- DTC luggage brand Monos has opened its first store in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the company is based.
- The approximately 1,900-square-foot flagship store includes a range of products from the brand and will feature a limited-edition sage colorway that is currently only available in the Vancouver store, according to a company press release. The sage color will become available online in mid-August.
- Monos plans to open additional stores outside of British Columbia, including a location next year in Toronto on the Ossington Strip.
The new Vancouver store, located in the Kitsilano area of the city on West 4th Avenue, is designed to serve as an experiential location for customers. The suitcases are known for their distinct colors and patterned designs made with a polycarbonate shell.
The luggage is dent-resistant and features a telescopic handle, a TSA-approved lock, vegan leather details, and all-premium materials. The brand currently sells suitcases, bags, clothing and accessories.
The retail location comes as Monos continues to explore additional channels for selling its travel lifestyle concept. The company is considering expanding into key markets across Canada and the U.S. in the next few years.
Currently Monos has one wholesale partner in Nordstrom. Prior to the department store closing its Canadian operations in March, Monos was sold in all 51 Nordstrom locations. It now sells in the remaining 45 Nordstrom units, all of which are located in the U.S.
“Our flagship store embodies the essence of Monos as a pioneer and innovator in the travel industry, where customers can experience our meticulously crafted products firsthand,” Monos co-founder and CEO Victor Tam said in a statement. “This marks the start of an exciting new journey for us, and we eagerly anticipate expanding our reach and sharing our passion for travel with more people in the years to come.”
Founded in 2018, Monos experienced its “highest-ever grossing month” in February 2020, which was followed by a pause in sales the next month when COVID-19 spread to North America and grounded most travel. Worldwide, the luggage industry lost about $6 billion in market value in 2020, according to Statista.
Monos was forced to quickly pivot when the pandemic hit and create a product that addressed the health concerns of travelers. In just six weeks the brand created the CleanPod UVC Sterilizer, which uses ultraviolet C light to sanitize surfaces. The development and sales of that one product helped Monos to recover, stabilize and flourish in spite of the pandemic. Its revenue increased 400% year over year in 2020, per the company.
This came in contrast to several brands selling travel-related products, which suffered when COVID-19 upended the industry. Some brands, like Away, saw sales plummet. Its revenues dropped by 90% and the company let go 10% of its workforce and went through several iterations of C-Suite executives before the company began to rebound. Since then, Away said it outperformed its original revenue estimates for 2021.
As for Monos, sales continued to increase in 2021, and in early 2022 the brand raised $10 million in Series A funding followed by an additional $30 million in Series B funding later the same year. Monos earlier this year was named one of the top-10 fastest growing apparel and accessories websites, according to a report by Similarweb. Revenue in 2022 increased 300% year over year, the company said.
The company has also released special-edition luggage collections this year, including one with Magnolia Bakery.