Harry Rosen Inc.
|Privately held company|
|Founded||1954 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Products||High-end menswear and accessories|
Harry Rosen Inc. is a Canadian retail chain of 15 luxury men's clothing stores. A privately owned company, Harry Rosen accounted for 40 percent of the Canadian market in high-end menswear in 2008.
Founded by Harry Rosen in 1954, as a single 500-square-foot (46 m2) store in Cabbagetown, Toronto, Harry Rosen now operates stores in Toronto (Mink Mile (Bloor Street), Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto Eaton Centre, First Canadian Place, Sherway Gardens); Mississauga (Square One Shopping Centre); Ottawa (Rideau Centre); Winnipeg (Polo Park); Montreal (Les Cours Mont-Royal); Laval (Carrefour Laval); Edmonton (West Edmonton Mall); Calgary (The Core Shopping Centre, Chinook Centre); and Vancouver (Pacific Centre, Oakridge Centre). There is an outlet store at Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga and at Tsawwassen Mills in Delta, British Columbia.
After working in a clothing factory and in a quality menswear store, Harry Rosen and his brother Lou open a small made-to-measure store on Toronto’s Parliament Street with a $500 down payment. By 1961, success allowed them to relocate to larger premises closer to their clientele on Richmond Street in Toronto’s Financial District. With little retailing in this area, skeptics criticize the move, but the store soon becomes a destination for customers from across Toronto, Canada, and the United States.
Rosen credits much of his early success to Stann Burkhoff. This customer of his, offered to create advertisements in exchange for two suits - one for him and one for his art director, Reid Bell. Burkhoff and Bell developed the extremely successful "Ask Harry" campaign. This campaign featured provocative text with simple, yet eye catching, graphics in a Canadian national newspaper, The Globe and Mail.
Under Rosen's direction, the company "spends more than any Canadian retailer on its employee training...on the nuances of designer fashion, including the art of 'clothesmanship' - that is, determining the right garment for a man's body shape". Staff are also provided training on how "to manage client lists, how to assess a client's needs, how men shop in general, and how to build and maintain long-term relationships with clients". Consequently the stores have a large number of long-term employees.
National growth began in 1981 when Harry Rosen opened the first store outside of Toronto at West Edmonton Mall. During this time, Harry Rosen began signing exclusive deals with top designers in Europe and the United States to sell their menswear in Canada. Many top designers still sell exclusively at Harry Rosen, with Tom Ford as the most recent addition.
In 1987, Harry opened a three-level, 32,000 sq ft (3,000 m2). flagship store on Toronto’s Bloor Street. The store became known for its exclusive collections of fine menswear. That same year, The Retail Council of Canada presented Harry Rosen with its first Retail Marketer of the Year Award. Harry Rosen then introduced the award-winning newspaper ad campaign featuring such celebrities as David Cronenberg, Norman Jewison, Christopher Plummer, Remy Shand, Rick Mercer and more in 1996.
Larry Rosen, Harry’s eldest son, joined the company in 1984, and after stints in store operations and buying, he became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1997. Larry became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2000, succeeding Harry who had stepped down after 51 years but still remains as with the company as a advisor.
In 1997, harry magazine was launched. With two issues a year, this men’s lifestyle magazine covers fashion advice and offers readers guidance in many areas of their life.
In the fall of 2008, Harry Rosen unveiled an expansion of the Bloor Street flagship location in Toronto that represented the largest capital investment ever made by the company. This major storewide renovation added two new stories to the building, providing five floors of retail space within 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2). The chain’s flagship store at TD Square in Calgary is also doubling its size, and a second store was added in suburban Calgary at Chinook Centre in 2010.
Harry Rosen began selling merchandise online on May 15, 2009 via its website. Shipping is limited to Canadian addresses.
- Chetty, Derick. "Menswear for every age and every stage". September 2, 2008. The Toronto Star, page L1
- Harry Rosen website- Company History
- Strategy Magazine. Visionaries: Harry Rosen. Published January 1, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2009
- Proulx, Shaun. "Harry goes lofty, large and luxe". September 13, 2008. The Globe and Mail, page L2
- Shaw, Hollie. "Harry Rosen dons new look for expansion". September 3, 2008. The National Post, page FP3
- Toneguzzi, Mario. "Upscale retailers find their niche in Calgary market". September 28, 2008, page C1
- JC Williams Group. Harry Rosen Online Press Release. Published May 15, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2009