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Saks Fifth Avenue Announces Massive Montreal Flagship

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The Hudson’s Bay Company has announced that Montreal will become home to Canada’s largest Saks Fifth Avenue store. The massive four-level flagship will open with the downtown Montreal Hudson’s Bay building at 585 Sainte Catherine Street West in the fall of 2018. 

The new Montreal Saks store will span approximately 200,000 square feet, making it larger than the Toronto Saks flagship, which measures 170,000 square feet (including a soon-to-open 25,000 square foot Saks food hall by Pusateri’s Fine Foods and an 11,000 square foot restaurant). Like the Toronto location, Montreal’s Saks will occupy part of the city’s flagship Hudson’s Bay building, with frontage on Boulevard de Maisonneuve. 

Unique to the Montreal store will be an 80,000 square foot Quebec-themed Saks Fifth Avenue food hall (including restaurant space), similar to the Pusateri’s at Saks in Toronto. Montreal’s Saks will also feature women’s designer ready-to-wear, handbags, accessories, beauty, men’s, Fifth Avenue Club with private suites/personal shopping consultants and the women’s 10022-SHOE floor. 

EXTREME MAKEOVER: CURRENT BOULEVARD DE MAISONNEUVE FACADE TO SEE OVERHAUL. THE STUCCO EXTERIOR WILL BE REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH A DRAMATIC SAKS STOREFRONT. PHOTO: MAXIME FRECHETTE
Saks Fifth Avenue Montreal Rendering

The 655,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay building will undergo an extensive renovation that will reconfigure the store layout, redefine departments and enhance the overall shopping environment, according to the company. The store will remain open throughout the renovation process. 

Montreal’s Saks will become one of the company’s largest stores. Larger units include locations on Fifth Avenue in New York City (about 650,000 square feet), Houston (Houston Galleria, 210,000 square feet) and two units (separate men’s and women’s stores) in Beverly Hills, California, which together occupy about 260,000 square feet on prestigious Wilshire Boulevard. 

RENDERING OF THE COMPLETELY RENOVATED HUDSON’S BAY FLAGSHIP, FRONTING ONTO SAINTE CATHERINE STREET WEST.

Saks will compete vigorously with another new luxury department store, also opening in 2018, located at the opposite end of busy Sainte Catherine Street West. Ogilvy, owned by Selfridges Group, will merge with Holt Renfrew and expand to about 225,000 square feet, coinciding with Holt’s closing its 1300 Sherbrooke Street West store. Ogilvy is located at 1307 Sainte Catherine Street West, about 800 metres/2,600 feet west of the new Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Saks Fifth Avenue opened its first two Canadian locations in Toronto earlier this year. A 170,000 square foot flagship opened within the CF Toronto Eaton Centre Hudson’s Bay store on February 18, 2016, and a 143,000 square foot CF Sherway Gardens unit (with an 18,500 square foot Pusateri’s) followed a week later. Saks has announced that it will also open a 115,000 square foot Calgary store, at CF Chinook Centre in February of 2018, though there was no mention of a food hall for that location. 

*Renderings supplied by HBC. 

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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7 COMMENTS

  1. What’s the status of a possible Saks Fifth Avenue store in Vancouver? Are we reaching the saturation point with luxury shopping in Vancouver?

    • I think Vancouver will see a Saks Fifth Avenue eventually. Holt Renfrew (with brand- new expansion) and Nordstrom are both among the highest performing locations for their respective brands. If a market can sustain two very successful luxury department stores , then a third is warranted.

      However I do believe that Vancouver’s capacity (at least downtown) for luxury department stores would near capacity after a Saks Fifth Ave. A Simons could be possible, but most of their merchandise is moderately priced or at-least accessible (save for a handful of luxury brands).

      The Hudsons Bay Company’s issue is finding suitable real estate downtown. Locations for a store outside of downtown is not out of the question, nevertheless HBC strongly prefers a downtown location. Unfortunately new or available retail spaces of around 150-200k square feet downtown is hard to come by.

      This issue regarding a lack of retail space for luxury brands is also present on Alberni St. Almost no vacancies remain surrounding the Luxury Zone. This had led to speculation that unless some of the preexisting tenants that now seem out of place (Michael’s Arts and Crafts) relocate elsewhere, new luxury retailers will have to expand in the vicinity on West Georgia, Thurlow, etc.

  2. Emmy, That is a great question. I don’t understand how all of these stores will survive. The same question is being asked about my home of New York City with the recent opening of Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue and the future opening of Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

    Currently NYC’s Manhattan island has two Bloomingdale’s locations, two Barneys New York locations, two Saks Fifth Avenue locations, a Bergdorf Goodman store, a Macy’s store and a Lord & Taylor store.

    • There’s also 8M people in the 5 boroughs, as well as millions of tourists. Americans also spend traditionally more on consumer goods than consumers. I believe Quebecers spend less than other Canadians. I don’t see how both Saks and Ogilvy/Holts will both survive. But that’s just my opinion !

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