Fashions from Canadian brand Le Chateau will be back in stores on Thursday in the Suzy Shier chain after the Montreal-based retailer shut down more than a year ago.
Le Chateau, which was founded in 1959, announced in October 2020 that it was shutting all of its 123 stores in Canada and filed for bankruptcy protection.
This season with its Spring/Summer collection the brand will be back after being acquired Suzy Shier.
However, as with any brand relaunch, experts have concerns about Le Chateau’s viability.
“The brand always needs a brand story, and now it needs to retell that story in a compelling way if it is to resonate,” Andrea Benoit told Humber News.
“Le Chateau would be well-served to be clear on its own brand story if it is to really tap into consumer meaning-making,” Benoit said.
Benoit, an expert on media, advertising, branding, consumer culture, and the commodification of social causes, is also an Academic Review Officer at the University of Toronto.
“The brand story could do well by appealing to nostalgia, there were a lot of sad boomers when Le Chateau announced its closure,” Benoit said.
“There’s nothing about the current iteration of the Le Chateau brand that speaks to its brand origins, which to me makes the brand pretty generic,” Benoit said.
“It seems to me that ignoring nostalgia is a missed opportunity for Le Chateau to really become an iconic Canadian brand.”
She pointed out that Le Chateau ran intro trouble over the years with how it marketed itself.
“The “made in Canada’ stance was increasingly untenable, and there is also so much competition and so much choice in the fast fashion arena,” she added.
She added that the brand would be more likely to see success by backing its story up with a commitment to its former quality.
People also have mixed reactions to the brand’s relaunch. While some are excited for the Canadian brand to come back to in-person stores, some don’t have the same excitement.
So Suzy Shier outlasted Le Chateau. Only to assume ownership and re-launch them as their sister brand called… Le Chateau. #CanadianFashion
— Danielle 🇬🇭🇨🇦 (@ItsDanielleKyei) April 12, 2022
Le chateau is making a “come back” with a collection for Suzy Shier?
90s mall flashback headline 💄 pic.twitter.com/soSMwLNgKU
— Abi Roach (@abiroach) April 12, 2022
Under new ownership, the brand’s Spring/Summer 2022 Collection will be available for customers online, and in 37 select Suzy Shier stores across Canada including Toronto and Brampton.
“As proud as we are of our online site, we are also delighted to be back in stores,” said Franco Rocchi in a news release.
Rocchi is the former Le Château Executive and now Senior Director of Marketing on the new Suzy/Le Château team in a news release.
“The brand was born in brick-and-mortar, and we couldn’t be happier to rejoin the community of retailers in shopping centres across the country,” Rocchi said.
We are also proud to join our sister brand Suzy in stores now providing a full-service destination for our customers,” Rocchi added.