Louis Vuitton Opens Impressive Yorkdale Flagship Store in Toronto [Photos]

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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LVMH-owned French luxury brand Louis Vuitton opened a flagship store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Friday of last week. The impressive store spanning nearly 10,000 square feet features a first-in-Canada LED facade that changes colour as well as artwork and a unique selection of Louis Vuitton product for women and men. The standalone store is part of a bigger investment by Louis Vuitton in the Canadian market as the company continues to open standalone stores.

The Yorkdale Louis Vuitton spans 9,800 square feet, with an interior retail space spanning about 6,500 square feet, according to the company. The store is located in a prominent corner location in the mall near several other luxury brands. The Yorkdale flagship houses ready-to-wear clothing for men and women as well as bags, accessories, jewellery, travel items, fragrances, and footwear.

YORKDALE LOUIS VUITTON WILL FEATURE EXCLUSIVE PRODUCT & PRE-LAUNCHES OF UPCOMING COLLECTIONS

Given the clustering of luxury brands at Yorkdale which brings in high-end shoppers, the Louis Vuitton store will feature exclusive product and pre-launches of upcoming collections and capsules.

Louis Vuitton’s first ‘high jewellery’ collection pre-launched in the Yorkdale store around ‘Vivienne’, Louis Vuitton’s house mascot. Other luxury retailers at Yorkdale were said to be showcasing their own pricey jewellery collections after seeing what Louis Vuitton was showcasing in its store over the weekend. On its opening day, the Yorkdale Louis Vuitton store is said to have run up nearly $500,000 in sales — an impressive sum given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other collections in the Yorkdale Louis Vuitton store include the women’s ready-to-wear ‘SINCE 1854’ capsule collection, the men’s Louis Vuitton LVÇ capsule collection in collaboration with Japanese artist Nigo®, and the unisex LV Volt jewelry collection.

A bespoke offering at the Yorkdale store includes a selection of Louis Vuitton’s most exceptional hand-crafted hard-sided trunks, exotic leather goods, and pieces from the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection. Customization and personalization is also an important part of the store experience, including an on-site hotstamping service which offers clients the opportunity to personalize a variety of leather goods, and a fragrance engraving service which allows for the customization of an assortment of fragrance bottles within the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection.

The Yorkdale Louis Vuitton store is hard to miss for those passing by. A grand facade is wrapped with an illuminated two-storey LED screen that feature animations of Louis Vuitton’s monogram flower motif in ever-changing colours. The facade is punctuated with dramatic double-height display windows which showcase product from the store in a busy area of the mall. The facade alone is said to have cost in excess of $1-million to build.

The store is split up into men’s and women’s areas, with two separate entrances. The women’s entrance at the corner of the store features a double-height atrium with a skylight and canopy of Concertina Shades by Raw Edges from the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection which hangs over the top. The men’s entrance at the south end of the store facing into the mall features a sweeping wooden ceiling leading into the more masculine space. The men’s and women’s sections are separated by a retail space including the ‘travel room’ which is decorated with a luggage-tag wall in locally inspired colours, as well as a watches and jewelry display featuring a backlit mesh screen.

Columns throughout the store are wrapped in emblematic Louis Vuitton leathers with stitching, while floors are finished in limestone and oak wood.

Local artists created pieces for the new store. Canadian artist Rebecca Bayer created a bespoke ceramic tile art piece, with wall art inspired by Toronto-based street artist BirdO. Sculptural tables were created by Floris Wubben, rounded chairs were created by Pierre Paulin, petrified wood tables were designed by Andrianna Shamaris, and a display table was created by Carlo Mollino, and seating from the House’s archival collection.

A large sculpture of cherries by Japanese artist and Louis Vuitton collaborator Takashi Murakami serves as a whimsical centerpiece, while a Tiles La Samaritaine art piece adorns the space as well. Seating in the store is from Louis Vuitton’s archival collection.

Toronto-based dkstudio designed the Yorkdale Louis Vuitton store.

OTHER RETAILERS MOVED TO MAKE ROOM FOR LOUIS VUITTON AT YORKDALE

To make room for Louis Vuitton, retailers at Yorkdale such as Tumi, Spring, and Indochino relocated while Thomas Sabo shut its Yorkdale store several months ago. Italian luxury brand Mr. and Mrs. Italy is located next door, and across from the new Louis Vuitton is Ladurée, Sephora, and Zara. Other nearby luxury retailers include Saint Laurent and Richemont Group’s clustering of jewellery and watch brands. The hall southward, toward the recently opened Furla store, will also be positioned to house luxury retailers, according to sources at Yorkdale’s landlord Oxford Properties. Already, hoarding is up for Canada’s first standalone Thom Browne store and an Italian brand will soon be announced for the space next to Louis Vuitton’s men’s entryway. Recently the former Links of London space across from the new Louis Vuitton was leased to a luxury beauty and fragrance brand which will open its first Canadian storefront next year.

RED ARROW INDICATES THE LOCATION OF LOUIS VUITTON FLAGSHIP IN YORKDALE

Louis Vuitton has operated a 4,000-square-foot concession at Yorkdale’s Holt Renfrew store for about a decade, and the boutique will remain open. Sources say that the Yorkdale Holt Renfrew Louis Vuitton concession was the highest-selling Louis Vuitton location in Canada last year with sales “well above $40 million a year”, outperforming larger standalone Louis Vuitton ‘Maisons’ on Bloor Street in downtown Toronto as well as on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. Holt Renfrew will likely see less revenue in 2020 and 2021 at Yorkdale given the expansive assortment in the standalone unit in the mall — part of Holt Renfrew’s business model is to provide leased space to luxury brands while collecting a percentage of sales as rent.

Louis Vuitton has been investing heavily in its Canadian operations over the past several years, most recently having opened two standalone stores in Alberta. In October of 2018, Louis Vuitton opened a standalone 4,500-square-foot store at Calgary’s CF Chinook Centre, while at the same time shutting its concession space within the Holt Renfrew store in downtown Calgary. In Edmonton, Louis Vuitton opened a standalone 4,600-square-foot store at West Edmonton Mall in June of 2019 and shuttered its concession at the downtown Edmonton Holt Renfrew store. Holt Renfrew closed on January 11th of this year partly because of Louis Vuitton’s exit from the store.

Louis Vuitton also recently made a major investments in Vancouver where it operates a 10,000-square-foot ‘Maison’ flagship at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver facing onto Burrard Street. At the nearby Holt Renfrew store, Louis Vuitton expanded the men’s concession to house ready-to-wear clothing as well as footwear, bags, and accessories. A women’s ready-to-wear boutique was added on the third floor of Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew store several months ago — both are firsts for Canada for Louis Vuitton and Holt Renfrew. A Vuitton bag and accessory concession on the main level luxury hall at Holts is also quite large and last year was said to sell more bags than the standalone Vuitton flagship with a 730 Burrard Street address.

In Montreal, Louis Vuitton opened a replacement store at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in the spring. The concession is located in a corner space on the main floor of Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, facing both Ste-Catherine Street West as well as Rue de la Montagne. In Toronto, Louis Vuitton opened a 2,650-square-foot accessory concession on the main level of Holt Renfrew’s 50 Bloor Street West store in November of 2018, replacing a smaller location nearby within the flagship store. It was part of an overhaul of the main floor of Holts, which has become something of a luxury brand mall with several significant luxury boutiques operating within. Nearby at 150 Bloor Street West, Louis Vuitton operates an 18,000-square-foot ‘Maison’ which spans two levels.

Louis Vuitton once operated a 2,500-square-foot boutique at the Cascade Plaza shopping centre in downtown Banff, Alberta. The boutique opened in 1996 and closed in May 2011.

Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s top-selling luxury brands, with sales well surpassing $10 billion annually. Top rivals include Chanel and Gucci, with Hermes also seeing billions of dollars a year in sales. At least one more standalone Louis Vuitton store is said to be coming to a major Canadian city and we’ll update readers when more details are available.

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