LVMH-owned luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior have exited concession operations at Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Toronto. Louis Vuitton had been present since the opening of Saks in 2016 and Dior opened its two boutiques at Saks several months later.
The 1,200 square foot Louis Vuitton boutique opened along with the first Saks Fifth Avenue in Canada on February 18, 2016. The boutique carried a range of bags and accessories and had a branded facade on the exterior of Saks facing both Yonge and Queen Streets. As of press time the street-facing Louis Vuitton facade had been covered over and black tarp had been placed over the entrance to the former boutique.
Dior operated two boutique spaces at Saks including a main floor bag and accessory boutique as well as a women’s ready-to-wear boutique on Saks’ third floor. The bag and accessory boutique opened in May of 2016 after a construction process that included importing custom fixtures from Europe. The 2,000 square foot apparel shop, which opened in September of 2016, was the first Dior concession boutique for women to open in Canada. The facades of both boutiques were covered over in black curtains as of press time.
The exit of both brands does not spell good news for Saks, particularly given that both Louis Vuitton and Dior have a presence at Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street, and both brands also have a standalone presence with storefronts on Toronto’s Bloor Street ‘Mink Mile’ as well as at Holt Renfrew Yorkdale. And Saks has seen other brands make an exit in recent memory — a David Yurman jewellery boutique that operated as a concession shut in 2019, jeweller Boucheron exited Saks to partner with Holt Renfrew, De Grisogono shut its global operations in late 2019, Australian beauty brand Aesop left both Saks stores in Toronto, and most recently French luxury brand Celine shut its main floor Saks bag and accessory boutique a few days before opening a standalone flagship at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
In downtown Toronto, Saks’ main floor still includes several other luxury brands in dedicated boutique spaces including several concessions. The remaining leased concessions on Saks’ main floor include Prada, Saint Laurent and Piaget while Saks also operates shop-in-stores for brands including Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Chloé, Valentino, Chopard and Birks.
Saks Fifth Avenue also continues to operate two other stores in Canada — in March of 2016 the luxury retailer opened at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto and in February of 2018 Saks opened at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary. Saks was expected to expand further into the Montreal and Vancouver markets but its expansion was said to have been shelved due to weak sales performance numbers at other Canadian locations.
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