Consonant Skincare Unveils Plans for Replacement Flagship

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By Mario Toneguzzi

Consonant Skincare will be opening its new flagship store this summer in one of Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhoods along Queen Street West.

 Bill Barker

Bill Barker

Bill Baker, founder and president of the company, says the store will offer 100 per cent natural, clinically-proven products but also act as a community hub and gathering place to support customers looking to achieve a holistic lifestyle.

“Queen Street West according to Vogue magazine is the second coolest street on the planet,” says Baker. “They call it the second coolest street on the planet because there’s so much exciting stuff happening down there . . . There’s a real mix of retailers here.

“They really thrive because it’s such an eclectic mix and a really easily shopable street. And there tends to be a lot of really cool retailers down there. So it’s become a destination for hipsters and for people who are looking for the latest in what’s happening in retail. It seems like a lot of international retailers when they come into Canada they go to one of a few places. Robson Street in Vancouver. Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. And Queen Street West is another popular location.”

  Queen Street West Location

Queen Street West Location

Baker says the plan is to open the new store in mid-May with a grand opening June 1 at 819 Queen Street West.

The new store is 1,750 square feet and the company also plans to move its office to that location as well.

It will be the company’s third bricks and mortar location. The current flagship, which also houses its office, is at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue (2479 Yonge Street). A second store is in the city’s financial district at the PATH level of the Richmond Adelaide Centre.

The Yonge Street store, its current flagship, was opened in 2011.

“There’s a real movement that’s growing quickly now for people looking for health-care products . . . We have a track record. We’re already well-established. We’re running to keep up with business. This is going to be a new approach to retail for us and we absolutely look forward to rolling this out,” says Baker.

The Queen Street location will offer ongoing programming with industry experts and community leaders.

  Richmond Adelaide Centre Location

Richmond Adelaide Centre Location

Baker says consumers these days are looking for experiences.

“For us, we’re going to adopt what I’ll call the Apple model. So when you walk into the store the first area that you walk into there will be no product for sale. We’ll just have a lot of display tables out,” he says. “And we’ll have our products out on the display tables for people to test and play with. Little tester containers they can take home with them.

“It will also be a community hub. We have a really loyal following of customers who tend to be living what I would call a wellness lifestyle. We really think of ourselves as a wellness company not necessarily just a skin care company or a cosmetics company. Because our products are 100 per cent natural, they’re also healthy.”

Baker says the new store will have a space where customers can come to for information on not just skin products but information on health in general. For example, information on nutrition for healthy skin.

“Consonant promises to help our customers achieve their best skin, but we recognize great skin is about more than just great skin care,” says Baker. “Our new Queen Street West experience store will be a community hub for healthy living and wellness, in addition to a destination for our clinically-proven, award-winning skin care products. We can’t wait to reveal our lineup of seminars, panel discussions, workshops and workouts.”

In addition of customers looking for an experience, he says they also want products or advice that is right for them.

“We developed a program called the Regimen Coach program. We don’t call the people who work in our stores associates, or sales reps, or customer service reps. They’re Regimen Coaches and their job is to work with our customers to help them achieve their best skin by coaching them on all aspects of their lifestyle and their regimen so that they can achieve that best skin by making healthier choices whether that’s nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle changes, and of course skin care.

“To back that up we are working with a panel of experts like a naturopathic doctor, registered esthetician, dietitian. They’ll be supporting us behind the scenes so we can give really good, meaningful advice to our customers that really is customized for them. And that Regimen Coach experience will be front and centre at the new store but it’s also something that we are going to start promoting to our other channels also. So you’ll be able to get Regimen Coach advice over the phone, online and eventually by text.”

Editor's Note: Vanessa Oliver and Cathleen Harnick from brokerage Regent Street acted on behalf of the retailer in the lease deal. 

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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