Canada’s luxury retail market takes off as brands flock to cities

Toronto was one of the top 10 cities in the world last year for luxury store openings

Nearly 40% of the about 50 new international retailers that entered Canada last year are considered to be in the luxury segment. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Whether you’re in the market for a new $2 million Swiss watch or just window shopping, it’s pretty hard to miss a new global luxury retailer setting up shop in one of Canada’s high-end shopping streets these days.

There’s has been an influx of luxury brands opening flagship stores in major urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver over the last couple of years, with some of notables being French fashion houses Chanel, Hermèsand Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille.

In fact, nearly 40 per cent of the about 50 new international retailers that entered Canada last year are considered to be in the luxury segment of the market, according to Retail Insider.

The industry publication has been tracking national store openings for the last five years.

“In my neighbourhood of Bloor Street and Yorkville, we’re seeing this absolute explosion right now of luxury brands,” said Craig Patterson, president of Retail Insider, referring to two high-end shopping areas in Toronto.

A combination of increasing wealth, tourism and more affordable prime retail property have made Canada one of the top destinations for luxury retailers, according to analysts.

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