We Are The North: Talking To TAG Heuer’s New President Of North America
It’s Toronto’s year. First, the Raptors took the NBA championship, and now TAG Heuer has opened its first-ever Toronto boutique in the Yorkdale Mall. We sat down with Benjamin Beaufils, TAG Heuer’s new North American President to learn more about the brand's plans for 2020 and beyond.
It’s quite a coup for the city. Outside of Canada, most people think of Montreal and Vancouver as the destination cities of the Great White North. It also reveals how luxury brands are now eyeing the country as they explore new markets.
We asked Benjamin Beaufils, TAG Heuer’s brand new North American president (read HERE), about the boutique and the brand's plans for Canada.
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Thanks to a strengthening dollar, low tariffs, and a welcoming attitude toward immigrants, Canada is attracting a lot of foreign investment. This means more people are spending more money on high-end goods like watches.
Rhonda Riche: When it comes to Canada, watch companies tend to focus on Montreal or Vancouver first. Why choose Toronto for the first Canadian standalone boutique?
Benjamin Beaufils: We have always had an after-sales department in Toronto, so opening a boutique was the natural next step. Toronto is a thriving, cosmopolitan city with great energy, so we are thrilled to establish our first official retail footprint in this incredible city.
RR: Why are standalone boutiques important to TAG Heuer?
BB: Success in retail is not just about selling a product – it’s about delivering exceptional customer service and creating a unique experience that only TAG Heuer boutiques can provide. Shopping in TAG Heuer’s curated environment allows our consumers to truly immerse themselves into our world, understanding TAG Heuer’s brand heritage and modern-day DNA through our in-store hospitality and brand education.
MALLS OF THE AMERICAS
In a changing retail market, malls have been reinventing themselves into luxury shopping destination. From Vancouver to Miami, the formerly suburban locales have found new life as homes to standalone boutiques. And in Toronto, the upscale Yorkdale Mall seems set to replace the downtown’s chic Yorkville shopping district as the prime luxury address.
RR: Why choose Yorkdale?
BB: The Yorkdale Shopping Centre is the premier luxury destination in Canada, boasting a collection of more than 250 retailers from around the world. And, it is conveniently located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area.
RR: What makes this boutique special?
BB: The boutique’s interior reflects the unique spirit and authentic heritage of TAG Heuer while showcasing the brand’s innovative designs. The new boutique will house the full assortment of TAG Heuer’s core product offering, including limited-edition novelty timepieces from the latest men’s and women’s collections, notably, the Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph, the Fifth Edition of the Monaco anniversary watches, as well as a limited-edition Heuer 02 co-designed by Hiroshi Fujiwara.
RR: Toronto is home to many ethnic groups. How does this diversity play into the direct-to-consumer shopping experience?
BB: Toronto is a cosmopolitan city representing different interests and personal style. We kept this in mind when staffing our boutique team to ensure we represent the multi-ethnic spirit of the city.
The locals are also very excited to have their first-ever, stand-alone TAG Heuer boutique. They are also anticipating some surprises and exclusives.
RR: Any surprises for the grand opening? For example, any Canada-only limited editions?
BB: We will have an IndyCar on display for the opening to reinforce this important relationship with our new Canadian customers. We will not have Canada-only limited editions for the grand opening, but we look forward to sharing an exciting announcement with you soon, which will be quite special for Canada.
RR: After the Toronto Boutique opening, what are TAG Heuer’s follow-up plans for Canada?
BB: We are in the process of establishing a Canadian e-commerce platform, making us accessible to customers across all Canadian territories.
TAG Heuer's growth in the Canadian market is a good overall indicator of the brand's commitment to the North American market. Benjamin Beaufils (read HERE) brings a fresh vision and a new approach and we look forward to seeing what's in store for TAG Heuer in 2020!
(Images provided by TAG Heuer)