Montreal-based men’s fashion retail innovator Frank & Oak will be extending their partnership with property owner and developer Cadillac Fairview, opening two concept stores within Cadillac Fairview Malls this spring, in addition to their recently opened store at the CF Shops at Don Mills complex.
The first Frank & Oak “enhanced concept” store, measuring 3,200 feet, will open in mid-May at the CF Carrefour in Laval, just north of the island of Montreal.
The second location, measuring 2,300 feet, will open later in the spring at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto.
“Frank & Oak’s concept stores are spaces that promote engagement between customers and the brand that goes well beyond a simple transaction,” said Frank & Oak co-founder and CEO Ethan Song to Retail Insider. “We’re offering an experience that connects the digital and physical experience seamlessly and in ways that actually solve customer challenges.”
Frank & Oak takes that retail idea of “experience” seriously, merging Frank & Oak’s roots as a technology company with the troubled world of physical retail.
Beginning as an online only mail-order retailer, a service which Frank & Oak still offers, Frank & Oak’s seemingly counter-intuitive expansion into brick-and-mortar locations has led to the development of a successful retail chain.
This seemingly retrograde move baffled many who wondered if Frank & Oak had been hiding a real-world agenda behind its digital start-up cred all along.
But their moves into urban retail have been meticulously driven by analytics, with pop-up shops testing consumer appetites before rolling out physical locations that incorporate barber shops, cafés, lounge spaces and old-timey apothecary displays, adding to Song’s insistence on the importance of experience in retail.
The new concept store collaborations with Cadillac Fairview add to Frank & Oak’s now numerous brick-and-mortar retail locations, with stores in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, and U.S. locations in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
In November, Frank & Oak took the top spot in Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 50 list of Canadian tech innovators, with an insane growth rate of 18,480%, followed by Richmond, B.C.’s Corvus Energy with 16,943%, and Point-Claire, Quebec’s Amaya Gaming with 3,645%.