By Craig Patterson
H&M's upscale fashion brand COS ('Collection of Style') will open a two-level flagship store on Vancouver’s Robson Street in late 2019. Construction is already underway for the store that will occupy two high-profile retail spaces on the busy shopping street. It will be the second COS storefront in Vancouver, and the brand’s seventh location in Canada.
In all, the new Robson Street store will occupy about 9,000 square feet in a unique configuration. That includes the entire two-level retail space at 1070 Robson Street that was formerly occupied by retailer A/X Armani Exchange that closed last year, as well as the upper level of the adjacent 1080 Robson Street storefront that was formerly occupied by women’s retailer BCBG.
COS will occupy about 3,000 square feet on its main level in the former A/X Armani space, as well as about 6,000 square feet on the second level in the adjoining spaces formerly occupied by A/X Armani and BCBG. This week, construction commenced to join the two second-level retail spaces which will require removing an elevator shaft in the former BCBG space. Negotiations are ongoing for a tenant to occupy the 3,000 square foot street-level former BCBG space at 1080 Robson Street.
The Robson Street COS store will be the second in Vancouver. In March of 2017, COS unveiled a store at 18 Water Street in the city’s historic Gastown area. That store occupies 4,130 square feet with just over 3,000 square feet dedicated to retail space on one level, and has a basement area of an additional 2,330 square feet.
In Canada, COS currently operates six stores, including three in the Greater Toronto Area, two in the Montreal area, and one in Vancouver as mentioned above.
COS launched its first Canadian store in September 2015 in Toronto at 85 Bloor Street West (former Tiffany & Co. space), followed by a second store in October 2015 at 1310 Sainte Catherine Street West in Montreal (formerly occupied by Le Château). A third location opened in October of 2016 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
Shortly after the opening of COS’s Vancouver Gastown location, the retailer opened its second Montreal-area store at CF Carrefour Laval in the summer of 2017. In the fall of 2017, COS opened a location at Square One in Mississauga.
The three-level Bloor Street COS flagship is the largest in the country to date, occupying a four-level building with more than 13,000 square feet, with three-levels above grade. The retail space itself spans 6,738 square feet, according to COS.
COS’ Canadian stores include fashion collections for women, men and children. Store designs are open featuring minimalist white walls and mid-century modern furniture.
Parent company H&M launched the COS store concept on London’s Regent Street in March 2007. The brand has a wide product range that is divided into a number of different concepts, incorporating fashion essentials, reinvented classics and modern trends for men and women.
In the Vancouver area, sources confirm that COS is in discussions to open another location that would span nearly 7,500 square feet on one level. The retailer has yet to expand into secondary markets such as Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org