For young professional gentleman dressing to impress, one name has stood out for decades: Harry Rosen. We love it for the custom-tailored suits, ahead-of-the-game eye for style and, perhaps most of all, attention to detail when it comes to making you look your best. Stepping foot inside Harry Rosen isn’t just a retail exchange; it’s an experience, one where the final transaction is just the final piece of a made-to-fit styling process.
Harry Rosen further cemented its iconic name in the high-end menswear world with the opening of the revamped Harry Rosen flagship store yesterday morning at Toronto’s Eaton Centre. The cutting of the ribbon marks the start of an aggressive expansion by Harry Rosen in Toronto, and soon across the country, following a record year for the high-end men’s clothing company in 2011. In addition to the new Eaton Centre store location, we can expect a renovation at First Canadian Place set to open later this month, and a 30,000 square-foot store at Yorkdale Mall in 2013.
The progressive initiative is two-fold; to keep pace with Harry Rosen’s ever-growing brand and to keep up with the economic growth and development Toronto has enjoyed in recent years. Though the high-end menswear market hasn’t necessarily expanded, Harry Rosen’s market definitely has.
The original Eaton Centre location was launched in 1979, when the iconic mall was in its second year of existence. The new, almost 20,000-square foot store overlooks Queen and Yonge Streets on the upper level of the mall and has a distinctly urban feel, providing a completely unique shopping experience to keep with the now modern and urban environment of the mall itself. Limestone and quartz stone floors, polished nickel fixtures, and contemporary lighting provide a fresh, modern vibe. What’s best? Around 3,000 square feet of space is exclusively reserved for the convenient, state-of-the-art tailor shop.
The location features a centralized and dominant shoe area, featuring labels like Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo, an expanded tailored clothing department housing brands such as Armani Collezioni, Canali and J.P. Tilford by Samuelsohn, and an expanded dress furnishings and accessories area.
Another highlight is the designer area, showcasing labels like Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Etro and Z Zegna. Finally, for YP weekend wear, the store carries an expanded sportswear and denim department with offerings from Burberry, Moncler, Canada Goose and others. What’s in for fall? Purple, undoubtedly, as you’ll see from our photos.
Despite the growth in size, the atmosphere remains comfortable and intimate. The clothing department has a warm, residential feel with the addition of made-to-measure and private shopping suites to complete the personalized shopping experience that has become synonymous with the Harry Rosen name.
Up next for the chain’s major expansion plan is an overhaul of its First Canadian Place location in the heart of the financial district. We will see a substantial expansion to the upper level of the original store, in addition to a completely revamped lower level, adding more luxurious, contemporary space.
The upper level will feature a new modern section that adds Armani Collezioni and Z Zegna to Hugo Boss and the classic lines such as Canali, J.P. Tilford by Samuelsohn and Ermenegildo Zegna – making this the largest tailored clothing section of all of the Harry Rosen locations. The lower level will showcase an incredible dress furnishing and accessories area as well as revamped sportswear and shoe areas. White walls, limestone floors, brushed nickel fixtures and white lacquer finishes will reinvigorate the existing space, and contribute to the fresh, modern atmosphere.
Notable founder Julian Brass got a first-hand glimpse of the new Eaton Centre space when he sat down with CEO Larry Rosen yesterday, who offered a little more insight on Harry Rosen’s rapid growth, as well as some wardrobe tips for the YP gentleman.
Julian Brass: Tell us about the expansion
Larry Rosen: We decided to start with the Eaton Centre store because we wanted it to reflect Harry Rosen’s home in downtown Toronto. The Eaton Centre is iconic for the city – there is something so “Toronto” about it. With the city expanding and thriving so rapidly, Harry Rosen is going to grow along with it.
The Eaton Centre location, First Canadian Place renovation and new Yorkdale store mark the first part in our national expansion strategy. We are committed to Canada and will invest aggressively, expanding and adding new stores, and will increase our portfolio probably about 50 per cent and renew 50 per cent of our existing portfolio. We also plan on expanding in the virtual side of the business, with new strategies for the online world.
Julian Brass: Why so much growth?
Larry Rosen: We are growing in high-end men’s retail sales and customer base in general. It is important to recognize the economic growth and market share changes. A lot of players are missing the boat and we want to take advantage of our approach and leadership in the realm of quality menswear. It is all about the experience – people want an experience and that is a key element to our success. Life has become less personal, but Harry Rosen associates don’t sell items, they sell looks; they don’t sell clothes, they sell advice for men to look their best given the situation. It’s a whole experience.
Julian Brass: Any segments growing faster than ever?
Larry Rosen: We are noticing an increase in the younger demographic of 18 to 35-year-olds shopping in the store. It is a young and modern buying group who turn to us for their first business staples and weekend wear. Although they obviously have a lot smaller budget than the CEO set, catering to this younger demographic is so important to prevent the business from aging. The younger customer is the future and it is essential to build their trust.
Julian Brass: Do you have any fashion tips for the YP guy? Is there a specific go-to piece?
Larry Rosen: You get so much more out of suit or blazer if you can put it together to get 3 or 4 different looks. When purchasing a suit, consider how it works with your existing wardrobe and how to get the most out of it – you can make it look different every day of the week. The secret to dressing well is adaptability, being able to experiment and pull off different looks. Our sales people help by showing key items and how to accessorize to get the most out of it. Clothing needs to be planned it out strategically, so we coach customers on wardrobe effectiveness.
As Harry Rosen Inc. celebrates its 58th year, it has become a powerhouse in Canadian retailing with 15 stores across Canada, accounting for 40 per cent of the Canadian market in high-end menswear. With its new store locations across the country as well as an increasingly popular ecommerce site at www.harryrosen.com, we can only expect this leadership position to increase as Harry Rosen continues to offer an unmatched experience for its customers.