Saks Fifth Avenue Announces Calgary Opening Details [With Renderings]

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*Update: Saks Fifth Avenue is now open in Calgary. Here’s a description and photo-tour [Feb 22, 2018]

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Luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, operating under the Hudson’s Bay Company umbrella, has just announced the opening date of its Calgary store, as well as its new General Manager. Saks is looking to hire for over 120 positions for the new CF Chinook Centre location, which is scheduled to open on February 22, 2018. We’ve included seven renderings of the new store.

Saks Fifth Avenue opened its first two Canadian stores last year, both in Toronto. On February 18, 2016, Saks opened its 170,000 square foot downtown Toronto flagship at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, which occupies a portion of the east side of the massive Hudson’s Bay Queen Street building. On February 25, 2016, Saks opened a 143,200 square foot second store at CF Sherway Gardens

The 115,000 square foot Calgary Saks store is being built in the mall’s former Target space — prior to Target, Zellers occupied that space. The new two-level Saks store will have a full-service restaurant and a salon, though it may lack the food halls found in Saks’ first two Canadian stores in Toronto. Renderings indicate that the Calgary store will look similar to its Toronto stores. 

Saks just announced that Lydia Seifert has been appointed as Vice President, General Manager of Saks Calgary — she has nearly 20 years of experience in the retail industry. 

A recruitment centre has opened in suite 701 of the CF Chinook Centre professional tower. Saks is seeking to fill approximately 120 full- and part-time career opportunities. Positions are available for selling managers and support managers, as well as sales and support staff in all departments, including men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, jewelry, shoes, cosmetics, personal shopping, merchandising, visual, alterations and asset protection. The recruitment centre is open for walk-ins and on-site interviews Mondays through Fridays. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply in-person or to submit a resume at www.hbc.com/careers or via this link.

Saks Fifth Avenue has said that it will open a 200,000 square foot flagship at the back end of Hudson’s Bay’s downtown Montreal flagship in 2018, though sources in the company say that there’s a delay, with more details to follow. 

Saks has also said that it plans to open a store in Vancouver, though sources confirm that finding enough space is a challenge for Saks. One option would have been to insert Saks into Vancouver’s 637,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay flagship, though the option is now less likely given that WeWork will be taking the top two floors of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver store, reducing its size by about 140,000 square feet. Saks may end up building a freestanding store somewhere in the Lower Mainland, and downtown Vancouver is said to be a priority. 

CF Chinook Centre is one of Canada’s top malls in terms of annual sales per square foot, according to Retail Council of Canada’s Shopping Centre Study. A 2017 study will be released this fall, and there are sponsorship opportunities available [sales kit] — last year’s study was widely read. As well, Retail Council of Canada is hosting an interesting event on November 21 at Google’s downtown Toronto headquarters, discussing the future of brick-and-mortar retail in Canada, including the new 2017 study. Click here for more information

Renderings of the new Calgary CF Chinook Centre Saks Fifth Avenue are via Craig Nealy/Stantec

9 COMMENTS

  1. I feel like a Vancouver Saks at the Amazing Brentwood would make sense. It already has the L Catterton stakeholder involvement (as Retail Insider covered). Wouldn’t Shape Properties be pitching HBC staff to have Saks anchor the upcoming redeveloped mall? Seems like a natural fit.

    • Certainly, though HBC’s first priority will be to either to locate Saks within an existing Cadillac Fairview mall, or within a Hudson’s Bay flagship. On that note, CF Richmond Centre would be the most likely suburban mall for Saks, and there’s a possibility that a downtown store could open in the new Westbank ‘Bay Parkade’ project, though it’s years away from completion.

      The WeWork deal was unusual and somewhat of a mistake, in our opinion.

  2. I think the WeWork partnership has great potential since many of HBC’s flagships are so large. I’m sure it must be difficult and risky to drive traffic to upper retail floors. Any idea on which floors WeWork will be taking at the Queen Street store? What a shame since they did a such an amazing job renovating the home/housewares & men’s on the top floors.

  3. Such a mistake HBC is making with putting WeWork.

    These flagship stores should be large and innovative. All this deal will do is make these stores less of an attraction, as they shrink the offerings to fit the smaller spaces.

    • We agree with you there, and we may write an article about this in the near future. Hudson’s Bay will be losing its revamped men’s floor on 6 in Vancouver, as well as its award-winning home floor (on 7) in Toronto. Instead of emulating retailers like, say, Selfridges or Galeries Lafayette, HBC is going for the $ at the expense of potential.

      One of those floors could be a spectacular food hall. There are so many missed opportunities.

  4. The Saks announcement for Calgary is another nail in the coffin for downtown Calgary’s retail area.

    On my recent visit to Calgary, the downtown retail area was super quiet on a nice warm Saturday, and Holt Renfrew was empty. Contrast that to the zoo at Chinook Centre, where the traffic was backing up on the main roads to get into the mall.

    I wonder if Holt Renfrew is regretting not opening at Chinook, or if they still make enough money on weekdays with the business workers.

  5. What’s going on with HBC’s plan announced last year to open a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Montreal in the Bay’s building on Rue Sainte Catherine? Is HBC having second thoughts about this project due to the relatively small size of the city’s luxury market and the scope of the Ogilvy-Holt Renfrew upscale megaplex currently under construction nearby?

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