Topshop is returning to Canada with a dramatic plot twist
Topshop, I will always be grateful to you for bringing overalls back into mainstream fast fashion stateside during the 2010s, but oh. my. gosh. Breaking up with The Bay, leaving Canada, and then waltzing back onto the scene with Nordstrom?
That's savage. I kind of love it.
Retail Insider reports that Nordstrom's six Canadian stores and its Canadian e-commerce site will start carrying both Topshop and Topman fashions as of April 1.
This will mark the first time that either of the apparel brands will be available for us to purchase in Canada (without paying an exorbitant amount of duty, taxes and shipping fees) since Topshop formally pulled out of the country (and out of the Hudson's Bay Company family) in October of 2021.
If this is an April Fools Day joke, it's a cruel one — but it likely isn't. The move makes sense.
The shut down of TopShop in Canada is an attack on skinny people pic.twitter.com/MBmkK34Zhy— Robyn (@DoJanetCat) November 14, 2021
A little history before the deets:
Back in May of 2019, Topshop's then-parent company Arcadia Group filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and announced the closure of all its American stores.
Canadian locations — most of which operated as store-within-stores at Hudson's Bay (HBC) department stores — remained operational for a time.
But then Topshop was purchased by ASOS, another U.K.-based retailer that specializes in high street fashion for millennial and Gen Z consumers and operates exclusively online.
The roughly $565-million deal was announced in February of 2021, at which point it was learned that ASOS had not agreed to take over any of Topshop's 70 remaining international retail stores.
HBC was apparently "unable to come to an agreement with ASOS which led to Topshop's pulling out of Canada's Hudson's Bay stores." By that point, Nordstrom had already partnered with Topshop in the U.S., but no plans for Canada had been announced.
Topshop is closing all stores in Canada and leaving The Bay for good https://t.co/tpPWvcdaK5 #Topshop #Canada #TheBay #BusinessClosure— blogTO (@blogTO) May 19, 2021
While things didn't quite work out with Topshop's store-in-store modules at the Bay following the British fashion brand's acquisition by ASOS, demand for the product persists in Canada.
Nordstrom, which entered its own agreement to sell Topshop and Topman within its U.S. stores in July of 2021, would be silly not to take advantage of a similar partnership to the north, if such a thing would be possible.
It would appear as though it was possible, and that Nordstrom Canada will bring Topshop (the ASOS version of it, anyway) back into our home and native land, where we can once again buy cute skirts without paying exorbitant duty prices, in less than a week.
"The Topshop 2.0 expansion in Canada won't be nearly as grand as the one a decade ago," notes Retail Insider.
"The Nordstrom stores in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto will feature an assortment of women's and men's clothing, swimwear and bags, being considerably less in terms of selection compared to some of the larger Topshop locations that opened within Hudson's Bay a decade ago, including a massive 33,000 square foot shop-in-store in downtown Vancouver that was the largest international location for the retailer at the time."
Nordstrom Launching TOPSHOP and TOPMAN Brands in Canada Following Hudson’s Bay Exit https://t.co/TUYVdeh47n via @retailinsider_ pic.twitter.com/IzvzlGQVa0— Myles D Gooding (@MylesDGooding) March 29, 2022
Bear with me and my urge to anthropomorphize literally everything, if you will, dear readers, and pretend for a second that we're talking about people.
In essence, Topshop broke up with HBC and then moved on to one of its biggest rivals, Nordstrom. The stores are smaller, sure, which I suppose could symbolize a more casual (or at least less serious) relationship.
Either way, it's embarrasing for Topshop's ex, and this is one of the juciest major Canadian retail develpments to cross my desk since Team Canada dumped... well, also HBC... in favour of Lululemon.
Prior to the Arcadia bankruptcy, Topshop/Topman boasted 510 retail stores across the world, more than 300 of them in the U.K.
The company entered North America in 2007 and had 11 famously large flagship locations across the U.S. by the early 2010s with intentions to expand.
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