Gucci Renovating and Expanding Canadian Stores [Photos]

Gucci’s Canadian flagship at 130 Bloor St. W. in Toronto. Photo: Craig Patterson

Gucci’s Canadian flagship at 130 Bloor St. W. in Toronto. Photo: Craig Patterson

By Craig Patterson

Italian luxury brand Gucci is in the process of updating its Canadian stores, including its standalone units as well as its shop-in-stores at Holt Renfrew

Gucci’s Canadian flagship at 130 Bloor Street West is currently under partial construction, with about half the store shuttered temporarily for an overhaul. Once completed, the other half of the store will also see similar updates. Renovations to the 6,500 square foot Bloor-Yorkville Gucci store are expected to be completed by early November and the store will feature Gucci’s latest look by Creative Director Alessandro Michele. The brightened space will feature inlaid brown/black/white coloured marble flooring, contemporary fixtures and classic-inspired sofas and chairs. Gucci opened its Bloor Street storefront in 2009 and it hasn’t seen a significant renovation since. 

Gucci is in the process of updating its stores worldwide and the standalone Vancouver location at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is said to be in line for significant updates as well, with details to follow. 

White paper over the windows on 1/2 of Gucci’s Bloor STreet flagship in Toronto. The other half of the store will be renovated once the western portion is completed. Photo: Craig Patterson

White paper over the windows on 1/2 of Gucci’s Bloor STreet flagship in Toronto. The other half of the store will be renovated once the western portion is completed. Photo: Craig Patterson

A ‘new look’ Gucci interior in a store in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Gucci.com

A ‘new look’ Gucci interior in a store in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Gucci.com

The Bloor Street Gucci store carries ready-to-wear for men and women as well as bags, accessories, jewellery, watches and footwear. The Vancouver location currently lacks men’s ready-to-wear, which can be found nearby at Holt Renfrew at CF Pacific Centre

Early next month, Gucci will open a new 6,000 square foot ‘World of Gucci’ concession at Holt Renfrew at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre that will also feature the brand’s updated look. It will also be Gucci’s second-largest store in Canada (the Hotel Vancouver unit spans about 4,000 square feet). Similar to the Bloor Street flagship, Gucci’s Yorkdale concession will feature ready-to-wear for men and women as well as a range of bags, accessories and footwear. Retail specialist Amachris Corporation is building-out the Yorkdale space. 

Gucci operates leased concessions at Holt Renfrew’s other stores in Canada as well — Holts is the undisputed leader in terms of offering Gucci fashions to Canadians. In Vancouver, Gucci operates updated concessions for accessories as well as women’s and men’s ready to wear at Holt Renfrew in CF Pacific Centre, with the large ground-floor accessory shop having opened several months ago.

Gucci women’s Ready-to-wear boutique at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver. Photo: Lee Rivett

Gucci women’s Ready-to-wear boutique at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver. Photo: Lee Rivett

Holts’ Calgary store features older-look Gucci shop-in-stores including boutiques for accessories on the ground floor, women’s fashions on the second floor and a third-floor men’s shop-in-store. Updates are expected. In Mississauga, Gucci has a concession at Holt Renfrew’s Square One flagship, which featured the brand’s updated aesthetic when it opened in 2017.

A ‘new look’ Gucci concession at Holt Renfrew, Square One in Mississauga. Photo: Craig Patterson

A ‘new look’ Gucci concession at Holt Renfrew, Square One in Mississauga. Photo: Craig Patterson

Next month, Holt Renfrew’s 50 Bloor Street West flagship in Toronto will see a new Gucci accessories shop open on its main-level, and a women’s ready-to-wear boutique will be relocated on the second floor with the brand’s updated look as well. Holt Renfrew’s 16,500 square foot men’s store at 100 Bloor Street West, which is said to be staying open indefinitely despite an announcement last year that it was moving back into the 50 Bloor Street West flagship, carries an offering of Gucci men’s fashions as well on its upper level.

Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal, which will be completed next year, will include a large ground-level Gucci accessory boutique as well as a women’s fashion concession on the store’s third floor. Earlier this year, a Gucci men’s concession was unveiled on Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’s fourth floor, which spans 40,000 square feet with 25 vendor shops for some of the world’s biggest names. 

Gucci men’s concession on the 4th floor of ‘Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’ in Montreal. Photo: Craig Patterson

Gucci men’s concession on the 4th floor of ‘Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’ in Montreal. Photo: Craig Patterson

(The above short video is from Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2019 campaign. It’s very unusual and may be worth watching)

In Canada, Gucci also operates a large accessories concession at Nordstrom at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. There’s also a Gucci boutique at Vancouver International Airport as well as a shop at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. In November of 2018, Gucci unveiled a large outlet store at Toronto Premium Outlets, which saw long lineups on opening day (Retail specialist Amachris Corporation also built that store). 

Sources say that Gucci could be opening more standalone stores in major Canadian markets. We’ll report on it when we can confirm the details and are permitted to discuss them.

Gucci’s Canadian store renovations are part of the brand’s plans to update its fleet of stores globally to keep them in line with Gucci’s updated brand aesthetic. We’ll be reporting on the opening of the new ‘World of Gucci’ concession opening at Yorkdale in early August and will include updated details and photos. 

Gucci operates a busy concession at Nordstrom at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Craig Patterson

Gucci operates a busy concession at Nordstrom at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Photo: Craig Patterson

Inside the Gucci outlet store at Toronto Premium Outlets. Photo: Retail specialist    Amachris Corporation

Inside the Gucci outlet store at Toronto Premium Outlets. Photo: Retail specialist Amachris Corporation

Gucci, which was founded in Florence in 1921, is now part of global luxury conglomerate Kering Group. Kering manages the development of renowned houses in fashion, leather goods, jewelry and watches. Kering brands include Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Queelin, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux. Kering has been expanding its presence in Canada. That includes new Saint Laurent boutiques in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as an expanded presence in Holt Renfrew, Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal as well as at Nordstrom in Vancouver and Saks Fifth Avenue in Toronto. Bottega Veneta opened its first standalone unit in Canada several months ago at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and is also growing its concessions at Holt Renfrew in major markets. Balenciaga will open its first standalone unit in Canada in several months time (details to follow) while also expanding its concessions at Holt Renfrew. 

Last year, Lyst ranked Gucci as the hottest brand globally, with Kering-owned Balenciaga being ranked third. Some are questioning if the Gucci brand will continue with its phenomenal growth as consumers can be fickle, which results in a cyclical nature where luxury brands fall in-and-out of favour. Gucci is one of the world’s top selling luxury brands globally, along with Chanel and Louis Vuitton — all three are said to be selling in excess of 10-billion Euros annually. 

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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: craig@retail-insider.com 

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