Hugo Boss Expands Canadian Presence with Ecommerce Site Launch

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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Upscale German fashion brand Hugo Boss is growing its direct-to-consumer operations in Canada with the launch of its first dedicated Canadian website. The brand also operates a network of stores in this country as well as wholesale accounts in major retailers.

Hugo Boss says that its new Canadian website offers the largest assortment of both of its core brands, BOSS and HUGO, complementing its brick-and-mortar stores. “With more people than ever making their fashion purchases online, it is important for us to give our customers the opportunity to shop from home,” said Endre Pech, Managing Director for Hugo Boss Canada. Pech explained that Boss’ “digital first” approach is important especially as some consumers stay away from physical stores. We recently reported that online shopping in Canada has more than doubled since March of this year after many stores closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CANADIAN HUGO BOSS WEBSITE OFFERS RAPID SHIPPING AND FREE RETURNS

The Hugo Boss website aims to be simple to use while offering rapid shipping as well as free returns. Local payment methods are being accepted on the website as well.

The company is rapidly growing its international online presence. Until recently, Hugo Boss had websites catering to 15 countries including the United States, UK, Germany, France, and China. The latest expansion sees an additional 24 countries added to the list, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Portugal.

“The importance of digital distribution channels for the global apparel industry is growing rapidly. The coronavirus crisis has further accelerated the trend,” said Matthew Dean, Global Director of e-commerce at Hugo Boss. He went on to say that his company is rolling out online stores globally as quickly as possible.

Hugo Boss had been working on the online rollout for several years according to one source familiar with the company. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen retailers move faster than ever to get online, in some cases accelerating what would have taken years in a matter of a few months.

SCREENSHOT OF NEW CANADIAN HUGO BOSS ECOMMERCE SITE

HUGO BOSS ECOMMERCE SITE GROWS CORPORATE PRESENCE IN CANADA ALONGSIDE NATIONWIDE STORES

The new website grows Hugo Boss’ corporate presence in Canada, which also includes a network of stores across the country. That includes a flagship store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre that opened about a year ago, replacing a standalone store on Bloor Street West that shuttered after almost a decade on the street. The Yorkdale flagship showcases Hugo Boss’ most updated store design which features a brighter and more casual tone with white walls and wood accents.

The West Edmonton Mall Hugo Boss store also unveiled an updated interior after a renovation last year. In the Vancouver area, Hugo Boss operates stores at CF Pacific Centre, Oakridge Centre, CF Richmond Centre, and an outlet at the McArthur Glen designer outlet mall near Vancouver International Airport. In Calgary, Hugo Boss operates a store at CF Chinook Centre as well as an outlet store at CrossIron Mills. In the Toronto area, Hugo Boss operates stores at Yorkdale as well as at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Square One, and outlet stores at Vaughan Mills and Toronto Premium Outlets. A Boss outlet operates at the Outlet Collection at Niagara near Niagara Falls. In the Montreal area, Hugo Boss operates an outlet store at the Montreal Premium Outlets.

Hugo Boss shop-in-stores can also be found in upscale retailers such as Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew. Stocklists include upscale retailers across the country, with Hudson’s Bay carrying the brand in several of its better stores.

In many respects, Hugo Boss is following the trend of brands targeting consumers directly at an unprecedented time. Some multi-brand stores are struggling and in some cases are finding it challenging to fulfill orders amid financial and insurance challenges. Rather than rely on wholesale, many brands are now focusing on direct retail channels and it’s a trend that we’ll see continue for the foreseeable future. The future of retail, as a result, could be fewer multi-brand retailers including department stores which have for the most part lost relevance in North America.

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