By Craig Patterson
American accessory and watch brand Fossil chose Canada to launch its new ‘Makers’ store concept last year, and now the company will be opening a second location while it grows its Canadian operations. Fossil will also look to open two more locations in Canada in 2020, and as many as three more in 2021.
The Fossil ‘Maker’ concept is highly experiential with opportunities for customers to customize their own products. In June of 2018, Fossil opened its first-in-the-world Maker concept store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. In November of this year, Fossil will unveil its second Maker location at the Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, just east of Vancouver.
The 1,100 square foot Metropolis at Metrotown Fossil store will feature unique services including building your own watch, engraving and embossing stations, as well as a mix-and-match strap bar. The ‘Custom Shop’ and ‘Service Station’ will also feature engraving/embossing icons and the Service Centre will be open for appointments and walk-in customers, offering specialty support for smartwatches and staff on hand to replace batteries, remove links and more. The company says that the fresh store design will be ‘bright and modular’.
Fossil says that the Maker stores are designed to “celebrate the unique craftsmanship and services on which the brand has built its reputation”. It’s also addressing a trend — many leading brands are embracing the customization trend as consumers seek to personalize their purchases.
The CF Toronto Eaton Centre Fossil Maker store, which spans 1,458 square feet, replaced the mall’s former Fossil store that had operated there for years. New materials and colour palettes were used in the updated 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.
“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.’’
Fossil will continue to expand its Canadian operations by opening new stores. The company is looking to open two more locations in Canada in 2020, and as many as three in 2021. Targeted markets would be in Ontario and British Columbia with retail spaces ideally being in the 1,500 square foot range. Fossil is also eyeing the Newfoundland market to open its first store. 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.
Metropolis at Metrotown is the largest shopping centre in the Vancouver area, and is also its busiest. The mall boasts sales exceeding $1,000 per square foot according to Retail Council of Canada’s most recent Canadian Shopping Centre study. Metropolis at Metrotown is also the third busiest shopping centre in Canada in terms of footfall, with nearly 28 million annual visitors. It’s also the largest shopping centre in the BC Lower Mainland with a GLA of nearly 1.8 million square feet, housing more than 330 stores with several being large anchors. The centre is known to get many first-to-market brands in the Vancouver area, including Uniqlo, Muji, Urban Decay, Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake and Deciem. The centre also recently saw its annual revenue surpass the $1 billion mark, and is only the fourth Canadian shopping centre to reach the milestone.
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd. Email Craig: email@example.com