fifth Avenue), in a large two-level retail space that houses two brands in the ASICS family – ASICS and ASICSTIGER. The store was described in a press release as being “designed to represent its storied heritage and its mantra and trademark, SOUND MIND, SOUND BODY as well as unveil a new platform for the brand to reach a wider variety of consumers”. The Toronto flagship also features ASICSTIGER.
"Our first Canadian flagship store represents a larger brand shift. After launching our I MOVE METM brand campaign last fall, growing our Canadian presence was inevitable, "says Richard Sullivan, President of ASICS Canada. "The flagship store represents the new direction of the brand, offering consumers a brand experience aimed at celebrating movement, while offering them the best of our products across both performance and lifestyle, better catering to their needs."