The intense competitive pressures that have wreaked havoc on Canadian retailers in the past few years are showing no signs of slowing down.
The latest victim is Toronto-based Danier Leather Inc., a 44-year old leather-goods retailer that filed for creditor protection in early February. The chain operates more than 80 stores, all of which face the prospect of shutting down unless the company can find a buyer or investor to reverse its grim financial situation.
The potential closure would leave vacancies in most major GTA shopping centres, including the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, Square One, Fairview Mall and Scarborough Town Centre, among others.
Danier has carved out a reputation as a destination for leather goods. The brand has certainly had success within that niche, with a wide range of leather outerwear and bags, along with complementary accessories such as scarves, toques and gloves.
As frigid Canadian winters have driven consumers towards parkas and down-filled coats warm enough to get them through days when the temperature struggles to surpass -20 degrees, however, Danier has faced increasing competition from brands such as Canada Goose.
Even if the bulk of Danier’s merchandise is designed for times of year when a lighter jacket is appropriate, consumers who are shelling out hundreds of dollars on winter parkas have likely begun to think twice about spending extra cash on a new spring jacket.
It remains to be seen whether this niche Canadian chain will be rescued, or suffer the same fate as such brands as Mexx Canada and Parasuco Retail Inc.