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Frank & Oak heads to the mall

Menswear retailer opening two stores at Cadillac Fairview properties

Montreal-based Frank & Oak is continuing its push into bricks-and-mortar retail with the opening of two new concept stores in shopping malls.

Frank & Oak was founded in 2012 as an online menswear company. It has since opened nine physical stores in Canada and three in the U.S. (Boston, Chicago and Washington DC).

A new 3,100-sq.-ft. store will open in mid-May at CF Carrefour Laval in Laval, Que. In mid-July, a 2,300-sq.-ft. store will open at CF Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ont.

Frank & Oak recently opened a store at Toronto’s CF Shops at Don Mills, but the new stores will be the retailer’s first indoor mall locations.

“We’re growing extremely fast online, especially in the U.S., but our stores have been extremely successful in terms of building a deeper relationship with the customer and creating that unique experience,” said Ethan Song, co-founder and CEO of Frank & Oak.

“So, when we look at the Canadian landscape, it’s very hard to not go into the mall. That’s where the customer is [and] when it comes to Frank & Oak, we’re a very democratic brand. Our brand purpose is to be where our customer is.”

With the new stores, the company is looking to make the mall-shopping experience more unique and relevant for today’s generation. “What you’re going to see in our stores is a heavy focus on service and the customer, and a focus on the omni-channel experience,” said Song.

The stores will feature a personal styling service in a dedicated space, an apothecary display, barber services, and a café and lounge space. Shoppers can book appointments with stylists via their mobile and have the change room reserved for them in advance, said Song.

On the omni-channel side, customers can “order online, pick up in store, or go into the store where we don’t necessarily have 100% of our assortment…and order it and receive it at home the next day,” he said.

Frank & Oak is announcing a third mall location later this spring, and the company is looking at further bricks-and-mortar expansion.

“What we really like about store is the ability to connect in a unique way with the customer,” said Song. “While other stores are focused on transactions, we’re really focused on building a relationship and then selling [to] the customer across all of our channels. The store is built like that—to showcase the product, to showcase the service, and not necessarily to sell the product.”

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