UNIQLO Announces Opening Date for 1st Montreal Flagship Store

Popular Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has announced that its Montreal flagship store will open on October 23 of this year. The store will become the largest Uniqlo location in Canada and will occupy a prominent retail space at the corner of Ste-Catherine Street West and Boulevard Robert-Bourassa in the overhauled Montreal Eaton Centre.

MONTREAL UNIQLO FLAGSHIP WILL BE CANADA’S LARGEST LOCATION

The two-level Uniqlo store will feature about 32,000 square feet of retail space in a leased space spanning more than 40,000 square feet. The store will feature a ‘flagship’ design and will house Uniqlo’s fashion collections for women, men, children, and babies. Uniqlo is known for its well-priced basics including its LifeWear line.

“We are pleased to open this new store in Montreal as part of the Eaton Centre renewal, making our high-quality, functional, and thoughtfully-created LifeWear apparel accessible to more Canadians,” said Yuichiro Kaneko, CEO of Uniqlo Canada. “During these challenging times, we have seen continuous demand for Uniqlo and LifeWear by our customers, as we continue to offer products designed to fit new and emerging lifestyles.”

The LifeWear is described as “meeting the needs of everyone’s daily lifestyles to make their everyday life better and more comfortable. Whether that is to protect you against a cold winter wind, keep you dry on a rainy day or to look smart for an important occasion, LifeWear is simple, high-quality, everyday clothing with a practical sense of beauty that is always evolving. LifeWear is available in a variety of colours and styles for people of all ages.”

MAP OF STREET LEVEL OF MONTREAL EATON CENTRE SHOWING NEW UNIQLO STORE. IMAGE: MONTREAL EATON CENTRE. CLICK IMAGE FOR INTERACTIVE MALL MAP
MAP OF 2ND LEVEL OF MONTREAL EATON CENTRE SHOWING NEW UNIQLO STORE. IMAGE: MONTREAL EATON CENTRE. CLICK IMAGE FOR INTERACTIVE MALL MAP

When the store opens in October, Uniqlo says that it will follow public health and local guidelines. That includes physical distancing while shopping, frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas in front and back of house, hand-sanitizing stations located at the entrance of the store and at cash registers, and acrylic barriers at checkout counters and fitting room counters. All staff will be subjected to a daily temperature check and will be required to wear personal protective equipment. Such precautions have also been rolled-out in other Uniqlo stores in Canada as well as globally.

Uniqlo’s Montreal flagship is expected to be the first of multiple locations for the retailer in the province of Quebec. Uniqlo has been expanding its Canadian operations since its first store opened almost four years ago in Toronto. Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represents Uniqlo as broker in Canada and he negotiated all of Uniqlo’s store leases in Canada.

In September of 2016, Uniqlo’s first store in Canada opened at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto. It is currently the largest Uniqlo store in Canada spanning nearly 33,000 square feet over two floors. Last year the store added a 4,500 square foot mezzanine space to house a first-in-Canada ’UT’ shop-in-store showcasing the retailer’s graphic t-shirt collection.

FUTURE STORE ENTRANCE ON STE-CATHERINE STREET WEST. PHOTO: MAXIME FRECHETTE
INTERIOR OF UNIQLO STORE. PHOTO: UNIQLO

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Rock our linen collection like @torontoshay! Select pieces on sale now. #Linen #UNIQLOCanada #summervibes

A post shared by UNIQLO Canada (@uniqlocanada) on

A second Uniqlo store opened in October of 2016 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, also considered to be a flagship store in terms of size and presence with more than 30,000 square feet over two levels. Following that opening, Uniqlo began to expand further into the Greater Toronto Area as well as into the Vancouver market for the first time.

The Toronto area is now home to Uniqlo stores in Oshawa Centre east of Toronto, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, CF Markville in Markham, Square One in Mississauga, Vaughan Mills near Toronto, and last fall a pop-up opened at First Canadian Place in Toronto’s Financial District.

In British Columbia, Uniqlo’s first store  opened in October of 2017 at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, in a 20,630-square-foot, two-level space. That was followed by the opening of a 17,900-square-foot location at Guildford Town Centre in Surrey in March of 2018, followed by stores at CF Richmond Centre in Richmond and Coquitlam Centre in Coquitlam. Uniqlo is noticeably absent from downtown Vancouver and a location is expected to be announced when a lease is finalized.

UNIQLO IS DUE TO EXPAND MORE AGGRESSIVELY INTO ALBERTA IN THE NEAR FUTURE

Uniqlo expanded beyond the Toronto and Vancouver markets in the fall of 2019 when it opened its first store in Alberta at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. More stores in the Edmonton and Calgary markets are expected.

The Montreal area is Uniqlo’s fourth major market to see Canadian stores which could eventually number in the dozens if all goes as planned.

Landlord Ivanhoe Cambridge spent more than $200 million to merge the adjacent Complexe Les Ailes and Montreal Eaton Centre into one downtown centre that is now anchored by French sport retail behemoth Decathlon as well as a Time Out market food hall that recently reopened after COVID-19 closures. New retail additions to the Montreal Eaton Centre include a renovated Sephora store, a first-in-Canada concept for Pandora and and Quebec's first Samsung store which opened this month.

We’ll update this article in October when the Montreal flagship store officially opens.

*Thank you Maxime Frechette for providing information for this article.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
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.

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