The Valley Group

Walk with us: Toronto Retail Insight Report

June 18, 2024

← Walk with us: Toronto Retail Insight Report


Toronto has seen an influx of investment into the city in recent years, with its redefined urban living space The Well now welcoming shoppers from around the world. We took to the city with industry leaders to see how the city is welcoming its newcomers, with luxury designers and sportswear giants choosing the city as their first entry point into Canada.

In this report we learn how retail spaces are combining environmental messages with entrepreneur marketplaces to drive action and how Etiket are creating a new kind of beauty spa experience in a ‘self contained universe’.

After successful runs in New York, Las Vegas and Saudi, Arcadia Earth has made The Well, Toronto its first permanent home. A multi sensory experience putting a ‘beautiful spin’ on the impact climate change is having on the planet.

Its purpose is to inspire visitors to take action towards a more sustainable future, but more importantly it inspires communities to make small tangible changes which together can become part of the solution for creating a better world. Set across 10 highly visual rooms, the storytelling is dynamic and engaging, focusing on the positive effects our actions can have, rather than the negative.

Why it works?

The combination of educational experience and retail marketplace is intelligent, by giving the shoppers the ‘why’ and helping to provide them with a curated selection of products to help them to support the solution, makes the conversation around sustainability more tangible.

The products sold in the market place are produced by Canadian entrepreneurs and have been edited within the criteria of being conflict free, cruelty free, none toxic and sweatshop free. These core values echo the messages within the immersive experience, and with a challenge so big, it can help people to feel like they can be a part of change.

Loewe: Luxury with personality

Spanish luxury brand Loewe, have opened their first standalone store in Canada, carrying its apparel and accessory lines along with its home lifestyle ranges, expanded under designer Jonathan Anderson. The space is formed of a series of rooms, including a large wooden gazebo, which not only creates a centrepiece for the space, but has been cleverly designed to provide a back drop for the brands accessory ranges which are displayed around the perimeter.

Zoning continues with the use of handcrafted, blue enamelled tiles, referencing the brands Spanish roots and metallic materials, along with deep colour hues which draw the eye and maintain focus on the product. Featured throughout the store is a selection of works from the brand’s international anthology of art, sculpture and craft that aim to elevate the shopping experience.

Why it works?

A beautiful example of luxury, with personality. The use of bold colours, contrasting substrates and zoning of space keep an intimacy to the store, whilst complimenting the craftmanship of its product collections. Lighting is considered and used intelligently throughout the space. We often see retailers blasting light from lightboxes behind products which can be distracting and obscuring to the product itself. By using a softer approach, as seen at Loewe, lighting is used to attract the eye and maintain focus, making every part of the store an invitation to explore.