Canadian luxury department store chain Holt Renfrew has opened its first men's store – a destination defined by an extensive spectrum of services devised to create a highly personalised retail experience for modern men.
The store, located in downtown Toronto, boasts a relatively traditional masculine aesthetic. This is accomplished via a sweeping monochromatic palette and smaller propping details, such as furniture upholstery made from suiting fabric in the dressing rooms, and sports memorabilia from the collection of Conn Smythe – former owner of Canadian ice hockey team the Toronto Maple Leafs. This includes a scaled replica of the Stanley Cup (a trophy from the National Hockey League championships) and a pair of American boxing legend Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves.
The most significant feature of the two-storey, 16,500 sq ft store is a glass-walled tailoring atelier on the second floor, operated by bespoke heritage garment brand Walter Beauchamp Tailors. This allows shoppers to see the skilled artisans behind some of the most accomplished items in the store at work. For more on the value of putting the production process centre stage, see Show & Tell Retail: Revealing the Product Journey and Co-Creation & Experimentation in our Future of the Store Industry Trend. Also look out for our Insider Access report, publishing in November 2014.
The store also includes an expansive footwear boutique and suites for private, personalised shopping. Other services include complimentary alterations, shoe shining, a cobbler, on-site monogramming, a valet and a doorman. Occasional sales of additional, non-apparel items, such as a Ferrari 358 Italia luxury sports car, are being used to add extra buzz to the shop floor.
Holt Renfrew, which is owned by luxury British department store chain Selfridges, is responding to the overall boom in the menswear market, as identified in our reports Selling Style: New Masculinity and How to Sell to Modern Men – but particularly the Canadian market. According to Canadian research group NPD Canada, menswear sales in the country have grown by 2% over the past year, in comparison to a stagnant womenswear sector.