Thinking of taking a cross border trip to do some shopping? Before making plans, make sure that the retailers that you are heading out to visit haven’t already set up shop in your own neighbourhood. Here are a few recent additions to the Canadian retail landscape that you may want to check out on your next shopping excursion:
With shops in over 50 countries, Massimo Dutti opened its first North American outpost in the Eaton Centre late this August. The Spanish chain which belongs to the same parent company as Zara, can be viewed as its more sophisticated sibling. Located on the third floor, the 5000 square foot concept store offers clothing for both women and men of a higher quality than that found at Zara with a higher price point to match. The overall vibe is city sophisticate with a nod to country club chic. In contrast to Zara’s merchandise which is always on trend, Massimo Dutti offers up a decidedly more classic selection making it a great place to find that versatile purse, classic leather jacket or perfectly cut blazer that will carry you through this season and many to follow.
Also appearing in Eaton Centre this fall was the first international location for Ann Taylor. Moving into the third floor, Ann Taylor can count J. Crew, Massimo Dutti and the Apple Store as neighbours. The brand is making an aggressive foray into Canadian territory with a second location opening at Yorkdale later this year and an Ann Taylor Loft schedule to open shortly thereafter. If you aren’t anywhere near Toronto but would like to get in on the action, the retailer is currently working on expanding its e-commerce offerings in Canada – look out for a launch in the spring of 2013. The new shop features a full range of women’s apparel, including bags, small leather goods and footwear.
Upscale American department store Nordstrom has secured four Canadian locations. The first will launch in Chinook Centre in Calgary of fall 2014 followed by Ottawa’s Rideau Centre, Vancouver’s Pacific Centre in the Spring of 2015 and Toronto’s Sherway Gardens by the end of 2016. Next up for Nordstrom is finding locations for its discount outpost, Nordstrom Rack, which they would like to launch in early 2013 in order to compete directly with Holt Renfrew’s recently announced mid range concept store, hr2.
Conversely, if you are shopping south of the border, it may feel a little bit like home when you spot popular Canadian shops such as Joe Fresh, Aritizia and Lululemon.
BY KIM ENGLAND