“While the stores performed well and these communities were cherished, it was ultimately concluded that Holt Renfrew’s enhanced specialty luxury business model requires a significantly larger store footprint in any target market and a deep assortment across a wide array of its core brand partners,” the retailer said in a statement.
Company president Mark Derbyshire added, “Holt Renfrew employees in these markets have been devoted through many successful years, and we are dedicated to supporting them through this transition.”
Holt Renfrew, founded in 1837 as a hat shop in Quebec City. The retailer operates three stores in Toronto and one each in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver. The $300 million expansion will focus on the Toronto and Montreal markets and result in a 40 percent increase in square footage, from 800,000 to more than 1.2 million, the company said.
The expansion includes a dedicated men’s store scheduled to open this fall at 100 Bloor Street West in Toronto, down the street from the Holt Renfrew flagship and across the street from rival Harry Rosen. A 120,000 sq. ft. store at Square One in Mississauga (near Toronto) is scheduled to open in 2016 and a 200,000 sq. ft. store in Montreal is scheduled to open by the end of 2017.