Louis Vuitton Prepares to Open 1st Standalone Alberta Store

Chinook Centre storefront. Photo: courtesy of Louis Vuitton / Paul Warchol

Chinook Centre storefront. Photo: courtesy of Louis Vuitton / Paul Warchol

By Mario Toneguzzi

Luxury fashion retailer Louis Vuitton is opening on Friday a standalone location in Calgary’s CF Chinook Centre.

The global brand, which had been located in the downtown Holt Renfrew store for many years, will have its first standalone store in an enclosed mall in Canada based on the main level of the popular shopping centre.

“The long-anticipated opening of the Louis Vuitton store has set off a buzz in the Calgary luxe shopping community and complements an emerging high-end pocket of retail sizzle at the Chinook Centre,” said Michael Kehoe, an Alberta-based retail specialist and broker of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate in Calgary. “Chinook Centre has been pursuing luxe retail for several years. The Centre’s emerging higher-end tenant cluster led by the new Louis Vuitton store enjoys the synergistic traffic benefits of being nestled in by Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Louis Vuitton marketed in blue. Click image for interactive cf Chinook Centre floor plan

Louis Vuitton marketed in blue. Click image for interactive cf Chinook Centre floor plan

“The retailing stars align with some of the basic elements in place at Chinook with the City’s only Canada Goose boutique and Tiffany store among others. Chinook has significantly differentiated itself from the other regional shopping centres in the Calgary market and potentially gaining an edge in luxe retailing over the downtown Holt Renfrew. The relocation of Louis Vuitton to Chinook Centre from the downtown Holt Renfrew will have little effect on Holt Renfrew. I would expect that space to be quickly re-leased to a notable international brand such as Fendi or Chanel. There is significant wealth in the energy capital of Canada and Calgary shoppers need to show it as the market experiences a modest growth in the luxury retailing segment.”

In a statement, Louis Vuitton said the new store will offer leather goods, accessories, fragrance and two new categories for Calgary, shoes and fragrance for both women and men.

“The dramatic façade, characterized by a large sweeping curve, will be composed of a combination of Lacewood in a stitch pattern with brushed copper and pale gold trim with an integrated flower pattern metal mesh,” said the company.  “The mesh offers a semi-transparent, screen like quality that brings a softness to the large façade and allows light into the store. Louis Vuitton Calgary, crafted with the finest materials, also features a number of new and vintage design pieces from talents such as Carlo Mollino and Jens Risom.

“In the spirit of Louis Vuitton, the store will have a room dedicated to travel which features an on-site hot stamping machine, allowing clients to personalize their leather goods and watch the process. This room will also feature a rainbow of Louis Vuitton luggage tags. In 2017 Louis Vuitton released the British Columbia Travel Book featuring images shot by photographer Solve Sundsbo. The store will feature prints from the book.”

Louis Vuitton has been operating in Canada for 35 years.

Darryl Schmidt, vice-president of national leasing for Cadillac Fairview which operates CF Chinook Centre, said Louis Vuitton will occupy about 4,200 square feet in Chinook Centre.

“We relocated four clients to make way for them,” he said. “We’re excited because we get some consolidation of market share down to Chinook. And this is their first true free standing store in an enclosed mall in Canada.

“There’s no question it’s going to add new traffic. It’s going to expand our reach in terms of secondary trade areas and into our primary trade area. It’s a great lead tenant with which to build upon the existing luxury merchandising mix. We’ve got other groups, luxury players, that are looking at Calgary and looking at Chinook Centre as a result of the Louis Vuitton signing. So there’s no question they’re an industry leader, a market leader, and we can build on our merchandising mix based upon that tenancy.”

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Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

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