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Business in Vancouver

Expanded Chanel store in Canada sells US$3 million broach

'Boutique is for the wealthy Chinese shopper who has more money than God' say retail analysts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 1:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 June, 2016, 1:19pm

Chanel has more than doubled the size of its Vancouver presence and now operates its second-largest store in Canada in Vancouver inside high-end Canadian chain store Holt Renfew.

The French luxury brand held a launch event June 7 to mark expanding its store to 5,060 square feet up from the previous 1,900 square feet.

The most striking thing in the newly expanded store is Canada’s only Chanel fine-jewelry boutique.

The event gave visitors a chance to view items for sale, such as a US$3 million broach and several other pieces of jewelry that were also priced at more than US$1 million.

“Chanel is obviously a very expensive brand but in their fine jewelry boutiques, the prices are off the charts,” said retail analyst and Retail Insider Media owner Craig Patterson.

“The boutique is for the wealthy Chinese shopper who is coming in, or living in Vancouver, and has more money than God and is buying crazy purchases at Chanel.”

Patterson said that he thought a stand-alone Chanel store would work in Vancouver even though the company’s past effort at a stand-alone store ended in failure. It operated a store for 10 years at 900 West Hastings until it left in mid-2010 to move to Holt Renfrew.

Having boutiques inside the department store chain, however, has recently been Chanel’s preferred retail strategy. The company operates small stores inside Holt Renfrew in Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

Chanel's 3,000-square-foot store inside Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre has a separate entrance but is still technically also inside a Holt Renfrew. 

That only leaves the 7,300-square-foot, stand-alone store on Bloor Street in Toronto, which is not inside one of the outlets.

Chanel plans to close that Bloor Street store early next year and replace it with an 8,700-square-foot store in Toronto’s Yorkville district, Patterson said.