Jan 24, 2021
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THE BRIEF: Our national department store, and are they getting it right… yet? Part 1

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

“According to the environmental journalist Lucy Siegle, most women now buy half their bodyweight annually in clothes. The writer’s new book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? states that the average female invests in 62lb of clothing each year, has upwards of 20 garments hanging in her wardrobe that she has never worn and owns four times the amount today than she did in 1980.” * 

Because it appears that we are what we wear, The Brief chose to explore the evolution of an iconic Canadian department store – one that has struggled to stay relevant through radical economic changes and a tectonic shift in retail. 

To bring us up-to-date with The Bay, The Brief turned to a keen observer and former marketer for The Bay, Clint Gaudry.

THE BRIEF: What’s happening with the Bay? It feels like it’s separated from itself and formed a new self. 

GAUDRY: That just might be the experience. It started with The Room in Queen Street and then kept evolving. The Room truly is a destination for some of the most wanted designers on the globe. It went from around 12 internationally known designers, perhaps a little stayed, to over 70 – some of the newest and most buzz-worthy. 

And then there’s the White Space – flanked by Lauren, Pink Tartan and Juicy Couture, it focuses on hot brands such as See by Chloe, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, McQ by Alexander McQueen. The White Space speaks to aspirational luxury. It’s the Bay’s attempt to reclaim the fashion credibility it’s lost in recent years. The White Space also appeals to a broader audience than The Room. 

THE BRIEF: Bloggers are talking about The White Space. Did you know that?

GAUDRY: I think it has wowed many of the critics and introduced a new generation of fashionistas to The Bay. Shoppers are happy to see the concept move beyond just Queen Street, with more locations now open in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. They are buying so brilliantly for Ladies fashion and accessories, that it’s now a whole new experience, and a reflection of where the brand is moving. 

THE BRIEF: Take a look; you won’t believe this is the Bay!

THE BRIEF: So who’s mostly responsible for the magnificent new vision?

GAUDRY: Enter Bonnie Brooks, * the President and CEO of the Bay. She came with decades of experience in the luxury market and she had the connections in the fashion industry to make things happen. She’s very dynamic and fearless – very opinionated – in a good way. She has an exceptional taste level that demanded that the assortments be edited and refined. 

And taste has nothing to do with price – taste has everything to do with attitude. That it is fashionable, stylish and on trend is tantamount. I think Brooks has brought a certain taste level to the Bay that’s unprecedented. Very contemporary and certainly not restricted to The Room or White Space.

THE BRIEF: Could Brooks have done this for the brand ten years ago?

GAUDRY: I think it would have been more difficult.

THE BRIEF: That’s a perfect cliffhanger for next week’s column. Why the Bay couldn’t become the Bay until now.

GAUDRY: Let’s go for it.

The Brief wishes to thank Clint Gaudry for helping us understand what’s happening with our landmark department store. And quite possibly how this evolution of the brand will be a success story.

That was the 3rd floor… right?

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Our national department store, and are they getting it right… yet? Part 1

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

“According to the environmental journalist Lucy Siegle, most women now buy half their bodyweight annually in clothes. The writer’s new book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? states that the average female invests in 62lb of clothing each year, has upwards of 20 garments hanging in her wardrobe that she has never worn and owns four times the amount today than she did in 1980.” * 

Because it appears that we are what we wear, The Brief chose to explore the evolution of an iconic Canadian department store – one that has struggled to stay relevant through radical economic changes and a tectonic shift in retail. 

To bring us up-to-date with The Bay, The Brief turned to a keen observer and former marketer for The Bay, Clint Gaudry.

THE BRIEF: What’s happening with the Bay? It feels like it’s separated from itself and formed a new self. 

GAUDRY: That just might be the experience. It started with The Room in Queen Street and then kept evolving. The Room truly is a destination for some of the most wanted designers on the globe. It went from around 12 internationally known designers, perhaps a little stayed, to over 70 – some of the newest and most buzz-worthy. 

And then there’s the White Space – flanked by Lauren, Pink Tartan and Juicy Couture, it focuses on hot brands such as See by Chloe, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, McQ by Alexander McQueen. The White Space speaks to aspirational luxury. It’s the Bay’s attempt to reclaim the fashion credibility it’s lost in recent years. The White Space also appeals to a broader audience than The Room. 

THE BRIEF: Bloggers are talking about The White Space. Did you know that?

GAUDRY: I think it has wowed many of the critics and introduced a new generation of fashionistas to The Bay. Shoppers are happy to see the concept move beyond just Queen Street, with more locations now open in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. They are buying so brilliantly for Ladies fashion and accessories, that it’s now a whole new experience, and a reflection of where the brand is moving. 

THE BRIEF: Take a look; you won’t believe this is the Bay!

THE BRIEF: So who’s mostly responsible for the magnificent new vision?

GAUDRY: Enter Bonnie Brooks, * the President and CEO of the Bay. She came with decades of experience in the luxury market and she had the connections in the fashion industry to make things happen. She’s very dynamic and fearless – very opinionated – in a good way. She has an exceptional taste level that demanded that the assortments be edited and refined. 

And taste has nothing to do with price – taste has everything to do with attitude. That it is fashionable, stylish and on trend is tantamount. I think Brooks has brought a certain taste level to the Bay that’s unprecedented. Very contemporary and certainly not restricted to The Room or White Space.

THE BRIEF: Could Brooks have done this for the brand ten years ago?

GAUDRY: I think it would have been more difficult.

THE BRIEF: That’s a perfect cliffhanger for next week’s column. Why the Bay couldn’t become the Bay until now.

GAUDRY: Let’s go for it.

The Brief wishes to thank Clint Gaudry for helping us understand what’s happening with our landmark department store. And quite possibly how this evolution of the brand will be a success story.

That was the 3rd floor… right?

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Our national department store, and are they getting it right… yet? Part 1

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

“According to the environmental journalist Lucy Siegle, most women now buy half their bodyweight annually in clothes. The writer’s new book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? states that the average female invests in 62lb of clothing each year, has upwards of 20 garments hanging in her wardrobe that she has never worn and owns four times the amount today than she did in 1980.” * 

Because it appears that we are what we wear, The Brief chose to explore the evolution of an iconic Canadian department store – one that has struggled to stay relevant through radical economic changes and a tectonic shift in retail. 

To bring us up-to-date with The Bay, The Brief turned to a keen observer and former marketer for The Bay, Clint Gaudry.

THE BRIEF: What’s happening with the Bay? It feels like it’s separated from itself and formed a new self. 

GAUDRY: That just might be the experience. It started with The Room in Queen Street and then kept evolving. The Room truly is a destination for some of the most wanted designers on the globe. It went from around 12 internationally known designers, perhaps a little stayed, to over 70 – some of the newest and most buzz-worthy. 

And then there’s the White Space – flanked by Lauren, Pink Tartan and Juicy Couture, it focuses on hot brands such as See by Chloe, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, McQ by Alexander McQueen. The White Space speaks to aspirational luxury. It’s the Bay’s attempt to reclaim the fashion credibility it’s lost in recent years. The White Space also appeals to a broader audience than The Room. 

THE BRIEF: Bloggers are talking about The White Space. Did you know that?

GAUDRY: I think it has wowed many of the critics and introduced a new generation of fashionistas to The Bay. Shoppers are happy to see the concept move beyond just Queen Street, with more locations now open in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. They are buying so brilliantly for Ladies fashion and accessories, that it’s now a whole new experience, and a reflection of where the brand is moving. 

THE BRIEF: Take a look; you won’t believe this is the Bay!

THE BRIEF: So who’s mostly responsible for the magnificent new vision?

GAUDRY: Enter Bonnie Brooks, * the President and CEO of the Bay. She came with decades of experience in the luxury market and she had the connections in the fashion industry to make things happen. She’s very dynamic and fearless – very opinionated – in a good way. She has an exceptional taste level that demanded that the assortments be edited and refined. 

And taste has nothing to do with price – taste has everything to do with attitude. That it is fashionable, stylish and on trend is tantamount. I think Brooks has brought a certain taste level to the Bay that’s unprecedented. Very contemporary and certainly not restricted to The Room or White Space.

THE BRIEF: Could Brooks have done this for the brand ten years ago?

GAUDRY: I think it would have been more difficult.

THE BRIEF: That’s a perfect cliffhanger for next week’s column. Why the Bay couldn’t become the Bay until now.

GAUDRY: Let’s go for it.

The Brief wishes to thank Clint Gaudry for helping us understand what’s happening with our landmark department store. And quite possibly how this evolution of the brand will be a success story.

That was the 3rd floor… right?

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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