In a news release issued Thursday, Holt Renfrew says it is strategically focusing store expansion plans on flagship markets in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.
They decided to close smaller 35,000-square-foot regional stores in Ottawa and Quebec City by January 2015 as a result.
"Holt Renfrew explored a number of options for its businesses in these markets. While the stores performed well and these communities were cherished, it was ultimately concluded that Holt Renfrew's enhanced specialty luxury business model requires a significantly larger store footprint in any target market," the release said.
The closure in Ottawa will result in 72 layoffs, while the Quebec City closure will lead to 85 layoffs.
Holt Renfrew is also opening a new 120,000-square-foot store at Square One in Mississauga, west of Toronto, in spring 2016.
Plans for its flagship stores will see a 40-per-cent increase in space across Canada. That includes:- An expanded 120,000-square-foot store at Yorkdale in Toronto.
- A new 220,000-square-foot Montreal store to be completed at the end 2017, making it among the largest in the Holt Renfrew network.
- Holt Renfrew Men to open this fall at 100 Bloor St. W in Toronto.
- Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto (Bloor Street) flagship stores will be renovated and expanded.
Holt Renfrew was founded in Quebec City in 1837 but its headquarters is now based in Toronto.