Tag Archives: Smart Set

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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An urban new look for an uptown retail hub

The Yonge Eglinton Centre in mid-town Toronto will soon be home to a new Urban Outfitters location, and with a major makeover looming, the complex could soon attract more big names in the retail business.

The large new two-level Urban Outfitters store is set to open in December. It will join Jacob, Smart Set, M for Mendocino and several other clothing retailers currently operating in the shopping centre.

Plans for the bright new interior for the soon-to-be-renovated Yonge Eglinton Centre.

The store arrives as RioCan embarks on a $100-million revitalization project of the Yonge-Eglinton Centre – a complex that combines office space and retail.

The project proposes to improve the existing retail space in the mall by making it brighter, more visually appealing and easier to navigate, and by adding more gathering places and seating.

The project will also add a modern new section of retail space, called ‘The Cube’, which will feature three levels of shops in a glass structure offering an abundance of natural light.

Altogether, the renovation will add 40,000 square feet of new space to the complex. The proposal is ambitious, but if RioCan pulls it off as planned, it will freshen up a part of the city that could certainly use a modern new look.

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