By Craig Patterson
American accessory and watch brand Fossil chose Canada to launch its new ‘Makers’ store concept. Located on the second level of CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto, the newly reopened 1,458 square foot store is the first of its kind in the world, and celebrates the brand’s craftsmanship since its founding more than 30 years ago.
“Customers are shopping in a different way—largely in part to the ease of online and mobile shopping—and we recognize that and want to be part of a convenient, enhanced shopping experience,‘‘ says Steve Evans, Executive Vice President for Fossil. “Retail stores have become more about creating experiences and sharing meaningful in-person relationships with consumers. This store gives us an opportunity to bring to life what we do best: hands on customization, convenience, and a celebration of the Fossil lifestyle.’’
True to its ‘Maker’ name, the store focuses on product-related services with a goal of enhancing the overall customer experience. New materials and colour palettes were used in the new space, including tonal grey, brass finishes, brick flooring and pops of black that give the store a soft and modern feel. Modular fixtures add a unique flexibility to the space.
As with many leading retailers, customization is a feature of the new Toronto ‘Makers’ location. The front of the store highlights Fossil’s services, including building your own watch, engraving and embossing stations, as well as a mix-and-match strap bar. There’s a Custom Shop and Service Station that features engraving/embossing icons with a distinctly local flair — the Toronto skyline and maple leaf are examples. The Service Centre is open for appointments as well as walk-in customers, and offers specialty support for smartwatches, with staff on hand to replace batteries and remove links, as an example.
Tony Flanz of Think Retail represents Fossil as broker in Canada, and he’s negotiated several lease deals for the retailer, which has stores throughout Canada. Fossil is said to be considering opening another store in Canada in 2019.
The Fossil ‘Maker’ store concept is expected to be rolled out globally, and it’s expected that Asia will be the next area of focus for the updated brand concept.
Texas-based Fossil was founded in 1984 and is known for its watches and accessories that have a ‘vintage-modern’ styling. The publicly traded company has more than 350 standalone stores globally and about 30 in Canada, and its collections are also wholesaled in multi-brand retailers.