What used to be a large GAP retail space at the corner of Bloor and Bay Street is set to be the new home of Los Angeles-based Alo Yoga, a company offering technical yoga clothing that can be seen on the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift. This move will mark the company’s first expansion into Canada with plans of further expanding across the country and further, internationally.
Launched in 2007, the brand has grown to be a favourite for celebrity and non-celebrity yoga fans alike, offering the kind of studio-to-street wear that lends itself well to pandemic fashion. The rise of athleisure and COVID-19 changing the way we work, live and dress, Alo could be moving to Canada at the perfect time. But they won’t make the move without a little friendly competition waiting.
In Canada, Lululemon is the main player in the world of fitness-focused fashion and yoga clothing and accessories. Alo will need to remain competitive in order to stack up against this Vancouver-based brand known for its reasonable price points, high quality and seemingly endless warranties. Lululemon was even named Team Canada’s official outfitter back in 2021, stealing the job from iconic retail brand Hudson’s Bay Company after 16 years.
At a slightly higher price point, Alo Yoga’s move to the city’s Yorkville neighbourhood is a smart one, appealing to Toronto’s more affluent consumer. And, in the 60 Bloor St. W. store, spanning three storeys and 17,000 square feet, there’s talks of the space even including an in-house studio for workshops, fitness and yoga classes and other experiential pop-ups to grow consumer base and brand awareness. This would mean Alo House, the branch of the company responsible for experiential marketing campaigns and pop-up events, would have a place to engage and educate shoppers.
Beyond retail and experiential marketing efforts, Alo Yoga operates an at-home fitness concept where, for $30 monthly, members can take part in unlimited meditation, yoga and fitness classes, a novel concept as the ongoing pandemic continues to force fitness centre and gyms to close.
A Retail Insider article reported that the Cumberland Street Lululemon might be moving for a flagship store on Bloor, so the two brands may be going head-to-head on the same block in the months to come.
The Bloor-Yorkville BIA couldn’t confirm an opening date for the new location, and Alo Yoga didn’t respond to a request for comment in time for publication, but construction on the new Alo retail space is said to be underway.