According to the November 27th edition of the The Globe & Mail Report on Business, Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Richard Baker says that he’ll open up to eight Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Canada, including suburban locations in or near Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Based on Baker’s comments, we’re providing an updated list of which suburban Canadian malls are likely to receive a new Saks store. We also have an update on potential downtown stores: they might not go into current flagship Hudson’s Bay store space, after all.
The Globe & Mail article says the following about Richard Baker:
“He’s also weighing setting up Saks in Calgary, and in suburban Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver—up to seven or eight Canadian Saks in all, he says. He’s already negotiating for space in major suburban malls such as Toronto’s Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale.”
Given the above statement, we have an update on what suburban locations we think Saks Fifth Avenue could open in Canada. We’ll specifically address potential suburban locations.
The first two locations we’ll discuss are the obvious ones which were mentioned in the article: Toronto’s Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale Mall. The second two might be less obvious. We speculate that the Vancouver store location could be at Oakridge Shopping Centre, and that the suburban Montreal store could be at Le Carrefour Laval.
Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto: Richard Baker may be negotiating for the entire 190,000 square foot Sears store location that was recently sold back to landlord Oxford Properties. The store enjoys a prime location next to an expanded flagship Harry Rosen store and is between an upscaled Hudson’s Bay and a substantially expanded and modernized Holt Renfrew store. We had initially expected a Yorkdale Saks to be established within part of Hudson’s Bay’s 303,000 square foot store, though now it appears Richard Baker is willing to spend substantially more money on Canadian Saks stores than we had originally anticipated.
Saks could have some competition for the Yorkdale Sears space, however. La Maison Simons has expressed interest in leasing part of the space. Furthermore, the mall’s landlord has also stated that it may wish to demolish Sears in order to expand Yorkdale Mall into that space as well as the adjacent parking space.
Nordstrom will join Yorkdale in 2016 with a new 188,000 square foot store, in part of a 298,000 square foot mall expansion.
Sherway Gardens, Toronto: Saks could occupy part (or even all) of Sherway’s 225,000 Sears store location which Sears recently sold back to landlord Cadillac Fairview. We again have changed our thoughts on where Saks could go. We were expecting Saks to open a shop-in-store within suburban Hudson’s Bay stores, but after last week’s article in the Globe & Mail, it appears that Richard Baker is willing to spend money to build large free-standing Saks stores. We think 225,000 square feet might be a bit too large for Saks at Sherway, however – only two American Saks locations are larger than 225,000 square feet, and both are ‘urban’ flagships, being the Manhattan (646,000 square feet) and Beverly Hills (275,000 square feet) stores.
Sherway Gardens is a sufficiently upscale mall for Saks, and it features other upscale tenants including Holt Renfrew (which may stay in the mall, despite its building a 120,000 square foot store in nearby Mississauga) and, in 2016, a 138,000 square foot Nordstrom store.
Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver: Saks had already been inquiring into space at Oakridge Centre, and Oakridge’s landlord is looking to fill a proposed 155,000 square foot anchor store with an upscale American department store. Though it wouldn’t open until some time around the year 2020, an expanded Oakridge Centre could become home to a Saks store.
Carrefour Laval, suburban Montreal: Given the possibility that Saks could open in suburban Montreal, our best guess for its location would be Carrefour Laval. The mall enjoys an affluent shopping base and its landlord, Cadillac Fairview, is keen to make improvements to the mall. We’re not sure if Saks could take over the mall’s current Sears store, or if it would want to – the mall’s Sears store is a bit removed from other upscale retailers and is itself neighboured by some more mid-market stores. We’re not aware of mall restrictive covenants though it’s possible that a purpose-built Saks could arrive in the mall within a few years.
Besides these four suburban store locations, we expect at least three downtown Canadian Saks stores: one in Toronto (replacing Hudson’s Bay at Yonge and Bloor) as well as in Vancouver and Montreal. Sources have informed us that Saks management may want to create free-standing downtown stores rather than locate within flagship Hudson’s Bay stores in Downtown Vancouver and Montreal. An eighth possible Saks store could be somewhere in Calgary.
We’ll be watching Saks closely and we’ll let you know when we learn of where Saks will open in Canada, including where possible free-standing downtown stores may be located.
- Saks Fifth Avenue to Open in Canada. HBC Purchase Finalized
- Saks Fifth Avenue to Build Massive Toronto Flagship
- Analysis: Saks Fifth Avenue’s 2nd Larges Store to Replace HBC at Yonge & Bloor
- Saks Fifth Avenue to Open in Montreal
- Possible Saks Fifth Avenue Locations(s) for Toronto