Saks Fifth Avenue Preparing to Build 1st Canadian Stores

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Saks Fifth Avenue has commenced preparations to build its first two Canadian locations. Room is being created for its Canadian flagship in Downtown Toronto, and hoarding is up for Saks’ Sherway Gardens store. Both locations are scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. In total, Canada is expected to house seven Saks stores, with Montreal and Vancouver each confirmed for at least one Saks location. Speculation persists that Saks could also open stores in Calgary and Edmonton. 

Saks’ Canadian flagship will occupy an estimated 150,000 square feet within Hudson’s Bay‘s 850,000 square foot Toronto Eaton Centre location. Sources at Hudson’s Bay say that space is being created on the store’s second floor for Saks, currently occupied by menswear. The store’s licensed TopMan department has been relocated and will eventually be housed on the store’s fifth floor, and we’re awaiting further details as to the exact configuration of Saks’ Toronto Eaton Centre flagship. Nordstrom’s 213,000 square foot Toronto Eaton Centre store will open several months after Saks, in the fall of 2016. 

Saks’ Sherway Gardens store will occupy about 132,000 square feet of a former Sears location. Hoarding is already up, as evidenced by the above photo by Toronto Shopkeeper. Other mall anchors include a 223,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay store and a 33,670 square foot Holt Renfrew location. In the spring of 2017, Nordstrom will open a 138,000 square foot Sherway Gardens store, and a mall expansion will eventually see a 40,000+ square foot Sporting Life store join a new flagship 24,000 square foot Harry Rosen menswear store. We’re uncertain if Holt Renfrew will expand its current Sherway Gardens store or exit the mall altogether. Regardless, we don’t expect Holt’s to maintain its Sherway store at its current size, given the retailer’s strategy to operate larger store locations

Saks’ Canadian stores are expected to feature sizeable luxury food halls, modelled on those of Harrod’s in London. According to Hudson’s Bay Company CEO Richard Baker, these food halls will measure approximately 25,000 square feet each. 

Saks Fifth Avenue plans to open seven Canadian locations. So far we can confirm these two Toronto stores, and Hudson’s Bay Company representatives have said that Saks will open stores in Montreal and Vancouver. We’re unsure if any other Canadian cities will see Saks locations, though speculation persists that Saks could open in Downtown Calgary, and possibly at West Edmonton Mall. Recently, Richard Baker confirmed that Saks will not open in Ottawa or Quebec City and upon reviewing Winnipeg’s demographics, we doubt Saks will consider a location in Manitoba’s capital city, either. 

Sources reveal that Saks could open two stores in each Montreal and Vancouver. A source at the company says that they expect Saks will open stores in excess of 100,000 square feet within Hudson’s Bay’s downtown Montreal and Vancouver flagships. Speculation continues that Saks could also open at Le Carrefour Laval in suburban Montreal and at Vancouver’s Oakridge Shopping Centre, though neither is confirmed. We’re unaware if talks have progressed for a 120,000 square foot Saks at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, though Richard Baker confirms talks have taken place with Yorkdale’s landlord, Oxford Properties. 

We’ll update this article when we learn more specific details pertaining to the construction of Toronto’s first Saks Fifth Avenue stores, as well as its other Canadian locations. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Any chance we will ever see a Saks at Yorkdale? It really surprises me that they haven’t tried to lease space in the old Sears location. Unless they have some type of deal with CF that would keep them away from any Oxford properties?

    • There’s definitely a possibility that Saks could move into Yorkdale – in fact, plans are proposed that could include as many as two anchors in a westward mall expansion towards Dufferin Street.

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