SOURCE: RETAIL INSIDER
Landlord Ivanhoé Cambridge has announced a partnership with Birks that will see five new jewellery store locations open within its malls. Two stores will be new locations, and three will be relocations within existing centres, reflecting Birks’ newest store concept.
The two new Birks stores will be at Oshawa Centre in Oshawa, Ontario and at Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, British Columbia. Both stores will open in October.
The three Birks stores that will be relocated within existing Ivanhoé Cambridge malls include Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa, Southgate Centre in Edmonton, and Place Ste-Foy in Quebec City. As part of the deal, leases at these centres were renewed for the long term.
All five stores stores will be designed around a “monobrand” concept, exclusively offering customers Birks collection products in about 1,100 square feet each. The Bayshore, Southgate and Place Ste-Foy units currently occupy larger spaces in their respective centres, and offer a variety of upscale designers as well as the Birks brand. The Bayshore Birks is currently 2,530 square feet, the Southgate Birks is 2,915 square feet, and the Place Ste-Foy store spans 2,365 square feet.
All stores will offer Birks’ most popular collections, including silver, gold and diamond jewellry, along with diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. The new stores’ design is inspired by the very latest concept developed by Birks, which was unveiled at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in October of 2016.
“We are pleased to announce the opening of new stores in partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge, which will enable us to expand Birks’ visibility in Canada with a store format tailored to each regional market,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Birks. “The construction of new stores reflects our desire to constantly stay attuned to the preferences of our customers across the country, and the choice of the monobrand format is in line with our goal of continuing to grow the Birks brand.”
Birks is funding its new store initiative with proceeds from the recent sale of its US operations. Last month, Birks divested its Mayor’s Jewellers division to Aurum Holdings Ltd. of the UK for about US $104.6 million and as part of the agreement, Birks products will be carried at some of Aurum’s stores overseas.
Birks operates 26 stores under the Birks brand in most major metropolitan markets in Canada and two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus nameplate. It was founded in 1879. Mayors was founded in 1910 and operates 16 stores in Florida and Georgia under the Mayors brand and one store under the Rolex brand name. Birks will continue operating Mayors until the deal closes this fall.
*Editor’s note: Birks is represented in Canada by Jeff Berkowitz of brokerage Aurora Realty Consultants.