Old Dog, New Tricks — Fashion Friday

How Holt Renfrew is investing $400 million into redefining its business.

As those who frequent Yorkdale Shopping Centre may have noticed, something is happening with multi-million-dollar luxury retail location Holt Renfrew. However, the renovations will not be centralized to that specific location: Mario Grauso, president of Holt Renfrew, announced that Holts will be undergoing a $400-million redevelopment, stating, “As the Canadian luxury retail landscape evolves, so too is Holt Renfrew. These investments will help us to enhance the first-rate, luxury shopping experience our customers expect from Holt Renfrew. We’re securing our position as a top global destination for luxury fashion and beauty products. We’re confident in our vision, strategy and team, with a renewed and unyielding focus on exclusive partnerships and curating the world’s best luxury apparel and beauty brands.” That being said, how will Holts spend that giant chunk of change?

This massive makeover will encompass renovations at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal, as well as substantial renovations to Toronto’s 50 Bloor St. W. location and a 10,000-square-foot expansion at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre location, all of which are scheduled to be completed by 2020. Holt Renfrew is also supporting new technologies that will improve and enhance customer interaction and support online capabilities, bringing Holts into the next era of luxury retail.

The renovations kicked off with the 40,000-sq.-ft. expansion of Holt Renfrew Vancouver, which was designed by Janson Goldstein and is nearly complete. The store now features a “renovated women’s footwear area that has tripled in size and an expanded beauty hall, personal shopping and men’s department.” Holt Renfrew Vancouver now also includes over 75 vendor shops boasting such houses as Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Dior and more.

Meanwhile, on Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal, the enhancements and renovations to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy will include an additional 250,000 sq. ft., making it the largest Holt Renfrew in Canada. “Designed by world-renowned interior designer Jeffrey Hutchison & Associates, with support from Lemay, a Montreal-based architectural firm, the store is adding an expanded beauty hall, leather goods shop and an enhanced women’s footwear department.” Each location will receive enhancements based on its perceived needs, putting that $400-million budget to good use.

The manner in which consumers approach the marketplace has been changing for some time now, so Holt Renfrew has decided to change with it. They believe that “while bricks and mortar stores will always be the cornerstone of the business, investing in new technologies will increase and enhance the ways in which the company interacts with customers. Holt Renfrew is updating its entire online presence, including various categories being made available for purchase through ecommerce. These new technologies will be integrated into existing customer touch points, including the Holt Renfrew magazine.”


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Bianca Ricci

Bianca Ricci