Lole Set for Calgary Market Entry

April 08, 2015

Refreshing: It’s the perfect word to describe the Lolë brand and its retail story, as the Montreal-based company continues to grow at home and on the international front. 

Lolë, which specializes in the design and sale of elegant activewear for women, is preparing to open its first Calgary store at The Core. With a sophisticated merchandise mix, including the expanded Holt Renfrew and flagship Harry Rosen, the recently renovated shopping centre is the ideal venue for Lolë to make its foray into the Calgary market. 

The 1,250 sq. ft. store is slated to open in July and marks the retailer’s fifth store in the province of Alberta. It also has a store in Banff, two in Edmonton, one at Edmonton Airport, and there is interest in opening additional stores in the province, with a focus on super-regional shopping centres.

Lolë now has 22 stand-alone locations in Canada, including two airport stores, as well as 10 in the U.S. and nine in Europe, according to its website. As well, it has licensed partner locations operating in Canada, U.S, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.

Its locations are a refreshing take on the traditional storefront. Referred to as ateliers, each organizes free twice-weekly exercise meet-ups at local parks, as well as lectures by yoga\pilates specialists and nutrition experts. Tea and fruits are served daily.

The brand was conceived in Montreal’s Longueuil area in 2002 and is now part of Quebec-based Coalision Inc., which operates in the U.S., France and Hong Kong. 

About this time last year, a group of strategic and financial investors led by Bernard Mariette, CEO & president of Coalision Inc., purchased a majority interest in Coalision from Kilmer Capital Partners. It’s a dynamic strategic and financial partner group that includes, Pelican LP, Simon Equity Partners, Groupe Desmarais, members of the Hermès family and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

The move gives Lolë added reach, with the support to expand its retail and web business internationally, as well as its global wholesale business (it opened a flagship in SoHo last year). 

The company also continues to grow in Canada, as it prepares to open the Calgary store, as well as its second Canadian outlet location at Vancouver’s McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in June (the other, a 2,000 sq. ft. store, opened at Toronto Premium Outlets last fall). 

Lolë is interested in 1,250 to 2,000 sq. ft. on downtown high streets, in super regional shopping centres and select outlets. Think Retail is Lolë’s exclusive Canadian real estate broker and we’ve been working with the company since 2011. 

It’s an exciting journey, especially as we watch the brand use its innovative community-building strategies to lay down roots and forge meaningful connections with consumers in major centres across Canada. The company garnered international attention and media coverage for its White Tour, where thousands of people come together in cities to practice yoga, as well as promote peace and wellness.

In a refreshing twist (compared to so many retail stories of late), last year Lolë exceeded its sales forecast and reported sales in excess of $105 million, according to media reports: The brand continues to seek growth opportunities and predicts revenue to double to about $210 million by 2017/2018.