The first TOPSHOP in Alberta has arrived.300+ people patiently waited their turn to pour through the newly opened doors this morning. But even with the most enthusiastic response to a TOPSHOP debut in Canada, the senior events and marketing manager tells me they still need to create more brand awareness.Steph Hoff whisks me away to the personal shopping room so we can chat.”We’re not really in-your-face billboard advertising,” she says. “It’s more organic, through social media and word of mouth.” Besides prepping for the opening event, the marketing team spent nine days partying in YYC — in the name of research. “To understand what the environment is like, understand what the people are like.”Like the flagship stores in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, the Calgary location will feature premium collections, collaborations and limited edition products. And that super VIP-yet-free personal shopping room. Which, I should mention, has a good-sized stash of cupcakes.In the denim dreams department: my hunt for the ultimate classic jean jacket may be over. You can find TOPSHOP in all its two-story glory attached to Hudson’s Bay, at the south end of the mall.
Like the sign says, finally! With approximately 3,000 stores in 53 markets, the Swedish company is continuing their push for global fashion domination. At the very least, they have saved Calgarians from that closet they call an H&M in The Core. And the other 3 locations I never seem to run across.Also sometimes hard to find, the H&M capsule collections and designer collaborations will be available here. Underneath inspiring murals… … and on well-read mannequins. Nice job putting the men’s collection upstairs so those in heels don’t have to hoof it too far, H&M! You can find the new flagship store across from Zara at the south end of the mall (verrry close to the new Top Shop that opens this Saturday). At 20,000 square feet it’s hard to miss.
It’s a big box bonanza: 10 stores in Alberta, 9 in BC and 3 in Manitoba. In Calgary, bullseye devotees will be able to cruise the wide, well-lit aisles at the Chinook, Forest Lawn and Market Mall locations. Shawnessy shoppers will have to cool their jets until May 14.
Despite a nationwide press release, they’re calling it a soft opening. Perhaps it’s a nod to the lack of any type of star-studded gala, like the party that launched Target in Toronto. There are no events scheduled anywhere tomorrow — not even any red and white ribbon cuttings.
However, the attention to local detail in this mural almost makes up for it. Not only because this chic cowgirl is strolling past the city skyline punctuated by the Calgary Tower on her way to the Stampede grounds. But because, geographically, it’s pretty accurate. The Tower is a few blocks northwest of the building the mural is painted on, while the Stampede grounds are just across Macleod Trail, to the east. The copy continues the theme from Target’s television ads. And even though some people are still miffed over the first commercial use of the song to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Target has Canadianized it. Bon travail, neighbour.