The expansion of Aritzia to encompass the corner of Robson and Thurlow was unveiled today, and the wait was well worth it. Spacious and airy with an abundance of greenery, the boutique is well-laid out and inviting.
The interior is clean and crisp with a chic feel and flooded with natural sunlight. This 4,800 square foot expansion brings Aritzia and the Wilfred boutiques to over 13,000 square feet of shopping heaven for those who were patiently waiting outside, as the construction workers were packing away their tools.
Vancity Buzz had the opportunity to speak with Oliver Walsh, Chief Marketing Officer of Aritzia, and he generously offered up insight into the newest addition to the company portfolio.
As the Robson expansion makes strategic sense, how do you feel about taking over a majority of the block?
We’re very excited about the Aritzia Robson takeover as it will be our largest single level store. It is especially significant as it is in our hometown of Vancouver. As opposed to simply expanding Aritzia’s existing store, the store will celebrate the evolution and differences of our brands.
The expansion will be similar to a contemporary art gallery, allowing the diffused natural light from the north to fill the open space. Our boutique designs will mirror that of the Robson location with very unique design elements such as an indoor raised garden, marble slab wall, prototype merchandising fixtures, curated art pieces, and a gentle cast-in-place concrete ramp.
Will this be a flagship location for Aritzia?
This will be our flagship for the Canadian West Coast. Last May we celebrated the opening of our Ste. Catherine boutique in Montreal, which is our flagship in Quebec. We will be celebrating expansions and new boutiques in Toronto before the year ends.
How will this space differentiate between the exclusive in-house brands?
The Robson Street Aritzia boutique, with over 13,000 square feet of retail space, features a number of anchoring design elements delineating our exclusive collections.
How will the experience for shoppers be accentuated within the new expansion? Especially with the increasingly popular in-house brands.
We pride ourselves on creating immersive, human, and highly personalized customer service, by delivering truly world-class, memorable shopping experiences. We strive for what we call ‘the best of boutique’: the artistic touches, the multi-layered environment, the music, the highest quality natural materials, all of which we feel will be achieved through the new Robson boutique concept. To add to this, we will also be enhancing our customers’ experience with the introduction of the Apple pay program.
Wondering what’s next for Aritzia? In 2016, Aritzia has 13 projects on the go in Canada. The initial Robson expansion, a relocation in Metrotown, a new boutique in Tsawwassen Mills, and an expected total of 61 boutiques in Canada by the year’s end.