Friday, April 08, 2016

Harry Rosen Building, 82 Bloor Street West

I was downtown Toronto earlier this week, walking from one old haunt (the bookstore) to another (the University of Toronto). As I gawped at the various changes taking place -- old buildings leveled and dug out, basically, to make way for new condos, etc -- my eyes settled on the recently renovated Harry Rosen flagship store, at 82 Bloor West.

I admire it. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures (this one is from da webz) -- so I can't quite communicate what makes this particular face-lift (via architects Ron Shieh and Tony Ng) so visually effective in its given neighborhood. But it stands apart from the surrounding architecture without being garish or thumb-in-yer-eye about it. It's handsome and up-to-the-minute in its lines, without being stylistically confrontational. Stately and snappy -- pretty much the physical embodiment of the interior contents, really.

I hope to get back to this, but for now I'll wish you a happy weekend -- WP/dpr


Anonymous said...

Great architecture, great building and great blend into fancy and gloomy hood of Yorkville. As an previous employee of Harry Rosen I (still) pay a lots of respect to the foundation, Harry's and his brother's legwork as well as everything his son Larry added onto it. That building on Bloor St tells you what wise man and $500 loan can take you up to it. Unfortunately, there is the other side of medal as well ... Now, I'am living in New York City and come to Toronto quite often but all connections with Harry Rosen I have are outside of it's fancy flagship, in Lettieri coffee shop on Cumberland, across the street with many of my friends, ex-coworkers and still employees of Harry Rosen Inc. Company is still, thanks G'd, progressing, stores are becoming bigger and flashier, more and more brand are appearing on it's shelves every day and more and more commission hungry sales associates are serving their clients every day. That's all good and exactly as it should be. But, there is one, very big BUT in between. But, why I come to Toronto, why I hang out in Yorkville and even come to get a coffee with many of Harry Rosen's employees BUT never go to the store again.
The reason is so simple and oblivious: EMPLOYEE - MANAGEMENT RELATIONSHIP !
Beside the great job company does in matter of serving their clients and bringing the latest brands and fashion trends to Canadian men they don't do much or anything in providing necessary training to their upper management how to respect and treat with dignity their employees. Except very few top executives or upper management starting from Larry Rosen, himself, his father and uncle, Jason Greene (managing director of Bloor Street flagship) and/or Adam Percival (one of Bloor Street's GMs, sorry Faustin I have a very good opinion about you but you weren't a GM at the time I left the corp) most of them treat their employees as garbage. They brought some complete idiots, with no clear sense of business from smaller volume (i.e. Sq One Mississauga location) or some monkeys who don't give a damn about Harry and his heritage and they simply think they owe company and all it's employee. That's something what leaves bitter taste in everybody's mouth. That's something what will make you not even to say hello to your ex-boss when you accidentally run into him or her. Funny enough, few months ago, I run into one of mine ex GM's from Harry Rosen on subway Station in Bushwick, Brooklyn (she moved to NYC shortly after me before moving to San Francisco last month accepting a position with something-called-a-bespoke-service) and did not make me even to acknowledge her because of all stupidity she has done as GM at that nice and gloomy Bloor Street location.
Few tips to Larry and his crowd:
- keep the same pace with bringing current brands, fashions styles and trends to Canada
- continue to expand, develop and upgrade stores
- and be very careful whom do you hire, whom do you promote to significant position. Monkey always does what monkey sees, regardless if that monkey is in Salvadoran jungle or if he moves from Square One to Bloor street, puts Armani on and gets in Benz.
Ned TR

Whisky Prajer said...

Hey Ned -

Thanks for weighing in with your experiences! A healthy employee/management working relationship is absolutely critical, isn't it? Seems to be the number one challenge, though, and not just in retail but in service industries and just about any other you could care to name.

I might as well admit I've yet to make a purchase in HR's. Lots of window shopping, but never any outlay -- yet. Perhaps some forthcoming auspicious occasion will nudge my credit card out and onto the counter.

I have, however, known a few HR salespeople over the years, and they certainly are a commission hungry bunch! Also, they seem to have a collective ear to the ground when it comes to exceptional cultural events -- from shindigs to happenings to unexpected concerts, these people have some sort of inside track to it all. A customer-to-salesperson confidential, I expect.

Anonymous said...

Here's an option for you ... walk into Robert Jones ar the Royal Bank Centre ... a very unique shopping experience!

Whisky Prajer said...

I shall definitely give it a look -- thank you!

Anonymous said...

Zev Nadel on Bloor Street is person to go. Good listener, never over the edge and, the most important, salesman who knows when to push the brake. Zev will take you from the basement (Hugo Boss) up to bespoke without making any pressure on you, following by: Ralph, Steve J, Rocky, Robert, Bobby, Ben David, the Island Boy, and Fadi. Upper management is also fine, Jason, Percival, Faustin and Daniel (when not on crack), but everything else is pure, commission driven junk !