Saks 5th Avenue to Open Canada’s Largest Suburban Luxury Store [With Renderings]

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When it opens early next year, American luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue‘s second Canadian location will be Canada’s largest suburban luxury department store. Located at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Saks will surpass the size of Holt Renfrew‘s suburban stores, which have grown in size over the past several years.

According to Sherway’s landlord Cadillac Fairview, the mall’s three-level Saks will measure an impressive 132,256 square feet. The new store, scheduled to open on Feburary 25, 2016, will occupy the southern portion of the mall’s former 225,000 Sears location. Sport Chek will occupy most of the remainder of Sears, measuring about 70,000 square feet. Remarkably, Sherway’s Saks will be only marginally smaller than the mall’s new Nordstrom, scheduled to open spring/summer of 2017. When completed, Sherway’s Nordstrom will be about 138,000 square feet.

Saks Sherway “will feature an open format so customers can easily navigate their way through as they shop”, according to Saks. The store will feature a basement-level food hall operated by Toronto-based Pusateri’s Fine Foods, estimated to be about 19,000 square feet. Sherway’s Saks will also feature a restaurant operated by Oliver & Bonacini, a salon/spa operated by New York City-based John Barrett, and concessions for cosmetics brands AesopKiehl’s, and others. 

Saks Sherway will be about 10,000 square feet larger than Holt Renfrew’s 122,000 square foot Mississauga Square One location, currently under construction. That Holt Renfrew location is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016 and when completed, will be Canada’s second-largest suburban luxury store. Holt Renfrew’s Toronto Yorkdale Shopping Centre store is almost as large, measuring about 121,000 square feet. Holt Renfrew stores have grown substantially over the past several years. It’s Yorkdale store, for example, measured just over 65,000 square feet before it expanded in early 2014, while its current CF Sherway Gardens store measures only 33,600 square feet. Earlier this year, Holt’s closed its 36,000 square foot Ottawa and 33,000 square foot Quebec City units, as the retailer continues its $300 million expansion which will focus on operating larger stores. For now, the company’s Sherway and Edmonton stores are its only remaining units measuring less than 40,000 square feet, while its 83,000 square foot Montreal store will close in 2017 to be merged into a 220,000 square foot Ogilvy/Holt’s flagship. 

Saks’ Sherway store will by no means be the retailer’s largest suburban store, however. In the United States, where flagship retailers are more common in suburban malls than downtown, Saks boasts several units substantially larger than Sherway. Its new Houston Galleria store location, set to open in the spring of 2016, will measure about 198,000 square feet. Its Bal Harbour Shops (Florida) unit will also relocate next year to a 180,000 square foot space, which some say could also include a food hall like in Saks’ Canadian stores. Saks also operates large suburban locations in Las Vegas (Fashion Show Mall, 166,000 square feet), Boca Raton, Florida (Town Center at Boca Raton, 148,000 square feet), Atlanta (Phipps Plaza, 150,000 square feet) and Troy, Michigan (Detroit metro, Somerset Collection, 160,000 square feet).

Saks’ largest confirmed Canadian location will be its 170,000 square foot CF Toronto Eaton Centre flagship, scheduled to open February 18, 2016. This Saks location will be one of Canada’s largest luxury retailers, surpassed only by Holt Renfrew’s 185,000 square foot Toronto Bloor Street flagship, Holt’s expanded 187,000 square foot Vancouver CF Pacific Centre unit, and Montreal’s 220,000 square foot combined Ogilvy/Holt’s flagship. The Vancouver store’s expansion is expected to be completed before the end of 2016, while the expanded Montreal store is expected to be finished about a year later. 

Saks Fifth Avenue has confirmed intentions to open stores in Vancouver and Montreal and as well, possibly in Calgary. Saks hasn’t indicated how large these locations will be, nor where they will be located.

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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