Upscale U. S. retailer is now
at local mall (con't)

In Windsor, the boutique is located in the women’s fashion section on the first floor to the right of the escalators coming in from the mall entrance.

“Lord & Taylor and The Bay will maintain their distinct identities and nameplates while leveraging the merchandising strengths of the organizations to improve and accelerate their continued growth,” HBC said at the time of Lord & Taylor’s purchase.

The result, in part, is boutiques like this, said a Toronto-based retail analyst.

John Torella of J.C. Williams Group said that besides the bricks and mortar purchase of Lord & Taylor stores across the U.S., including in metro Detroit, the company purchased “brand equity” in the name which would resonate with Canadian consumers.

There are no Lord & Taylor stores in Canada.

Torella said HBC therefore “parlayed” the equity this into a line of fashion apparel – as can be viewed on HBC’s consumer website – and now at small shops within HBC stores.

He said this has taken place over roughly the last half year.

A spokeswoman for HBC did not respond to requests for comment.

“They’re extending (the brand) now into shops within the Bay stores, and that seems to be a fairly major commitment to them,” Torella said.

He said the boutiques are not just in any store.

“They have to have a trade area that will support them in terms of the fashion attitude because it’s pretty well contemporary fashion, and it’s not inexpensive, so they’re not going to put them into every market across the country.”

While HBC’s boutiques are focussed on women’s merchandise Lord & Taylor in the United States sells both women’s and men’s goods and apparel.

Local shoppers may be familiar with the concept.

Sears’ Devonshire Mall store had a boutique selling U.S. casual clothing retailer Land’s End merchandise.

Sears bought Land’s End in 2002 but as its general sales woes have multiplied in recent years the company spun off the retailer in March.

Torella said while the boutiques were attractive Sears never provided sufficient merchandising and advertising to support it.

“That whole thing was just a colossal failure,” he said.


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