Canadian menswear retailer Harry Rosen is going on the offensive after spending nearly $100 million on store upgrades and readying itself for an onslaught of new rivals from America and abroad.
Harry Rosen is targeting potential acquisitions, while planning to open up to three new stores over the next few years and upgrade its flagship store on Toronto’s Bloor Street.
“We might acquire a company, we’re thinking about it,” said Larry Rosen, CEO of Harry Rosen, in an interview on BNN.
The menswear category has been pulled in two different directions with fashion-forward retailers geared toward budget-conscious millennials, and a crowded high-end space.
“Harry Rosen knows it cannot stand still in this new market, and must appeal to a younger generation of professional men to grow and to remain important in the Canadian luxury market,” said Bruce Winder, co-founder and partner of Retail Advisors Network.
There’s been more choice than ever for millennial men as Dutch-based SuitSupply, Montreal’s Frank + Oak, and Vancouver’s Indochino all make inroads with the younger generation.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, HBC’s Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom have rolled out their full-line stores, and are already plotting their respective lower-price strategies with Saks Off Fifth and Nordstrom Rack.
“Harry Rosen may tap into the off-price trend by engineering men’s offers to try and reach that aspirational customer who may not be able to afford to shop at Harry’s, but may shop at a lower priced derivative of the brand,” said Winder.
Retailers in Canada have for the most part forecast lower-than-average sales for the holidays as consumer debt loads continue to mount. But Rosen sees consumer sentiment improving, which should result in stronger sales in 2017.
“In certain ways how our inventory is moving, I can see some enthusiasm out there,” he said.