Holt Renfrew enters the off-price fray with hr2
Holt Renfrew isn’t taking the American retail invasion lightly. The luxury retailer has announced plans to open an off-price offshoot called hr2 that will carry lower-priced styles and excess inventory from all but one of Holt Renfrew’s top 50 designer brands. The first hr2 stores will open in Brossard, Quebec, and a mystery Ontario location in March 2013, sending a clear message to incoming retailers Target and Nordstrom (arriving in 2013 and 2014, respectively) that it intends to remain competitive in a more crowded market. (In fact, the new format mimics Nordstrom’s moves south of the border with its discount arm, Rack.) Holt’s will also convert its Last Call outlet into an hr2, switching the focus to new merchandise rather than last season’s clearance items—though reportedly there will still be a few bargain racks to sift through. [Globe and Mail]
8 thoughts on “Holt Renfrew enters the off-price fray with hr2”
It’s about time! Holts is obviously a premium retailer, but turning a blind eye to competition for more accessible fashion – at a wide variety of price points – would be a death sentence for this staple Canadian company. Let’s face it, not everyone can splurge on $400 denim and dresses, especially, in this economy. But Holts decision to embrace market change and remain competitive proves this company is smart, adaptable, and unlike similar luxury retailers who have fallen to the wayside, noses turned up to the average Canadian consumer. I only hope that HR2 is located in a neighborhood – NOT THE EATON CENTRE – when in opens in Toronto. Queen West could use a larger anchor like this… Maybe it could even prompt some street beautification to the likes of Bloor.
I was going to ask about Last Call! I swear I was! About two sentences in. And then BOOM! I got my answer.
Great idea, would be devastating to see Holt’s lose it’s prominence due to encroaching competition. I as well definitely hope they choose to be a destination shoppe, rather than settle for a mall. Unfortunate on the name choice though, too similar Crate & Barrel’s discount option.
So why didn’t this “up-the-ass-class-artsy-fartsy” HR retail store do this earlier. Oh wait – – it’s called COMPETITION. It’s amazing what a nickel and dime store like Walmart and/or Target can do to the Canadian retail landscape. Quel suprise !!!
the proof will be in the pudding. let’s wait and see before we go ga-ga.
Logistically it would make more sense to put it in Eaton’s Centre because of all the existing foot traffic. Plus the mall does get tour busses in the summertime. So I dunno.
Rumour has it, that it will be located at the Shops at Don Mills.
The name is horrible. And they should be scared of actual Nordstrom stores, not their shabby Rack offshoot.
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