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Holt Renfrew Celebrates 175 Years: Luxury Retailer Announces Major Expansion Plans

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Celebrating 175 years in business is big. But planning a major expansion, especially at a time when economic growth is flat-lining, could be even more impressive.

And as Women's Wear Daily (WWD) is reporting today, Holt Renfrew is in the midst of both.

According to their site, Holt Renfrew will increase their floor space by some 40 per cent by the end of 2015. The announcement was made a day after the retailer kicked-off its 175th anniversary celebrations.

Says Mark Derbyshire, president of Holt Renfrew: "This is a complete refreshing of our network right across the country."

The store's growth comes at a time when retail competition in Canada is set to intensify: J.Crew and Nordstrom have plans to open several outlets across the country in 2013.

Of primary importance to Holts, says the Globe and Mail, is bolstering their men's business. Reports the paper: "the market segment is growing more attractive as men focus more on their appearance in a rocky economy and a tough job market. In the 12 months to the end of July, sales in Canada's $7.4-billion men's apparel industry grew 4 per cent, while those in the $13-billion women's market slipped 1 per cent, according to researcher NPD Group."

So what can you, the shoppers, expect from this massive retail expansion? If you're in Toronto, you will see the Holts' Yorkdale location expand by some 120,000 square feet. Several new lines and a larger shoe department will also be introduced.

Of growth plans across Canada, Derbyshire told WWD it was too soon to discuss what will happen to Holts' stores, though he did say: "the Vancouver site could be enlarged, and acknowledged it was time to update the Bloor Street flagship in Toronto."

Read more about the expansion plans here.

Check out 25 of the specialty items that will be available for Holts' 175th anniversary:

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