Analysis: Holt Renfrew to Close its Smaller Stores Amid Increased Competition
Holt Renfrew has announced that it will close its small Ottawa and Quebec City locations early next year, and we think that more Holt Renfrew store closures could follow. The company will instead concentrate on operating larger locations in just five Canadian cities. This strategy could be in response to expected competition from Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, both opening Canadian locations over the next several years. It appears that Holt Renfrew’s strategy is to build stores in excess of 100,000 square feet, calling into the question the future of two Holt Renfrew locations not discussed in other media sources.
Holt Renfrew locations to close at the end of January, 2015:
Holt Renfrew’s 36,000 square foot Ottawa store is located within the CD Howe Building at 240 Sparks Street. The under performing two-level location lacks many of the typical designers and concessions featured in other Holt Renfrew locations, most notably a Louis Vuitton shop. The store is about a kilometre from bustling Rideau Centre, a downtown mall which is seeing substantial renovations, as well as the addition of three new upscale anchors to be discussed below.
Holt Renfrew’s 33,000 square foot Quebec City store, located at the Place Ste-Foy shopping centre, also lacks many of the upscale brands featured in Holt Renfrew’s larger, more successful stores. Holt Renfrew was founded in Quebec City in 1837, and was originally a hat shop. At one time, Holt Renfrew had three smaller Quebec City stores, including a downtown location on Rue Baude and a store within the iconic Chateau Frontenac Hotel.
Holt Renfrew locations with an uncertain future:
We already know that Holt Renfrew’s current 84,000 square foot Montreal store, at 1300 Sherbrooke Street West, will close in 2017. It will be replaced…
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