Holt Renfrew: Canada’s luxurious monopoly

Unlike the United States, Europe and the Middle East, the Canadian retail luxury landscape is dominated by one major player, Holt Renfrew, which was founded in 1837 in Quebec City.  In 1986, the venerable retail chain was acquired by Galen Weston, who also owns Selfridges in London and Brown Thomas in Ireland.  Since then, Holts has gone on to become the destination for luxury shoppers in Canada with 9 locations in all major cities, an estimated $500m in revenues, and still virtually no competition to speak of in the domestic luxury department store market. However, with monopoly can come complacency.  To address this, in 2004, the company brought in Caryn Lerner to be its new President and CEO. Lerner came…

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