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West Elm opens Toronto store

 7 May 2018     Michael J. Knell 

West Elm, the boutique home furnishings and décor arm of Williams-Sonoma, recently opened its second Toronto location. The move follows on the heels of the publicly-held retailer’s launch of four e-commerce web sites specifically for the Canadian market, one for each of its banners.

The two-level, 16,295 square foot store is located in the city’s Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood, which is often referred to as Midtown Toronto. The area is rapidly growing as several new residential towers are expected to draw literally thousands of new residents as construction finishes. Some of Canada’s wealthiest postal codes – such as Forest Hill and Lawrence Park – are also nearby.

The coffee and end tables seen with this leather upholstery group in the front of the newest West Elm location is from Son of a Woodcutter, the Toronto-based crafter of handcrafted furniture pieces made from reclaimed and salvaged wood.In its previous life, the building was home to Restoration Hardware which recently opened a 70,000 square foot new concept store, known as RH Toronto, in the city’s well-known Yorkdale Shopping Centre (see ‘A fusion of food and furniture’ in the Winter 2017 issue).

According to company officials, it is expected to generate about 30 jobs in addition to supporting seven Toronto-based artisans, whose product will be displayed and sold alongside the banner’s assortment of home furnishings and decorative accessories.

It will also offer William-Sonoma’s cross-brand design consultation program Design Crew, which pairs customers with experts who provide design and installation services.

“Through the success of our first Toronto location and launch of, we recognise the Canadian market’s enthusiasm for our unique assortment of modern and affordable products,” West Elm president Alex Bellos said in a statement. “We are excited to bring the West Elm experience to a new community in Toronto and help more customers express their personal style at home through our inspiring visual displays and expert design services.”

In an e-mail to Home Goods Online, Bellos also noted the Yonge-Eglinton area has been on West Elm’s radar for some time and brings the Brooklyn, New York-based merchants store count in this country to five, with two in Toronto, two in Vancouver and single unit in Calgary. The other Toronto store is located the city’s Liberty Village district.

Perhaps the store’s most unique feature is its selection of locally made products from seven Toronto-based artisans and craftsmen. Included are:

  • Claire Manning: Hand drawn illustrations depicting cartoon-like caricatures;

  • Daily City Train: Photographs of iconic Toronto cityscapes transformed into coasters

  • Hubbub Paper Co.: Letterpress stationery and paper goods for everyday use;

  • Son of a Woodcutter: Unique furniture pieces made from reclaimed and salvaged wood;

  • The Neighbourhood Unit: Locally inspired illustrations featuring modern city and neighbourhood maps;

  • The Good Bar: All-natural, handcrafted soap made with essential oils in small batches; and,

  • Xenia Taler: Geometric-shaped ceramic coasters in bright colors and unique metallic designs.

Click here to read the rest of Michael’s report in the HGO Merchandiser…

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This HGO article was written by:
Michael J. Knell
Michael J. Knell

Michael is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online. A seasoned business journalist, he has researched and written about the furniture, mattress and major appliance industries in both Canada and the United States for the past three decades.

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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