Upscale New York City-based department store Bloomingdale’s may still be interested in opening in Canada, according to sources. The retailer has yet to find “the right real estate” in Toronto, though it has been reportedly scouting for space in Canada’s largest city, according to Women’s Wear Daily. If Bloomingdale’s does open Canadian locations, it will face intense competition from the likes of Holt Renfrew as well as American retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, both opening multiple Canadian locations over the next several years.
Sources inform us that Bloomingdale’s has been examining Canadian real estate for the past several years, with landlords of many top malls courting the retailer. We were told that Ivanhoe Cambridge, for example, was interested in having Bloomingdale’s anchor the southern portion of its expanded Oakridge Shopping Centre in Vancouver. Bloomingdale’s representatives have spoken to multiple Toronto landlords as well, according to sources. Other mall landlords have been in talks with the retailer though as far as we’re aware, no deals have been reached.
Bloomingdale’s currently has 37 American store locations, as well as a store in Dubai. Bloomingdale’s may hasten its international store expansion by building smaller stores in the 80,000 to 100,000 square foot range, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Smaller Bloomingdale’s stores already exist in Manhattan (Soho) as well as in Santa Monica, California. Its new stores in Palo Alto and Glendale, California, both measure only 120,000 square feet.
If Bloomingdale’s chooses to open in Canada, it will face intense competition from two other upscale American department stores, both expanding nation-wide. Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue plan to open seven or eight Canadian locations over the next several years. Nordstrom’s first store will open this month at Calgary’s Chinook Centre, with further store locations confirmed for Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. Saks Fifth Avenue will open two Toronto stores in 2016, and sources say the retailer wants to open locations in Vancouver, Montreal and possibly in Calgary.
Furthermore, Holt Renfrew is renovating and expanding its fleet of Canadian stores, concentrating on operating 100,000+ square foot units, while closing smaller underperforming locations. Upscale menswear retailer Harry Rosen continues to be Canada’s top menswear retailer, with plans to renovate and expand many of it stores. The Canadian luxury goods market could become oversatured as a result of this competition, and Bloomingdale’s may wish to seriously evaluate the market before considering any Canadian locations.