Ogilvy & Holt Renfrew merger in Montreal: a winning strategy?

 Combined store rendering: City of Montreal

By Mounia Ayoub 

Montreal's 

Ogilvy

 and 

Holt Renfrew

 stores will merge, 

forming one of the largest department stores in North America

, slated for completion in late 2017. The Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street will close and the Ogilvy store located on the trendy Sainte-Catherine Street West will be revamped and expanded northward on the site of the former 

Hotel de La Montagne

. It is the only Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew-merged store planned so far in Canada.

Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew are heritage brands founded in Quebec: Ogilvy in 1866 in Montreal, and Holt Renfrew in 1837 in Quebec City. Both now belong to 

Selfridges Group Ltd

., owned by the 

Weston family

 of Toronto which also controls 

Selfridges

 in the United Kingdom, 

Brown Thomas

 in Ireland and 

de Bijenkorf

 in the Netherlands (and grocer 

Loblaw Companies Ltd

. in Canada). The new department store will take the (long) name in French of 

Ogilvy, membre de la collection Holt Renfrew & Co

.

The purpose of this merger is to boost sales in Montreal by combining and developing the strengths of both stores. As the Vice-President of Holt Renfrew, Joanne Nemeroff, pointed out 

in an interview with 

La Presse Affaires

, the decision to merge both stores was made after a market study (confidential sources) showed that the Holt Renfrew customers wanted a larger range of products with a new assortment of brands while the Ogilvy customers were asking for a new dynamism. Moreover, according to Mark Derbyshire, President of Holt Renfrew, the strategy of targeting the customers of both stores the same way remains consistent since these customers have a lot in common. “We think we can offer them something bigger in one place instead of two,” as M. Derbyshire stated in his interview with 

La Presse Affaires.

Current Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke St. W. [

Image Source

]

Holt Renfrew opened its store in Montreal on Sherbrooke Street in 1937; historically it has been the go-to place for fashion addicts in search of unique contemporary designer clothing and modern luxury accessories. On the other hand, Ogilvy has the reputation of offering a range of much more classic brands. We will see in the future if the regular Holt Renfrew customers will accept to change their shopping habits and leave the luxury Sherbrooke Street district to make their purchases on the less fashionable Sainte-Catherine Street.

What is more, this merger of the two stores in Montreal should allow the group to arm itself for the coming luxury battle with the arrival of its next big competitor, the New York-based luxury department store 

Saks Fifth Avenue

. Saks was acquired by the Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) last November and 

7 or 8 Saks Fifth Avenue stores are likely to open

 in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and possibly Calgary in the next few years. Two Saks Fifth Avenue stores should open in Montreal, one free-standing downtown store and one suburban store, 

possibly at Le Carrefour Laval

.

Saks will be the main competitor of Holt Renfrew in Canada as it has the same luxury positioning, carrying the same prestigious brands, from 

Chanel

 to 

Prada

 to 

Gucci

, including the same trendy designer labels such as 

Christian Louboutin

Manolo Blahnik

Jimmy Choo

 etc. Differentiation will therefore be difficult for both companies in Canada. We have reason to believe this Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew merger in Montreal is likely to facilitate the differentiation process as this new luxury megastore will add the classic, respected and well-established image of Ogilvy to the avant-garde spirit of Holt Renfrew.

Fortunately for the Selfridges Group, Seattle-based Nordstrom does not plan to open any high-end department store in Montreal so far. 

It will open only in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto

taking over the mall's Sears stores about to close in Canada

 (the first Nordstrom store in Canada should be opened in Calgary in 2014).

[

Image Source

]

Besides the Saks issue, the other question raised with this Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew merger in Montreal is whether or not the market can support such a luxury megastore given Quebec's market. With 220,000 square feet, the new Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew department store will be the largest luxury department store in Canada. Yet, according to 

EnvironicsAnalytics

, only 4.1% of the population in Montreal had an income of $200,000 or more, compared to more than the double in Toronto, with 8.4%, and 5.6% in Vancouver in 2013. Moreover, 16.8% of the households earning more than $200,000 a year in Canada were living in Montreal against 44.8% in Toronto and 13.3% in Vancouver in 2013. Therefore one can wonder whether or not there is enough demand for luxury products in the area to warrant such a huge department store in Montreal.

The point is many Montrealers are used to shopping outside the city, whether it be in Toronto, the rest of Canada, or the United States. According to Alecsandra Hancas, Fashion Industry Analyst at the

NPD Group

, cross-border shopping is a serious issue in Canada overall since it represented an estimated $1-billion loss for Canadian retailers in the year to May 2013

1

. Thus Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew’s executives expect that upscaling the luxury offering in Montreal will dissuade these customers from doing cross-border shopping and encourage them to make their purchases in this new Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew megastore instead.

In conclusion, this new Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew megastore will definitely change the luxury landscape in Montreal, and will probably contribute to the retention of the local customers who used to shop outside Montreal. The arrival of Saks in the next years will also upscale the retail market in the biggest city of the province of Quebec. In the meantime, this increasingly fierce competition in the luxury market will affect not only the department stores and their customers but also the suppliers, which will have to figure out how to distribute their collections without compromising past allegiances with Holt Renfrew or Ogilvy and without cannibalizing their current sales.

Mounia Ayoub is a luxury retail, fashion lover and a contributing editor for Retail Insider. Born in Paris and raised in Marseille, in the South of France, she is strongly attached to her Mediterranean roots. With a business background, she has worked for Marc Jacobs in Paris and contributed to consulting services at the French Trade Commission in Toronto for French luxury and cosmetic companies expanding their activities in North America. After living in Japan, New York City, Toronto and Paris, she has found in the multicultural city of Toronto the perfect pied-à-terre for now. 

RELATED: 

[

Ogilvy website

]

[

Holt Renfrew website

]

COMBINED OGILVY/HOLT RENFREW TO BE ONE OF NORTH AMERICA'S LARGEST LUXURY DEPARTMENT STORES

[Image Source]

At 220,000 square feet, Montreal's combined Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew store will be one of the largest luxury department stores in North America when completed. From our calculations, it will be the 7th-largest luxury store in North America, surpassed only by stores in New York City, San Francisco, Beverly Hills and Houston. Toronto's flagship Saks Fifth Avenue is expected to be larger than Ogilvy/Holt's as well, though we are currently unaware of its exact size. 

In our analysis, we only included American retailers Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus/Bergdorf Goodman and Barney's New York. We've excluded retailers such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's, since both sell a considerable amount of mid-range merchandise that likely won't be carried in the new, upscaled Ogilvy.

The following American luxury department stores are larger than the new Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew's 220,000 square feet:

New York City:
Saks Fifth Avenue: 646,000 square feet
Bergdorf Goodman (both men's and women's stores): 316,000 square feet
Barney's New York: ~230,000 square feet

San Francisco:
Neiman Marcus, Union Square: 252,000 square feet

Beverly Hills, California:
Saks Fifth Avenue (combined men's and women's stores): ~275,000 square feet

Houston Texas:
Neiman Marcus, Houston Galleria: 224,000 square feet

Toronto's flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store is expected to be in the 300,000 square foot range. If so, it could become North America's second- or third-largest luxury store. We'll report more when we get details on the size of Saks' proposed Bloor Street store.

RELATED:




[Ogilvy website]

[Holt Renfrew website]

ANALYSIS: 220,000 SQ FT COMBINED OGIVLY/HOLT RENFREW IN MONTREAL: TO BE CANADA'S LARGEST "HOLT'S"


Rendering: City of Montreal

Canada's largest Holt Renfrew store will eventually be located in Montreal, though it will go by a different name. Holt Renfrew will merge with Montreal's Ogilvy as it spends $60 million to create a 220,000 square foot flagship in an expanded Ogilvy premises on Ste Catherine Street West. The current Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street West will then close. Construction on the new store begins in the fall of 2014 and is expected to be completed some time in 2017.

The new store will be called Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. collection.  The name is rather long and we think many shoppers will refer to the combined retailer simply as 'Ogilvy', especially as it will be located within the current Ogilvy building. The current 160,000 square foot Ogilvy building will be expanded by about 60,000 square feet northward to create the new 220,000 square foot store.

Incredibly, insiders (including sources at Womens Wear Daily) speculate that sales in the new Ogilvy/Holt's store could be as high as $250 million annually. If so, these could be the highest department store sales in Canada, surpassing those of Hudson's Bay's Toronto flagship. 

The strategy to combine the two retailers is an interesting one. Montreal will technically lose its dedicated Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street West. However, it will gain an even larger luxury department store that can compete head-to-head with Saks Fifth Avenue, which will open within Hudson's Bay's Ste Catherine Street West store in downtown Montreal. When finished, Saks will be a mere 800 metres east of the new Ogilvy/Holt's. 

We expect that the new retailer will be similar to the company's Selfridge's store in London, though possibly more focussed on the luxury consumer. Selfridge's is considered to be one of the world's most innovative retailers, and it offers a wide variety of merchandise and pricing. We've been doing some research and giving it some thought, and we think that the new Ogilvy by Holt's will likely include the following improvements:

New 'luxury hall' for designer boutiques: We expect the new retailer to feature multiple luxury designer boutiques in a sort of "luxury street" similar to what Selfridge's group has created for its London store as well as for its de Bijenkorf store in Amsterdam. Luxury boutiques could include Hermès, Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, Miu Miu, Mulberry and others. Apart from a few luxury boutiques on Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal generally lacks luxury 'high streets' like Toronto's Bloor Street or Vancouver's Burrard/Alberni Streets. We expect Ogilvy/Holt's to capitalize on its large ground-floor space by featuring multiple luxury boutiques to compliment existing Ogilvy retailers such as Louis Vuitton. 


Massive Shoe Hall: We expect Holt Renfrew will create a massive women's shoe hall that will include separate boutiques for the likes of Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and others. We'd expect this to be similar to the recently opened shoe hall at Holt Renfrew's Yorkdale store in Toronto, though on an even grander scale.


A substantial, luxurious men's store: We expect to see a large and luxurious men's store within the new Ogilvy/Holt's, offering such amenities as shaving services, shoe shines, personal shopping and a relaxation lounge, among others. We're not sure where it would go, yet, though we think it will be over 30,000 square feet as it attempts to compete with rivals Harry Rosen, L'Uomo and Saks Fifth Avenue.


A top-notch women's designer floor: We expect that the women's luxury clothing offerings at Holt's will be expanded and that there will be larger boutiques for Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Akris, Giorgio Armani and others. We also think Holt's will bring its couture salon concept over from its current store.


More fine jewellery: We think an expanded jewellery selection will build on Ogilvy's current H. Stern and Christofle boutiques to include many of the world's finest jewellers, such as Graff, De Beers, Bulgari and others.


Expanded cosmetics as well as beauty services: We expect cosmetics operations between the two retailers to be merged and improved upon with the increased square footage of Ogilvy/Holt's. Holt Renfrew already features a broad selection of cosmetics vendors, and more space will allow for a wider assortment of brand offerings. We'd expect the new store to also feature a spa, hair salon, and other beauty services carried at other Holt's flagships.


Restaurants: We expect to see at least one restaurant offering, if not several, in the new store. Restaurants aren't our specialty so we'll leave it at that.


Eliminated furniture department: Currently, Ogilvy carries furniture items on an upper floor. We think that continuing to carry furniture would be incompatible with Holt Renfrew's current merchandising strategy and that furniture will therefore be eliminated with the new store's opening.


More details of the combined Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew store will come available in the coming weeks. Keep reading for updates.


[Ogilvy website]

[Holt Renfrew website]



MONTREAL'S OGILVY AND HOLT RENFREW STORES TO MERGE, SHERBROOKE ST HOLT RENFREW TO CLOSE

BREAKING: We'll follow up on this announcement with an analysis article in a few hours. 

MONTREAL

,

Nov. 19, 2013

/CNW Telbec/ -

Holt

, Renfrew & Co., Limited today unveiled grand plans to expand and transform the St. Catherine's Street Ogilvy location into a unique and exciting luxury retail destination branded

: Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. collection

. Spanning 220,000 square feet, the new specialty store will expand to include an adjacent site and become the largest in the Holt Renfrew network, offering innovative new retail concepts and

Canada's

richest assortment of luxury fashion and beauty brands. Following a

$60 million

investment, the new store is slated for completion in late 2017.

"This is another exciting step forward in Holt Renfrew's dynamic growth plan," said Holt Renfrew President 

Mark Derbyshire

. "The 

Montreal

 market presents a unique opportunity to leverage two storied brands. Inspired by the best of both Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy, and based on extensive customer research, we have developed a grand vision with bold new concepts that celebrate 

Montreal's

 rich fashion heritage and sophisticated shoppers."

"I am also pleased to note at this time the appointment of 

Joanne Nemeroff

 as Senior Vice President, Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. Collection, based in 

Montreal

, to lead our team and this exciting development," Derbyshire said. "Joanne is a seasoned retail executive with a great wealth of expertise and relationships in the 

Montreal

market."

"We're thrilled to offer this exciting fashion retail concept for 

Montreal

, one that is sure to cement this city's standing as an international luxury shopping destination," said 

Joanne Nemeroff

. "With an expanded offering at a high-traffic location, the energized new store that will emerge in 2017 will provide customers with an unparalleled shopping experience. It's about getting the best of both worlds and more, all under one roof and one banner."

Grand, one-store vision to become a reality in 2017: 

Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. collection

The construction phase for the future store is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014 and be completed later in 2017. The store will remain open throughout this period to serve customers, as will the current 

Holt

Renfrew

 store in

Montreal

.

Familiar elements of the distinctive and stylish Ogilvy building will be celebrated in the new store design, including its magnificent façade, complemented with an expansion on the site of the former Hotel de la Montagne. The store will also continue to offer a mix of lease partners.

The Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street will also remain open to welcome customers throughout this period, with exciting upgrades to enhance the shopping experience, including the recent launch of a new Dior shop, which offers the richest assortment of its kind in 

Canada

, and plans for a new Prada shop. Plans for the Sherbrooke Street property post 2017 will be confirmed at a future date, and are expected to include retail offerings to benefit the local community.

"We are very excited about the development of this unique concept for the 

Montreal

 market. For now it remains business as usual for the current Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew stores. They will continue to provide the very best in beauty and luxury fashion as well as the quality service our customers have come to expect and enjoy," concluded Nemeroff.

About Holt Renfrew

Celebrating a 175-year heritage, Holt Renfrew is recognized worldwide for an inspired shopping experience. Once a purveyor of fashion to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Holt Renfrew began in 1837 as a modest hat shop in 

Quebec

. Over the years the brand developed and expanded across 

Canada

. In the 1930's Holt Renfrew began exclusive accounts with some of the best designers in 

Europe

 and in 1947 hosted Monsieur Christian Dior when he launched his "New Look." After many years of foreign ownership Holt Renfrew was bought in 1986 by W. Galen and the Hon.

Hilary M. Weston

. Under their ownership Holt Renfrew has become 

Canada's

 destination for luxury retail. Holt

Renfrew

 has 2,300 employees with nine stores across the country in 

Vancouver

Calgary

Edmonton

Montreal

,

Quebec City

Ottawa

 and 

Toronto

 (

Bloor Street

, Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale). In early 2013, Holt Renfrew launched hr2, 

Canada's

 first premium off-price concept, offering leading brands and on-trend styles at irresistible prices. Visit us at 

www.holtrenfrew.com

.

Holt 

Renfrew

 and 

Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. collection

, are part of Selfridges Group Limited. With extensive know-how and experience in operating luxury fashion retail stores, the Selfridges Group owns and operates leading heritage banners in key markets around the world, including Brown Thomas in 

Ireland

; de Bijenkorf in 

The Netherlands

; Holt Renfrew and 

Ogilvy, part of the Holt Renfrew & Co. collection

in 

Canada

, and Selfridges in the

United Kingdom

. Selfridges Group Limited is a family owned business, 

W. Galen Weston

 is Chairman.

SOURCE Holt Renfrew

Subscribe to RETAIL INSIDER

* indicates required


 

 

MONTREAL'S OGILVY PROJECT IS DELAYED

Combined Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew/hotel/condo tower. Rendering: Carolyne Loubert

A project that could have seen the amalgamation of Montreal's Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew stores has been delayed. The building's owner, Selfridge's Group, is reevaluating plans to demolish an adjacent hotel for a new 17-story hotel and condominium tower. 

There have been rumours that Holt Renfrew's 83,000 square foot Sherbrooke Street West store would close so that a combined Holt Renfrew/Ogilvy store could operate on Sainte-Catherine Street. Holt Renfrew won't confirm these plans so we can't say that they were certain. We've been given word, however, that plans for the project, generally, will be modified. 

There's no word yet if the project's delay stems from Saks Fifth Avenue's revelation that it will open within the downtown Montreal Hudson's Bay store. Hudson's Bay is also on Sainte-Catherine Street, about 800 metres East of Ogilvy.


Proposed Holt Renfrew at Ogilvy, Avenue de la Montagne, Montreal. Rendering: Carolyne Loubert

A few months ago, we were provided with initial plans that indicated Ogilvy occupying much of its current space, with entrances to an adjacent retail space featuring an atrium and escalators. The image above reflects the exterior of the plans we viewed and, again, we're not confirming that Holt's will move beside Ogilvy. 

Holt Renfrew's Montreal store opened in 1937. Until an expansion in the mid-1990's, the store only had about 38,000 square feet of retail space over four floors. The store has expanded in stages, taking over the facades of adjacent townhomes and even expanding into a former theatre and the ground floor of an office tower. Despite the expensive additions and renovations, the store continues to be smaller and more awkwardly laid out than more contemporary Holt Renfrew flagships. 


Current Holt Renfrew store in Montreal [Image Source]

Ogilvy's 160,000 square foot store has recently seen renovations and continues to be a popular shopping destination for locals and tourists. Ogilvy was purchased by Selfridge's group in July 2011. Selfridge's Group also owns Holt Renfrew as well as Selfridge's in England, Brown Thomas in Ireland and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands. 

[Holt Renfrew website]

[Ogilvy website]

Ports1961 Closing Its Free-Standing Canadian Stores


Upscale womenswear designer Ports1961 is closing its two free-standing Canadian stores: One at 717 Burrard Street in Vancouver (already closed at press date) and another at 151 Bloor Street West in Toronto. A Ports1961 shop-in-store at Montreal's Ogilvy department store will stay open for now.

The women's label will continue to be carried in Toronto in Vancouver, both within 'The Room' at Hudson's Bay. Men's Ports1961 will be carried at selected Harry Rosen stores.

The label started in Toronto in 1961 and was called 'Newport Canada'. In 1994 the label left Canada and became a major fashion label in China, including, currently over 350 stores. In 2004, the label changed its name to Ports1961 and became headquartered in New York City.
Ports1961 boutique at 151 Bloor St W. in Toronto. Image: http://theadvocatesblog.files.wordpress.com
The label includes menswear, but the Canadian boutiques in question only carried womenswear.

In 1988, Canadian twins Dan and Dean Caten started designing for Ports International. They are now now world-renowned for their Italy-based fashion label, DSquared2.

The Toronto Ports1961 retail space will be replaced by Stuart Weitzman. We are awaiting permission to reveal the tenant which has already leased the former Vancouver Ports space. No word yet on the fate of the company as a whole.

[top image: http://mode.newslicious.net]

Ports International website: ports1961.com

DSquared2 website: www.dsquared2.com



Retail Insider on twitter: @retailinsider_

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

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

Montreal's Ogilvy to Become Holt Renfrew?


Ogilvy Project Expansion Rendering. Image: City of Montreal
An announcement will be made soon by Holt Renfrew management regarding the fate of the storied Montreal Ogilvy department store. Holt's owners purchased Ogilvy July 2011. Yesterday we posted about Holt Renfrew's introduction of a moderately-priced, mid-range chain of stores to be called hr2. Next comes speculation as to whether or not Montreal's Ogilvy department store will become a Holt Renfrew store, a combined Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew, or if the store will be kept as-is. The current Montreal Holt Renfrew at 1300 Sherbrooke Street West only includes about 64,000 square feet of retail space, while Ogilvy is considerably larger with about 147,000 square feet of retail, to be further expanded.

We have some initial renderings of the new Ogilvy project, which will include both hotel and residential condominium units. A significant retail expansion will also occur. The image at the top of this article is taken from the corner of Rue St. Catherine and de la Montaigne, showing a renovated Ogilvy building with an adjacent tower.

Below are images on the de la Montaigne side of project...

Image: City of Montreal






Image: City of Montreal

We have been asked by our Holt Renfrew insider to not announce what will happen with the Ogilvy building and its massive expansion. We can confirm that it will be grand and a welcome addition to the Montreal shopping scene. Watch this website and twitter carefully, because we also like to drop hints and clues when we're in the know. Stay tuned for a significant announcement at the corner of St. Catherine and de la Montaigne in Montreal!

Ogilvy webiste: ogilvycanada.com

Holt Renfrew website: www.holtrenfrew.com


Retail Insider on twitter: @retailinsider_

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

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

Holt Renfrew Launches Discount Store Called hr2

Rendering of First hr2 at Quartier DIX30, Montreal
This morning Holt Renfrew announced that it will open a discount concept called hr2 March 2013 at Quartier DIX30 in Montreal and an undisclosed suburban Toronto location. The concept will include discounted designer merchandise similar to Nordstrom Rack. It should be noted that new merchandise will be included, differentiating the concept form Holt's current 'Last Call' discount concept. It is expected hr2 will have between 15 and 20 Canadian locations, generally 25,000-30,000 square feet.

hr2 will be an attempt by Holt Renfew to secure space in Canada's lucrative discount retail market, and to potentially broaden its shopping market without down-scaling its luxury department store concept.

The concept may be similar to BT2, a contemporary (lesser-priced) fashion concept developed for Ireland's Brown Thomas luxury department store. Brown Thomas and BT2 are owned by the same owners as Holts.

Holt Renfrew's growth targets are expected to increase with the implementation of this concept. The chain is hoping to reach $1billion in sales by 2015, and is expected to pull in about $800million in 2012. The hr2 chain may allow Holt's to attain and even surpass this goal.

One retail insider notes the Quartier DIX30 location was slated to be a satellite location of the Montreal-based Ogilvy department store. After Ogilvy was purchased by Holt Renfrew, it was speculated that Holt Renfrew would close its Sherbrooke Street W. location and relocate to the current 180,000 square foot Ogilvy building. We cannot confirm at this time that this will happen, though our insider at Holt Renfrew corporate office tells us to watch for that and other interesting Holt Renfrew-related announcements.

Holt Renfrew website: www.holtrenfrew.com


Retail Insider on twitter: @retailinsider_

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

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

$300million Holt Renfrew Expansion Will Be Largest in Company History

Holt Renfrew will spend over $300 million expanding total store square footage by about 40% by the end of 2015. Several stores are slated for significant expansions and we're giving you the preliminary breakdown, Canada-coast-to-coast. 

Holt Renfrew has nine full-line stores in Canada, ranging between about 32,000 sq ft and 180,000 sq ft. We have an 'insider' working at Holt Renfrew's corporate office in Toronto, confirming significant expansion plans for several Holt Renfrew stores. In summary: 

Vancouver BC: This 137,000 square foot store may (possibly) be expanded by about 40,000 square feet by annexing space currently occupied by a two-level sports retailer, as well as some current mall space. The configuration could include some storage space, opening the possibility of a top-level restaurant that had initially been planned for this store when it opened in 2007. It should be noted that this is only being investigated by the retailer, and that no current negotiations with landlord Cadillac Fairview are currently under way. 

Calgary, AB: This 151,000 square foot store includes about 30,000 square feet of unused fourth-floor space that may be opened up to include a spa/salon, restaurant and personal shopping suites. The store currently only uses about 120,000 square feet of its 151,000 square foot configuration of a former Sears/Eatons store.

Edmonton, AB: This 47,000 square foot store may annex 20,000 square feet on the third floor of Manulife Place. Edmonton's Holt Renfrew under-performs compared to most other locations, and its future may be uncertain. 

Toronto Bloor Street: This ~185,000 square foot store (175,926 sq ft in The Holt Renfrew Centre + 3800 sq ft ground level at 60 Bloor Street West + Personal shopping suites in the 60 Bloor tower) will lose its entire eastern-portion of retail, and will be oriented vertically over eight floors as part of a massive project we mentioned in one of our previous posts, taking this flagship to over 200,000 square feet. 

Toronto Sherway Gardens: This 33,670 sq ft store will be demolished and replaced with a 102,000 square foot store, as well as an expansion of the mall as we previously reported.

Toronto Yorkdale Shopping Centre: This 65,047 sq ft store will be expanded both Westward and via a new second-level, creating a ~120,000 square foot store as we previously reported. 

Ottawa ON: This 47,000 sq ft store may be relocated, though this is very preliminary. Holt's Ottawa struggles like the Edmonton location, and will face fierce competition once Nordstrom opens at Rideau Centre.

Montreal QC: This 83,000 sq ft store had initially been planned to expand to about 190,000 square feet. These plans were cancelled as sales in Vancouver and Calgary took off, while Montreal's continue to struggle. Regardless, Holt Renfrew will tentatively move into the ~180,000 square foot space currently occupied by the retailer Ogilvy, also owned by the parent company to Holt Renfrew. This expansion warrants a separate article to follow. 

Quebec City QC: This 32,943 square foot store is currently the smallest and worst-stocked Holt Renfrew store. It faces competition from a recently expanded La Maison Simons, and our source is unsure of the fate of this location. 

Our source also tells us Holt Renfrew management is examining replacing its trademark magenta colour scheme with something new. We fully support this endeavour, personally not liking magenta except when illuminating the exterior of Au Printemps in Paris. 

We'll update you further when we get updates! 

Holt Renfrew website: www.holtrenfrew.com

Ogilvy website: http://ogilvycanada.com/en

Louis Vuitton website: www.louisvuitton.com




Retail Insider on twitter: @retailinsider_

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

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