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Inside Saks Fifth Avenue’s 1st Canadian Store [Photos]

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This week, we toured Saks Fifth Avenue‘s first Canadian store, located within the Hudson’s Bay building on Queen Street at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. This article features photos from a media tour, as well as an evening cocktail event hosted by the National Ballet of Canada. The store opens to the public with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 am on Thursday February 18. 

The Queen Street Saks store is bright and luxurious, spanning 169,000 square feet over four floors. The store was designed by Saks Fifth Avenue Store Design and Planning, in partnership with design firm FRCH Design Worldwide

The store’s ground level features a handbags hall with several boutiques, a large jewellery area, and a beauty hall. Several shop-in-stores add to the luxury offering. In handbags, there are boutiques for CélineSaint Laurent Paris, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Chloé, Valentino, and a 1,200 square foot Louis Vuitton concession at the store’s Yonge and Queen Street corner. Prada and Dior accessory concessions will open soon. A number of luxury brands are also featured in the department.  

The ground floor features jewellery shop-in-stores for BoucheronDe Grisogono, Chopard and Piaget, (all but Chopard are Canadian firsts), as well as David Yurman and vendors such as Vhernier, Pomellato, Marco Bicego and H.Stern.

The store’s cosmetics department includes a number of premium brands. Saks provided the following vendor list: Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Parfums Christian Dior, Clive Christian, EX NIHILO, MEMO Paris, SERGE LUTENS, Guerlain, Carre Hermès Perfumer, Acqua di Parma, Le Labo, House of Creed, Byredo, Diptyque, Kilian, Jo Malone London, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, By Terry, Decortè, Cellcosmet, Apothecary, Tom Ford, La Prairie, La Mer, Chantecaille, Cle De Peau, Aesop and Valmont. 

The store’s second floor features the 25,000 square foot menswear department, as well as an 8,500 square foot women’s shoe department called ‘10022-SHOE’. The menswear department features a number of premium brands such as Balmain, Dior Homme, Martin Margela, Givenchy DunhillIsaia, Zegna, Helmut Lang, Kenzo, Rag & Bone and others.

The women’s shoe department carries a number of premium designers, including Valentino, Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Givenchy, Aquazurra, Balenciaga, Céline, Chloé and others. 

The store’s third floor features women’s ready to wear, lingerie, and personal shopping suites at Fifth Avenue Club, Saks’ personal shopping and styling service that includes a private suite with refreshments. 

Third floor women’s boutiques include Azzedine Alaia, Céline, Saint Laurent Paris, Givenchy, Valentino, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen. A Dior women’s ready-to-wear concession, a first for a Canada department store, will open soon. 

The women’s designer floor also features a number of other premium designers, including Ralph Lauren, LanvinBrunello Cucinelli, Chloé, Marc Jacobs, and others. 

A number of popular brands are also carried in the store’s ‘contemporary’ department, such as: A.L.C., T by Alexander Wang, Alexis, Iro, Jonathan Simkhai, MSGM, Nicholas, Rag & Bone, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Theory, Vince, and others. 

A 25,000 square foot upscale food hall operated by Pusateri’s Fine Foods will open some time in April on the store’s concourse level. As well, a three-level, 11,000 square foot restaurant/bar operated by Oliver & Bonacini, called Leña, will open in May of 2016. It will be operated Chef Anthony Walsh, will showcase “the vibrant essence of South American cooking and dining with unique Spanish influences”, according to Saks. 

Saks’ second Canadian location opens at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens on Thursday, February 25. 

More photos below: 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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