By Craig Patterson
Retail giant Nike will be opening a massive Niketown flagship store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in November of 2020, according to a report in Israel-based news publication Globes. According to a rendering, the 32,000+ square foot Niketown store appears that it will occupy part of the mall’s former Home Outfitters storefront as well as two main level retail spaces. It will be operated by Israel retail fashion chain Fox-Wizel Ltd which already operates sports and beauty stores in Canada.
According to the news report, Fox-Wizel will invest about $12 million in the construction of the new Nike store, with a substantial amount of the financing coming from Yorkdale’s landlord, Oxford Properties. A ten-year lease for the store was reportedly signed with an option to extend it for five years. Annual revenues for the Yorkdale Nike store are projected to be in excess of $20 million annually. Given that that mall’s annual productivity per square foot is approaching $2,000, that sales projection could be conservative.
According to a rendering, the new Yorkdale Nike flagship will occupy mall-level space currently occupied by a Zara Home store, as well as Le Chateau. It will be located next to the mall’s Massimo Dutti store as per the floor plan above. The second level of the Niketown flagship will be made possible by taking space formerly occupied by home furnishings retailer Home Outfitters. Parent company Hudson’s Bay Company recently shuttered the Home Outfitters chain as part of a corporate restructuring.
The Yorkdale Niketown will be Fox-Wizel’s largest storefront in the world, and will contain an expansive assortment of Nike products including fashions as well as technology and gadgets. Fox-Wizel already operates seven Nike stores in Canada through its subsidiary Fox Canada that also includes Israeli beauty chain Laline, which is also expanding aggressively into the Canadian market.
In 2017, Fox-Wizel signed an agreement with Nike Canada to set up a chain of stores in this country over a period of seven years. As a result, a chain of Nike stores have rapidly opened in Canadian cities, including at Toronto’s Yorkdale. One source said that the current Nike space at Yorkdale could be repurposed for a high-end concept for the brand, with details to follow.
In years past, Nike operated Niketown locations in major cities globally, though the concept was scaled back. Included was a Niketown location that once occupied nearly 40,000 square feet of space at 110 Bloor Street West in Toronto, which is now part of a Brooks Brothers store.
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