May 6, 2011

⊹⊱✿News✿⊰⊹ Victoria’s Secret New Calgary Chinook Centre Store


Victoria’s Secret Opens Calgary Chinook Centre Store
Hundreds line up for iconic retailer brand

CALGARY — Hundreds of Calgarians lined up early Thursday morning for the official opening of the new Victoria’s Secret store at Chinook Centre.
And in typical Victoria’s Secret fashion, two of the iconic U.S. retailer’s Angels — supermodels Doutzen Kroes and Candice Swanepoel — officially cut the ribbon to welcome the store’s much-anticipated entrance into the Calgary marketplace.
Kroes said the big reason people lined up outside the store was because it was the first one in Calgary.
“The Canadians have really been anxiously waiting for a Victoria’s Secret store,” she said. “So they’re really happy that finally we’re coming here. I think that helps.
“And of course everybody wants Victoria’s Secret products . . . We’re really good with the colours, the fabrics and it’s comfortable. And we always come up with new things . . . I think women feel really sexy and really confident in beautiful lingerie sort of thing. That’s why Victoria’s Secret is so appealing to all women.”
Alanna Cirka and Kylie Bennett, both 18, were the first in line to enter the store beating the rest of the crowd by arriving at Chinook Centre at 6:20 a.m.
“Mainly I wanted to see the models and I wanted to be the first one to see them because I love them,” says Cirka.
“I definitely want to see the models and go shopping,” said Bennett. “I’ve never been in to a Victoria’s Secret store.”
Terry Napper, general manager at Chinook Centre, said opening a Victoria’s Secret store is a huge draw.
“They had an opening last night (Wednesday) with family and friends and close to 1,000 people came which was almost double their expectation,” said Napper. “I would expect it will draw from southern Alberta and into British Columbia and Saskatchewan because they don’t have any other stores in those areas.
“It’s all about the Victoria’s Secret brand. The way they market their stores. The way they build their stores. They build them so the merchandise jumps off the shelves and literally it does jump off the shelves.”
Napper said the leasing deal with Victoria’s Secret took about two years to pull together. Chinook Centre had to relocate Eddie Bauer. It had to downsize the Gap store.
On Wednesday, iconic international luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co. also opened its first store in Calgary at Chinook Centre.
“(Victoria’s Secret) brings another kind of customer (to the mall),” said Napper. By adding the two well-known stores, the mall is “extending our appeal to different types of people.”
Part of the lure to Victoria’s Secret is the retail category, said David Finch, assistant professor of marketing at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University.
“The uniqueness of the category and it’s a naughty side of people’s desire that they don’t talk about necessarily but it’s frankly on the front of Cosmo. So that creates some of the buzz and interest in the category,” said Finch.
“I think a big part of it is the scarcity. When somebody can’t get something there’s enormous desire to have it ... Anyone who’s had an opportunity to go to L.A. on vacation with their kids, slides into the Victoria’s Secret store. Therefore being able to get it and access it locally is something that they want to do and drive that buzz. They create a ton of momentum around that by bringing in their models which is the face of their brand.”
Swanepoel and Kroes will also have a public autograph signing at the store from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight.
“You look at the targeted audience for Victoria’s Secret it’s all about aspiration. Everyone wants to be Claudia Schiffer if you’re a 28-year-old woman so therefore bringing her in or bringing the supermodels in kind of creates that aspiration that they want to go to,” said Finch.
Michael Kehoe, an Alberta-based retail specialist with Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc., said no other retailer puts on a show like Victoria’s Secret when it comes to the theatre of retail.
The morphing of retail and entertainment into “shoppertainment” reaches its highest level at the grand opening of Victoria’s Secret, said Kehoe.
“The intimate apparel business in Calgary is a crowded category with over 33 stores competing for customer attention and the best way to stand out from the competition is to put on a show,” he said.

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