By Craig Patterson
The boutique is located at 225 Carrall Street in the city’s historic Gastown area. The 750 square foot space boasts a corner location with exposure onto Blood Alley. The store’s rustic interior is in line with its exterior, which is in a heritage building in Vancouver’s original downtown core.
La Labo’s first Canadian store is located at 876 Queen Street West in Toronto, in a retail space slightly larger than the new Vancouver store. Similar to Gastown, Toronto’s ‘West Queen West’ area is an up-and-coming address where unique and trendy retailers locate — both neighbourhoods feature locations for brands including Aesop, Bailey Nelson, Filson, and Kit and Ace.
CBRE is representing Le Labo’s Canadian real estate expansion, with Martin Moriarty and Mario Negris from the Vancouver office helping coordinate deals nationally. The Vancouver team coordinated the Gastown deal, and the Toronto Queen Street West lease was negotiated by CBRE Downtown Toronto’s Arlin Markowitz, Alex Edmison and Jackson Turner.
The pricey Le Labo brand was founded in 2006 as a collection of 10 fragrances by Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi. The number in the fragrance name indicates the number of notes in its composition and the name of material (Vetiver, Jasmin, Labdanum) refers to the most prominent note within. The brand now features 45 perfumes, with its most recent having been created in 2015. Prices generally range between $100 and over $500 for fragrances and related products. Le Labo was acquired by New York City-based beauty conglomerate Estée Lauder in 2014.
Le Labo currently operates almost 50 stores internationally, as well as shop-in-stores in leading retailers. In the United States, Le Labo operates 20 standalone stores in Greater New York City (six stores), Los Angeles area (five stores), San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Dallas. Stores are often located in ‘trendy’ shopping areas as opposed to major malls or typical downtown commercial areas.
Le Labo became available in Canada in 2010, when Toronto-based 6 by Gee Beauty (at 6 Roxborough St. W. in affluent Rosedale) began carrying the line exclusively in Canada. That exclusivity was lifted in September of 2015 when Nordstrom opened its CF Pacific Centre flagship in Vancouver, also carrying the brand. In February of 2016, Saks Fifth Avenue’s new Toronto flagship opened with a Le Labo counter contained within, and in October of 2016 a Le Labo shop opened within the new Nordstrom at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.