Tag Archives: RW&CO

Smart Set steps up its online presence

Sure enough, just a few weeks after RW & Co. launched online shopping capabilities (RW & Co., version 2.0), its sister chain Smart Set has opened an online store of its own.

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The two clothing chains are owned by Reitmans (Canada) Ltd., and are the only two banners owned by the company that haven’t had online shopping capabilities until now. So when one of the chains got a new website, I speculated that the other would be quick to follow.

The new website brings Smart Set in line with most of its competitors, as online shopping becomes an increasingly popular channel for modern-day consumers.

Although I strongly believe there will always be a place for bricks and mortar stores – especially for clothing, shoes and accessories that need to be tried on – it’s clearly becoming more important for retailers to have an online presence. Online stores provide both a cost effective sales channel for retailers, and a convenient option for busy consumers.

Given these advantages, I imagine the volume of sales taking place in this electronic channel will undoubtedly continue to grow over time.

As an incentive for shoppers to try out the new website right away, Smart Set is offering free shipping and free returns on all orders, with no minimum purchase required – but only for a limited time.

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RW & Co., version 2.0

Fashion retailer RW & Co. has finally caught up to the vast majority of its competition, with the launch of an online retail store.

The chain, which offers both men’s and women’s clothing aimed at the 25-to-35 age group, has unveiled a “special preview” of its new online store.

The early version of the site only features some of the chain’s items, however it will eventually showcase the full span of merchandise. The site’s shipping policies are fairly standard: delivery costs $7.50 within Canada – or is free to any store of choice – and returns can be made via mail or in store.

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Until now, RW & Co.’s website has been lacking in function. It featured select items from the brand’s latest collections, but didn’t provide price, colour or size information, or the ability to purchase items online.

In today’s internet-addicted society, I’m always surprised when major retailers don’t offer the ability to purchase items online. Consumers have come to expect the ability to browse items online, and to have them shipped to the address of their choice with the click of a button.

Retailers that aren’t yet offering this critical shopping channel risk falling behind their competitors, most of whom not only offer online shopping, but actively promote it through exclusive sales and deals on shipping.

I’m a bit surprised that RW hadn’t developed more of an online presence sooner, given that it’s owned by Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. – one of the largest publicly owned retailers in Canada. The company already operates an online store for its Reitmans women’s clothing chain, along with its Penningtons and Addition Elle plus-size clothing brands. Also, items from the Thyme maternity brand are available via the Babies “R” Us website.

The Smart Set women’s clothing brand, catering to younger shoppers, doesn’t offer e-commerce capabilities, however its website is much more functional than the previous RW & Co. site. The Smart Set site showcases all of the brand’s current merchandise, including price, size and colour information – enough to help shoppers decide whether it’s worth a trip to their nearest store to pick up an item.

Open-toe pump, $90.

Open-toe pump, $90.

With RW joining the ranks of Reitmans’ e-accessible brands, perhaps Smart Set will be next to get online shopping capabilities.

At RW, the launch of the new site comes as the brand also unveils a new collection of footwear. The women’s shoe collection features a small selection of dressy heels and flats in a variety of colours, and they’re among the items that are already available for purchase on the new website.

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Retail Roundup

It’s been a busy fall for Toronto’s retail scene, with plenty of new stores opening in and around the GTA. In case you haven’t been able to keep up, here’s a roundup of some of the newest shopping destinations around the city.

The city's new Ben Sherman boutique, where a launch party took place on Nov. 3rd.

  • Joe Fresh celebrated the opening of its newest domestic standalone store in October, located on Queen Street West near Portland St. in Toronto. Fans of the fashion line owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd. are thrilled with the new boutique, which is the most accessible Joe Fresh location for most downtown dwellers.
  • Also new to Queen Street West is a Ben Sherman boutique. It’s the first free-standing store in Canada for the British-based men’s line. Known for quality button-down shirts, the label also carries pants, outerwear, shoes and accessories.
  • Men’s and women’s apparel chain RW&CO. has opened a new store in Oakville Place. The chain, owned by Reitmans Canada Ltd., now operates 67 stores across Canada that target men and women between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Edmonton-based The Running Room has added two new locations to the GTA: one at Dundas and highway 403 in Oakville; and one at the Bramalea City Centre in Brampton. The chain, which specializes in shoes, apparel and accessories for runners, now has more than 110 locations – and doesn’t appear likely to run out of steam anytime soon.

That’s not all. As the weeks go by and the temperature continues to drop, more stores are set to open around the city. Here’s a couple to watch for.

  • The GTA’s newest Victoria’s Secret store is set to open this Thursday at Scarborough Town Centre. To celebrate the new location, shoppers who spend $75 or more will receive a tote bag filled with goodies. And, shoppers wanting to get in touch with their inner angel can have their photo taken at the mall’s centre court on Thursday and Friday.
  • Later in the month, a new Danier store will open in Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. Specializing in leather apparel and accessories, the chain has more than 90 locations across the country – and the newest one will arrive just in time for the chilliest time of year, when many GTA shoppers will no doubt be in the market for a new jacket.

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A special occasion at RW&CO.

The north end of the Toronto Eaton Centre was buzzing last night, thanks to a party going down at RW&CO. The retailer was promoting its new “Special Occasions” collection of dresses, targeted at bridesmaids.

The private party, hosted in partnership with Weddingbells Magazine, featured great music, delicious munchies, and plenty of wine to go around. Models showcased some of the dresses, and shoppers who purchased items from the collection received a $20 discount.

There weren’t too many shoppers around when I stopped by, but the ones who were there certainly seemed to be embracing the new dress collection.

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The dresses are cute, and very affordable by bridesmaid dress standards, ranging from about $78-$98 in price. The collection also features a range of cute accessories, like clutches, jewellery and hair accessories.

The selection, however, is pretty limited. The spring collection features about eight styles of dresses, and a narrow palette of colours which primarily includes shades of mauve, grey and navy blue.

Given the picky nature of many brides when planning for their big day, this collection will definitely not suit all tastes. But it’s worth checking out!

If you’re interested, contact one of RW&CO.’s bridal consultants for assistance.

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