The Webster opens first international site reporting additional commitment to brick and mortar
Despite record and sustained growth in their digital department during the pandemic – a trend reported by many brands and retailers in 2020 – The Webster is firmly in brick and mortar. The specialized multi-brand distributor founded in 2009 in Miami Beach has just opened its 9and located in Toronto, marking the first international outpost. He also announced plans to open a special 10and site. The Canadian, Los Angeles and Miramar stores are the three and four stores to have opened in the last two years, demonstrating the commitment to brick-and-mortar retail. Laure Heriard Dubreuil, founder of the concept store, reports strong digital growth, which has resulted in substantial growth over the past two years.
The new location in Canada’s largest city is located in the prestigious neighborhood of Yorkville, where it sits well between other niche retailers on Scollard Street. It is also close to the city’s prestigious Bloor Street, home to luxury names such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Burberry. Being off the beaten path and in a big, but not the most obvious fashion city is at the heart of The Webster, and the latest store is proof of that.
‘Toronto is a vibrant, multicultural city with strong ties to art, music and the world of design! We felt an instant connection to the city as it felt aligned with The Webster’s DNA,” proclaims Laure Heriard Dubreuil, adding, “Learning about the history of this property in the area resonated with us. We look for this common trait when selecting our next store, making it the fourth iconic preserve on our list along with South Beach, Soho and Los Angeles. The streets are so charming and peaceful that they almost make you forget that you are in a big metropolis,” she continues.
The 6,500 square foot store features a historic storefront built in 1884 by Leeds Sheppard that was sprayed with the retailer’s signature pink – referencing their flamingo mascot designed by Michael Roberts – and was designed by the architect Parisian interior designer Stéphane Parmentier, who is also the creative director of the Webster house vertical. A giant bear covered in pink feathers sits at the entrance in a nod to its Canadian host.
This cheeky and comfortable display aligns with The Webster’s original mission to make the store warm, welcoming and feel like home. “Since the inception of The Webster, the top priority has been to provide customers with a unique luxury retail experience. The driving pillars are top-notch customer service and a highly curated selection of industry leading designers and emerging talent in a forward-thinking setting,” says Heriard-Dubreuil continues, “With these two established brand identities, it allows us to connect with customers in a way that goes way beyond the transaction, leaning on the level of personalization we offer them to suit their lifestyle. The commercial footprint is why The Webster started in the first place; it continues to drive growth every year and that’s what sustains us because of the trust and loyalty we have developed with our customers.”
While brick-and-mortar retail still makes up the majority of The Webster’s business, digital is growing rapidly, primarily due to increased traffic in 2020.” “Expanding our digital footprint is a major initiative for us in 2022,” she continues. “We recently hired seasoned senior digital executive Eric Johnson in the newly created role of Chief Digital and Technology Officer to lead us into the next phase, with a revamped approach of our e-commerce platform that reflects the personalized in-store experience.
At the end of 2021, The Webster reports having grown 60% over last year and almost doubled its 2019 profits. The founder says it is too early to make sales projections for the new store and that the emphasis will be on getting to know this new client.
The Canadian shopper has a discerning eye and is familiar with the heritage of luxury fashion, but is keen to champion burgeoning talent. It is essential when opening a new location to immerse yourself in the community, so it was essential to showcase Canadian brands in our brand matrix when opening in Toronto,” he notes. she. Namely, The Webster has teamed up with Saintwoods, a streetwear brand t-shirt, on an exclusive capsule for the new location.
Next, The Webster plans to open its first American pop-up in Palm Beach in the historic Paramount Theater building open during the winter months. The Toronto outpost follows the opening of their Los Angeles flagship designed by world-renowned architect Sir David Adjaye, which opened in January 2020, and the Montecito outpost at Rosewood Miramar Beach in July 2020.