Holt Renfrew announced today the launch of a new, lower-priced chain of stores next year. Called “hr2”, the new concept will offer men’s and women’s apparel, footwear and accessories at lower price points than Holt Renfrew customers are accustomed to shelling out at the luxury department store. There won’t be any overlap between the merchandise sold at the two chains, but hr2 will be stocking exclusive product lines and diffusion labels designed by many of the designers whose main lines can be found at Holt Renfrew.
“We can deliver this new concept because of the strong and enduring relationships we have with the world’s leading brands,” said Heather Arts, vice president of hr2. “The depth and breadth of our brand portfolios is impressive. Not all of it fits within the Holt Renfrew luxury model, and they see this as an ideal opportunity to further extend the market reach of their brands in Canada.”
The first hr2 location is set to open in Montreal’s Quartier DIX30 shopping centre in March 2013, with a second, unidentified location, to follow in Ontario. Rumour has it that the lone Holt Renfrew Last Call, located at Vaughan Mills, will be converted from a clearance outlet to the new hr2 format. By the end of 2015, Arts promises that there will be “a strong national presence” across Canada.
Though I’m mourning the impending loss of my beloved Last Call, hr2 has me intrigued. As a huge fan of Barneys CO-OP, one of my favourite sources for 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang (both currently carried at Holt Renfrew) and FALLON jewelry, I can’t wait to find out whether hr2 will be able to curate an equally enticing designer list that will be gentler on the pocketbook than that of its older (175, to be exact) sister. Who’s excited for hr2?
Image via The Globe & Mail