In anticipation for Simon’s arrival to Park Royal, and very first Vancouver location, we sat down with Angela Stinson, the Director of Store Development to discuss this exciting retail store.
Name: Angela Stinson
Day Job: Director of Store Development for Simon
Relationship to Park Royal: Currently making regular site visits to monitor construction progress on the new Simons store, and when I have free time I love walking around the village at Park Royal and the new expansion.
Hometown: Brantford, Ontario
Current Location: Calgary, Alberta
Daily Threads: Simons private label – mostly Icone and Contemporaine, Ted Baker and go-to workwear from Tahari and Michael Kors
Store Opening: Fall/ Winter 2015
What sets you apart from other retail stores? Give us a flavour so our customers know what to expect. Our unique product assortment ranges from our affordable in-house labels, to national and designer brands. Instead of the shop-in-shop fashion department format, we want to foster the way people really shop – mixing a $20 T-shirt with a $1000 jacket. It’s about integrating merchandise into boutique environments so it’s more cohesive for the shopper and doesn’t feel overwhelming. Our Park Royal store will offer this mix in a unique environment, which celebrates fashion, art and architecture to create a beautiful space, which inspires our customers.
Who is the Simons customer? We have a very broad customer base each with their own nuances but generally our customer is fashion-forward, looking for value but won’t compromise quality.
What does expanding throughout Canada mean for the Simon’s brand? We’re 175 years old, led by the fifth generation of the family and we have nine 9 stores. We are looking to up our game and deliver the best experience for our customers – on every front. To realize this vision, scale helps. It’s exciting to bring the store across the country so that fans can get their Simon’s fix without making the pilgrimage to Quebec.
Why Park Royal for your entry into BC? We saw the success of the Village and the projected growth for Park Royal. The opportunity to be part of a New Build from the ground up was also a great opportunity. We’re very excited that our introduction into Vancouver will be at Park Royal. It allows us to be part of a community with great potential.
We understand that there is a commitment to strong architecture and design at Simons, what is your philosophy behind that? Our philosophy is about relevance to the customer. All our stores are unique and we work with a number of different design companies to keep things fresh. With our focus on growth, it’s very important to us that we keep this approach.
What have been some of the influences for the design of the store at Park Royal? How has the landscape influenced you? We didn’t want to create too much of a typical natural environment, often expected to reflect Vancouver. Vancouverites are so much more than the outdoors so we’re reflecting something modern for a sophisticated shopper. Where we do pay homage to the naturally stunning setting is through capitalizing on the natural light, view and creating vistas through to the tree line, Ambleside Park and Lions Gate Bridge.
What are some of the unique design features for the Park Royal store? All of our stores are different – we consider regional nuances in the design of each of our stores – but the Park Royal location is going to take that philosophy one step further with a model which breaks down the traditional department store and creates unique, boutique-like shopping environments for each of our core departments.
We are also commissioning art by local Vancouver artists that will be incorporated into thestore. We’ll have more to share in the spring but it’s exciting to be working with such an amazing group on a number of large-scale installations.
We are also launching the Simons cafe. It’s sure to be a great place to take a break and enjoy a meal looking out over the tree line of Ambleside Park and the Lions Gate Bridge.
The exterior façade is looking beautiful. Can you please explain the story behind the pre-cast panels you are using for the store? The exterior concept is based on Salish woven ceremonial blankets because we wanted to honour that we’re on Squamish land. It’s LED lit and on sunny days the shadows reflect a beautiful relief pattern. The façade looks beautiful – most of the pre-cast panels are up – and is very unique to Park Royal. We wanted to create a landmark that would add to the landscape of Park Royal.
Shoes or Handbags? Shoes… always shoes
Eyes or Lips? Lips
Paris or New York? New York – my new love
Man Repeller or Sincerely Jules? MR
Best thing about Vancouver? The landscape. Everywhere you look, the mountain backdrop beyond the city skyline is breathtaking. And I make sure to hit up Tacofino when I’m in the city – I crave it when I’m back in Calgary.