BROWNS SHOES OPENS ON VANCOUVER'S ROBSON ST, WHILE CLOSING SISTER STORE B2

Photo: Retail-Insider.com
Browns Shoes has just opened a flagship location at 1068 Robson Street in Downtown Vancouver. At the end of this week, however, it will close its sister store, B2, located a block away at 1112 Robson Street. 

The new Browns includes one level of retail space and a massive second-floor shoe storage area. Shoes are brought down to the retail floor from the second-level via dumbwaiter. 


Browns replaces a former Levi's store. We first reported on Browns' Robson Street opening last April.


B2's closing on Robson Street is another setback to the street's 1100 block. A substantial portion of the south side of Robson Street's 1100 block is currently for lease. 

A replacement B2 store is expected to open in Downtown Vancouver some time in late 2014-early 2015. We'll announce its location when we can confirm its exact location.

Browns Shoes continues to expand throughout Canada. Keep reading for updates. 

[Browns Shoes website]



BROWNS SHOES CONTINUES CANADIAN EXPANSION & RINGS IN THE SPRING

Stunning interior of Browns' flagship Montreal store [Image Source]
Montreal-based Browns Shoes continues its Canadian expansion of free-standing stores. The most recent of these will be on Vancouver's Robson Street, and other new locations will follow. Browns currently has 48 free-standing Canadian store locations. In the last few years the company has drastically expanded its Canadian stores after losing concessions at Holt Renfrew and Hudson's Bay Company stores. 

Image: Browns Shoes
















Browns Shoes gained concession rights within Holt Renfrew and Hudson's Bay Company stores in the early-to-mid 1990's. Holt Renfrew's entire shoe operations were run by Browns, while The Bay had Browns concessions within selected existing shoe departments. Holt Renfrew severed ties with Browns in early 2007 and Hudson's Bay did the same in the summer of 2010. This author found both losses disappointing, but was pleased to see Browns opening several large, free-standing replacement stores. 

The Holt Renfrew and Hudson's Bay Browns concessions allowed the company to expand nation-wide. Western Canadian cities, especially, first experienced Browns Shoes shops in department stores and, more recently, with free-standing Browns boutiques. 
Browns' flagship, Montreal [Image Source]
Interestingly, Browns flirted with an international expansion in the 1990's by opening several concessions within Chicago-area shoe chain Joseph's of Chicago. Joseph's, unfortunately, shuttered and Browns stores are now only in Canada. 

Browns carries both private-label and designer shoe brands. It also carries selected designer accessories, many of them from Canadian designers. It's clear Browns is a proudly Canadian company and it has launched a spring advertising campaign with Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha and model Petra Nemcova. These stunning women showcase shoes in images near the top of this article, and directly below. 

Image: Browns Shoes

Image: Browns Shoes
We've got more Browns Shoes news coming soon. Keep checking in for updates. 

Browns Shoes website: http://www.brownsshoes.com

KURT GEIGER SHOES PARTNERS WITH NORDSTROM: CANADA LAUNCH EXPECTED

[Image Source]
British Footwear retailer Kurt Geiger has just signed a deal with Nordstrom. A source at Nordstrom says they expect Kurt Geiger footwear to also be sold in Canada but could not provide further details.

Kurt Geiger shops carry both private-label and designer brand footwear. Geiger's stores could be compared to Canadian footwear retailer Browns Shoes, also an upscale footwear retailer selling both designer and private-label footwear for men and women. The private-label merchandise carried in both stores is considered to be both fashionable and desirable. 

Nordstrom will only carry Kurt Geiger shoes in its existing shoe departments, rather than in Kurt Geiger shop-in-store concessions.  Kurt Geiger has opened shop-in-store concessions in British department stores such as Selfridges, Harrod's and House of Fraser, and international ones such as Printemps in France and La Rinascente in Italy. 

Nordstrom will carry three Geiger labels: Kurt Geiger London, KG Kurt Geiger and Carvela.

Kurt Geiger is considered to be a London, England-based retailer despite its now being owned by US-based The Jones Group. Kurt Geiger has both free-standing footwear stores (like Canada's Brown's Shoes) as well as shop-in-store concessions. Kurt Geiger also has agreements to operate select Manolo Blahnik footwear boutiques.

Our same source informs us that free-standing Canadian Kurt Geiger stores could be in the works, though this would likely be years away. 

[Partial Article Source]

Kurt Geiger website: http://www.kurtgeiger.com

Nordstrom website: www.Nordstrom.com


CORRECTION: BROWNS SHOES REPLACING LEVI'S ON VANCOUVER'S ROBSON STREET

Browns, 110 Bloor St W Toronto [Image Source]
CORRECTION: On April 2nd we reported Steve Madden was replacing Levi's on Vancouver's Robson Street. That was incorrect - Montreal-based Browns Shoes confirms the space will be for a new Browns store. 

Browns Shoes is opening a new Vancouver location, replacing the Levi's store on Robson Street. 

Browns' sister store 'B2' already has a store at 1112 Robson Street. 

For those unfamiliar, Browns Shoes is a Montreal-based footwear retailer selling both private-label and designer shoe brands. It also carries some handbags, accessories and jackets/outerwear. B2 is considered to be its slightly 'younger' and 'hipper' store/brand. 
Future location of Vancouver's Robson Street Browns Shoes Store. Image adapted from Google Streetview
Browns already has Vancouver stores at Pacific Centre, Oakridge Shopping Centre and at Metropolis at Metrotown. This will be the second Browns store in Downtown Vancouver, and the third company store including its Robson Street B2. 

Browns Shoes has 48 stores across Canada in metro areas including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

Browns Shoes website: http://www.brownsshoes.com


Browns Shoes Opening 5000 sq ft Toronto Eaton Centre Store

Floorplan, Cadillac Fairview. Red Outline/Lettering by Retail Insider
Browns Shoes will open a 5000 square foot store at Toronto's Eaton Centre. This will replace its current smallish 2500 square foot store. Browns will replace Sephora cosmetics, which will move to a larger space on the same floor.

Browns' store will be on Level 3 of the Eaton Centre (as is their current store), often considered the 'most prestigious' floor in the mall. This may not arguable by true but Level 3 is the brightest level since it receives sunlight from the skylights above.
Current Sephora, to be replaced by Browns Shoes. Image: http://www.quadrangle.ca/uploads/ribbon-sephora-1.jpg
Browns stores are from Montreal and have stores across Canada. Their stores vary in size, reaching as large as 8000 square feet. Browns once had concessions at Holt Renfrew and Hudson's Bay stores in Canada, as well as at Joseph's of Chicago (a Chicago-based shoe retailer that went bankrupt). These concessions have since closed, leaving free-standing locations.

Browns is one of our favourite shoe stores, especially when they have a sale. We admit we have a shoe problem... we don't have enough room for all of our shoes. Many readers can probably relate. We make regular trips to Browns and its 'younger' store, B2. Both carry private-label and designer shoes with some of the best brands available in Canada.

Browns is in expansion mode and will be opening more Canadian locations. Watch our website/Facebook/Twitter, as we'll update you when we find more openings/expansions.

Source: GKW, Urban Toronto.

Browns Shoes website: www.brownsshoes.com

Toronto Eaton Centre website: www.torontoeatoncentre.com



Retail Insider on twitter: @retailinsider_

Retail Insider on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RetailInsider 

Got any retail insider info? insider@retail-insider.com