Links of London expands in Canada

The luxury jewelry brand comes out of the department store to stand on its own.

U.K. luxury jewelry brand Links of London is expanding its Canadian presence with two new freestanding stores.

The brand previously sold its wares in Holt Renfrew locations and at La Maison Ogilvy in Montreal, and will continue to do so.

The first of its two new freestanding stores in Canada, at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, has already opened, with another at CF Sherway Gardens in the city’s west end to launch later this month. Designed by Sheridan & Co., the stores have a “contemporary London townhouse” theme, aiming for a smart British character that’s both elegant and welcoming. The first store with this design was opened in New York last fall.

While its relationship with department stores has been successful and is still important to its business, the brand wanted to provide more options for customers to shop, says Leela Petrakis, president of Links of London North America.

The move comes at a time where shopping malls and department store retailers are investing more in their development, she notes (Cadillac Fairview, for example, has been investing heavily in revamping and expanding its malls). Some of those locations also do well with tourists, and in Toronto, where the brand is already known, being accessible was key, she adds.

The brand’s target customer base is broad when it comes to age, but they are usually consumers who appreciate London’s unique style and who want accessible luxury goods, Petrakis says. “I think we’re really a democratic luxury brand, we’re not exclusive,” she says.