By Craig Patterson
Upscale French fashion brands Sandro and Maje continue to open standalone stores in Canada. Construction signage shows that more locations for both brands will be opening this spring/summer -- Sandro and Maje will open their third batch of stores in Toronto, and Sandro will open its first standalone store in Vancouver.
Sandro and Maje's newest Toronto locations will open at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto this spring, in retail spaces directly north of the mall’s Ted Baker store. The spaces were made possible by carving out space vacated by Holt Renfrew, which relocated to Mississauga’s Square One in the summer of 2016.
A standalone Sandro location will also open in Vancouver’s CF Pacific Centre this summer, in part of a retail space formerly occupied by Guess. Some had expected Sandro (and sister brand Maje) to take up space on the 1100 block of Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver, as the block transitions towards becoming a destination housing contemporary and luxury/aspirational brands. Multi-brand contemporary women's fashion retailer Blubird, for example, is relocating to a space at 1108 Alberni Street this spring from a location on the 1000 block.
Sandro and Maje opened their first freestanding Canadian stores in the fall of 2016 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, after operating exclusively as concessions with a handful of Hudson’s Bay flagship locations. Sandro and Maje subsequently opened at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in the fall of 2017 and Canada’s first outlet locations for the brands recently opened at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets at Vancouver International Airport.
Sandro and Maje entered Canada in 2014 with the opening of several shop-in-store concessions at Hudson's Bay. The partnership has also expanded -- Sandro and Maje concessions can be found at Hudson's Bay in Toronto (Queen Street, CF Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale), Montreal (downtown), Vancouver (downtown) and in Calgary (CF Chinook Centre).
Sandro and Maje are considered to be in the ‘contemporary’ price-point, with fashion-forward designs that are proving popular for Canadian urbanites. Sandro began in Paris in 1984, and is known for focusing on "sleek, chic and effortlessly cool womenswear and menswear” — there are over 500 Sandro stores worldwide, and parent company SMCP (which stands for Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot) operates close to 1,200 points of sale globally in 35 countries, with about 4,300 staff. Sister-label Maje, dedicated to women's fashions, was founded in Paris in 1998 and with over 400 locations worldwide, is known for "bohemian-chic, solar, and more feminine womenswear collections", according to SMCP.