26.2.12

BANK STREET NEEDS A LŌCALE STORE

Locale Aldo shoe store Modern Ottawa Pompei A. D.
Last year, Blockbuster Video closed all its stores in Ottawa, leaving a lot empty retails spaces up for grabs. A couple weeks ago, Open File asked "What should replace Ottawa's Old Blockbusters?". If it was up to me,  I would arrange to bring in the LŌCALE store in the retail space located on Bank St. near Somerset. Not only would the store flourish in this location, but it would be a major contributor to massively improve the area. 

What is LŌCALE?
Lōcale is a footwear & accessories boutique-style concept store that celebrates art, fashion & community. This relatively new concept if the brain-child of Aldo Group, an internationally successful Canadian company that has been in business since 1972. They now own over 1160 stores all over the world. 
Locale Aldo shoe store Modern Ottawa Pompei A. D.

Why a shoe store?
We need one. There are no trendy shoe stores in this area of the city, despite the increasing number of potential clients in the area (i.e. office workers, condo and home owners and as well as renters). Think about the additional number of people that are now living in the area because of newly-built and soon-to-be-built condo buildings such as Mondrian, Hudson Park I & II, Central I, II & III, Gotham, etc. That's a lot of people!

Second, a shoe store is ideal because it suits the building and its location. It's very difficult and inconvenient to find parking in this area of town, so the majority of the customers would be pedestrians and people using public transportation. Consequently, a smart business move would be to sell something that can easily be carried by hand. Selling big items like mattresses for example, would be asking for trouble. Most likely, it wouldn't as profitable or viable because it's too much trouble for the customer. If you want to sell, you have to make it easy and enjoyable for clients to buy. That's why  shoes are ideal. It's easy and fun to stop by and shop for shoes during a lunch break or even before taking the bus back home outside the city. Who doesn't like a little shopping therapy from time to time?

Lastly, I would recommend a shoe store because everybody needs and wears shoes. So it wouldn't be hard sell, especially for women. And I can tell you, as a woman living in Ottawa, there is definitely a need for a stylish shoe store in this area. In other words, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.

That being said, to be successful in this business, you need to know how to do it and you need to know what you're doing, which brings us the reason why I think Lōcale is the perfect match.

Locale Aldo shoe store Modern Ottawa Pompei A. D.


Why LŌCALE? 
Lōcale is exactly what Centertown / Bank Street needs : A large brand with staying power that has style, a great variety of stylish products and the capability to involves the community. The concept of the store is to create an engaging cultural shopping experience by curating some great art from local artists. The image below of on of their Montreal locations is a perfect example of community involvement. In this case, local artists collaborated in creating a design for the store chalk board display.

The intention is that the new Lōcale stores are places that will inspire visitors to come and see what is happening, based on the activity, the creativity, and the multidimensional context of the experience within. The design statement says that brand collateral has been produced through partnerships with artists and galleries, allowing synergies between the art world and the brand. These partnerships allow Lōcale to leverage creativity in unique ways, and create cyclical messages that are fresh and introduce elements of contemporary art culture. How awesome is that?
Locale Aldo shoe store Modern Ottawa Pompei A. D.


Also, this would be a great way to jump start the beautification of Bank St and serve as a benchmark to many others stores in the area. Let's face it, most of the stores are not up to par when it comes to fashion ( a notable exception is Stroked Ego). The look of the store is a concept by Pompei A. D. who took care of all aspects of the Lōcale brand including the name, logo, brand aesthetic, packaging, website, signage and store design. They did an excellent job.

Locale Aldo shoe store Modern Ottawa Pompei A. D. 

There's a lot of ugly, barely hanging in there shops in that area. What's needed I think is a good anchor shop that is ideal for foot traffic and make this a more inviting place for people. Bank Street could be to  Ottawa what Ste-Catherine Street is to Montreal : a lively, fun and inspiring shopping street.

9 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, I think it's going to be a sleep country mattress store.

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    Replies
    1. :( I wonder if they did their homework. It doesn't seem like a profitable location for a mattress company.

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  2. i agree. A shoe store would be an excellent addition to the area. Instead: Sleep Country. Snoooooore! (Pun win)

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    Replies
    1. Lol. I guess we can't count on them to liven up the area.

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  3. The building actually looks like it would be a good Apple Store. I don't think Ottawa has the right demographics for a trendy shoe store. Ottawa is not trendy. We don't even have mildly trendy stores (Hollister, H&M, A&F that can be found in every mall in every city)... we're not gonna leapfrog that and go straight to boutique. Ottawa is full of government employees (bad suits), suburban hockey fans (think jerseys and jeans... if you're lucky), and Westboro (only wearing Lululemon and ski chalet wear with hiking boots). there's nothing chic about Ottawa. It needs to intensify if it wants to grow a real culture and it needs a private sector if it wants to be a real city. Those come before boutique and those become chic.

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    Replies
    1. You're right, an Apple Store could work too. Especially if the space is gutted and modernized like the ones in Montreal, New York, Osaka, Sydney, San Francisco, Boston, London,etc. .

      Still a trendy boutique could jump start the process, specially a well established large one like Lōcale . It would certainly satisfy the people in Ottawa who tend to travel to Montreal and Toronto to shop. They're not as vocal as the non trendy ones, but I swear I've seen some :) Shoes are baby steps...

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  4. I don't think Bank St. (Downtown section) is the right location for any of those stores. I walk along bank st every day and I can tell you that it is not going to become a "shopping" destination for a long, long time - if ever.

    I mean, an Apple store would attract people to it, but no major retailer is going to open a store on bank street.

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    Replies
    1. Anything can happen. It only takes someone a dedicated few to make a difference. :)

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  5. I disagree with Ottawa not being trendy, given it's not a Montreal or Toronto, but l find something quite sexy and trendy about this city. There is such a truly untapped unique culture to the city l find genuine and authentic onto itself. Ottawa does not try to be the Paris of the North (Montreal) or New York (Toronto). Which works for this city, l also think that we'll see an expansion in retail over the next five years, with the expansion of Rideau, and Sears leaving...l truly think this is a great market for retail. Being here my whole life, l have seen major improvements in the fashion/ culture/ night life of this city. I don't feel the above stores would bring a sense of flair to Ottawa (just some snot nose kids from Orleans) I really feel this city needs more stand alone stores and street side retail. I love the idea of a store like this on bank, fits the brand very well. It'll be interesting to see how they use the old buildings on the street as well. Would love to see Barrymore closed and restored to its original grandure. Here's hoping that H&M mores into the old Hotel on the corner of Bank, that space would be prime!!!

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