By Craig Patterson
New York City-based men’s casual brand UNTUCKit, known particularly for its shirts that are meant to be worn untucked, will open its first Canadian location this fall at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens. More locations are likely as the company continues to rapidly expand its base of standalone stores that operate as a direct-to-consumer model.
The company is relatively new — it was founded in 2011 by Chris Riccobono, who later brought on Aaron Sanandres as a co-founder and CEO. "We’re excited to be opening our first international location this year in Toronto! Since we began opening physical retail locations across the U.S., moving into Canada has been a goal of ours. Customers in Canada have been shopping with us for years online, so we're looking forward to offering them another way to experience UNTUCKit, this time up close and in-person,” said Mr. Riccobono in a quote for Retail Insider.
The CF Sherway Gardens UNTUCKit location will span about 1,565 square feet, in a retail space located in the mall’s stunning expansion wing which debuted in 2015 and is anchored by Harry Rosen, Sporting Life and an elevated food court also featuring exceptional design. UNTUCKit replaces shoe retailer Duet, which was shuttered as part of parent company David’s Shoes strategy to expand the high-end footwear retailer’s operations nationally under one banner. Brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap represented UNTUCKit in the lease deal with landlord Cadillac Fairview, and Jessica Millett at Oberfeld Snowcap is also representing the retailer moving forward as part of its Canadian store expansion.
Canada is UNTUCKit’s first international expansion market, and the company confirms that it began looking at retail spaces in the summer of 2017, both in malls as well as street front locations (we were aware of discussions to occupy 202 Queen Street West in Toronto, for example). Ultimately, CF Sherway Gardens won out in securing Canada’s first UNTUCKit location — the enclosed mall, located near the Mississauga border, boasts an exceptionally high productivity as well as an affluent base of shoppers for its stores that include the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., De Beers and Tory Burch, among others. CF Sherway Gardens is also seeing other first-to-market retailers open in the centre — last month, mattress-in-a-box brand Casper opened its first permanent physical store in the shopping centre.
UNTUCKit is said to have one of the fastest-growing retail brands in the United States and was founded as a casual brand with shirts that are designed specifically to be worn untucked. Since launching in 2011, UNTUCKit has grown to 13 product categories that range from T-shirts and polos to sports jackets and performance wear. The brand has also introduced lines for women and children, offering “perfectly contoured hemlines” and more than 50 tailored fit options for the whole family.
The company has 35 stores in the United States and impressively, it plans to open 15 more stores in 2018, including its expansion into Canada where it is confirmed to be opening the one store.
One of the reasons UNTUCKit says it chose Canada for an expansion is that the country already has plenty of online customers. Toronto, specifically, is one of UNTUCKit’s top e-commerce markets and so a store in the city just made sense. When asked if more Canadian stores would follow, the company says that it plans to open more but that its first priority will be to ensure that it gets its first Canadian location “right” and up-and-running later this year.
UNTUCKit confirms that the Toronto store will have the same look and feel as the company’s American stores, which feature “a blend of comfort and class” with deep blue walls and casual lounge area. UNTUCKit’s CF Sherway unit sill carries the brand’s full assortment of menswear, it says. Future locations are expanded to generally span between 1,500 square feet and 2,000 square feet, similar to that of its US stores.