Battle of the department stores…continued

The Bay has stepped up its offense in the battle of Canada’s department stores, announcing on Wednesday that it’s bringing popular U.K.-based retailer Topshop to Canada.

The Bay has earned the Canadian franchise rights for Topshop women’s clothing stores and Topman men’s apparel stores, including the rights for both boutiques within Bay locations and standalone stores.

Topshop, which is known for trendy, affordable fashions, is well known among most Canadians who have been shopping in the U.K. The introduction of this label to Bay stores will certainly attract a slew of young shoppers who likely didn’t previously consider the department store a destination for fashion.

This quest to attract new customers comes about two months after The Bay’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co., announced a deal to sell the store leases of its Zellers chain to U.S.-based retail powerhouse Target Corp. Target’s pending arrival has existing department stores in Canada scrambling to prepare for the new competition.

Walmart, for instance, has since announced plans to beef up its presence in this country. And Sears is working to expand its apparel offerings.

The Bay’s Topshop announcement is the latest in this string of competitive moves, and will definitely help it maintain market share in the apparel business once Target arrives in 2013.

Indeed, Bay president and CEO Bonnie Brooks called the deal a step towards establishing the department store that delivers “the ultimate fashion experience for our savvy clientele.”

Under the deal, as many as 50 Topshop and Topman men’s apparel stores will open in Canada in the years to come.

Toronto shoppers will have the first opportunity to browse Topshop’s offerings, with the first Canadian boutique set to open in a Toronto Bay location this fall. Let the countdown begin!


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Filed under Boutiques, Clothing Lines, Department Stores & Big Boxes, Fashion

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