Consonant Skincare Opens Flagship [Photos]

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By Craig Patterson

Toronto-based Consonant Skincare, known for its 100% natural products, has opened its new flagship location on Toronto’s trendy ‘West Queen West’.  The impressive, intimate retail space reflects an upscale positioning for the company, which includes a dedicated area for its Hydrextreme product line. Consonant has also moved its offices into the back of the new space, as the company embarks on a retail expansion that will include an enhanced focus on direct-to-consumer retail locations. 

It’s Consonant’s third standalone brick-and-mortar location, following stores in Toronto’s Yonge & Eglinton area (2479 Yonge Street, opened in 2011) as well as on the PATH level at the Richmond Adelaide Centre in Toronto’s Financial District which opened in 2015.

Located at 819 Queen Street West, the new store occupies more than 1,700 square feet on one level. The space is sleek and modern, which is a contrast to the historical buildings in the area that are otherwise mildly gritty with a super-cool factor. Customer service is paramount in the new store, which features onsite Regimen Coaches who work one-on-one with shoppers to educate and otherwise assist.  

 Premium product line 'Hydrextreme' wall in the new store. 

Premium product line 'Hydrextreme' wall in the new store. 

 Bill Barker

Bill Barker

“Our mission at Consonant is to help our guests achieve their best self through a well-rounded Consonant life,” said Bill Baker, founder of ConsonantSkincare. “Our onsite Regimen Coaches are a great resource to help shoppers make healthier choices, whether it’s related to nutrition, lifestyle, skincare and more. We’re very excited for our guests to enjoy our new store and everything that it has to offer.”

Founded by Bill Baker almost 10 years ago, Consonant’s products are 100% natural and are said to be clinically proven. Products are, for the most part, made in Canda, and are made of the highest possible concentration of organic botanical ingredients. The idea is that formulations will work in harmony with one’s natural chemistry to improve the health of skin over time. 

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Consonant’s new Queen Street store isn’t just a retail space, however. It also acts as a community hub for guests seeking a holistic lifestyle, according to Mr. Baker. As a result, there’s ongoing community programming for healthy living and wellness initiatives that are hosted by industry experts and leaders. 

A schedule of events can be found in the store where customers are able to further learn about wellness, not to mention how the Consonant brand can assist. Yoga, healthy eating and other educational programs are all meant to promote a healthy lifestyle, with Consonant’s skincare products helping enhance an overall healthy persona. 

Mr. Baker explained how direct-to-consumer retail spaces offer face-to-face feedback that often isn’t possible with wholesalers, or online. As a result, Mr. Baker said that he expects the Consonant brand to roll-out more retail locations to further engage with consumers and to promote the brand, though such an expansion would be careful and calculated. He noted that skincare is a competitive business, and that Consonant’s products will stand the test of time when compared to other brands that are also seeking a percentage of the market. Ultimately, getting the word out is important for a brand such as Consonant. 

Standalone stores is a trend being seen amongst brands as of late, in a range of categories spanning from outerwear to footwear to jewellery. Beauty and skincare, as well, is seeing rapid growth in the opening of standalone stores, with companies such as Clinique, Deciem, Jo Malone and Valmont and others opening standalone stores to attract and retain clientele. 

Consonant Skincare’s value proposition could see it expand its base of stores well beyond the Toronto market — with prices that are mid-range and quality that is unmatched, the brand anticipates gaining and maintaining loyalty by supplying exceptional products in friendly, attractive retail spaces. 

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Craig Patterson, now based in Toronto, is the founder and Editor-in-Chief Retail Insider. He's also a retail and real estate consultant, retail tour guide and public speaker. 

Follow him on Twitter @RetailInsider_, LinkedIn at Craig Patterson, or email him at: craig@retail-insider.com.

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