By Craig Patterson
LVMH-owned Swiss luxury watchmaker and accessory brand Hublot will open its first standalone Toronto storefront this year at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. It will be the second store for Hublot in Canada, after the company opened its Canadian flagship in Vancouver in the summer of 2017.
The Yorkdale Hublot boutique, located next to the mall’s Van Cleef & Arpels boutique, will locate in a 700 square foot space formerly occupied by a Purdy’s chocolate store. Other luxury brands are located nearby. Directly across from the new Hublot will be Canada’s first TAG Heuer boutique which is set to open in November, as well as an Oliver Peoples eyewear store, which was the first to open in Canada in October of 2018.
Steps away are boutiques for luxury brands such as Montblanc, Piaget, Panerai, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, David Yurman, Saint Laurent, Burberry and others — Yorkdale has achieved the status of having the highest density of luxury brands of any location in Canada, with even more said to be on the way.
In the summer of 2017, Hublot opened its first standalone Canadian store in Vancouver at 1080 Alberni Street. The impressive two-level store spans about 2,800 square feet and is one of the brand’s largest locations globally. Vancover’s Hublot is located in The Carlyle retail podium that houses luxury retailers including Prada, Saint Laurent, Moncler and Off-White, with a De Beers store (operated by the same local franchisee) located next door. Other luxury retailers can be found nearby on Alberni Street as well as adjacent Thurlow Street, Burrard Street and West Georgia Street. This month we profiled the impressive new Hermes flagship store that opened nearby.
Hublot watches are crafted to precision in a variety of styles, which have proven to be popular by luxury buyers worldwide. Prices are often well into the thousands, and some styles cost in excess of $1 million each.
Hublot was founded in Switzerland in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco — a scion of the Italian Binda Group dynasty, best known for making Breil watches. Hublot is named after the French word for “porthole”, and the first watch that he created featured the first natural rubber strap in the history of watchmaking — a feat that took three years of research to create. In 1998, Hublot was acquired by French luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), and it continues to operate as a subsidiary.
Hublot operates freestanding stores in various global cities. On a commercial level, the network of stores currently stands at more than 70 exclusive boutiques around the world. In the United States, Hublot stores are in New York City, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Orlando, Florida. The Miami area boasts four Hublot stores — in Bal Harbour, Miami Design District, Boca Raton and in Palm Beach.
Yorkdale is Canada’s most productive shopping centre in terms of annual sales per square foot, according to Retail Council of Canada’s Canadian Shopping Centre Study. A 2019 version of the study will be released this fall (sponsorship opportunities are available).
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