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Louis Vuitton and Dior Boutiques Exit Saks Fifth Avenue in Downtown Toronto [Photos]

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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.

Shuttered Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022
Shuttered main floor Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Shuttered main floor DIOR bag/accessory boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Shuttered DIOR ready-to-wear boutique on the 3rd Floor at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on December 31st, 2021 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

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 Queen Street with Louis Vuitton Windows Covered. Photo taken on Yonge Street (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

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.

See more photos below including the last day Louis Vuitton was open.

On the day of closing: Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on December 31st, 2021 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
On the day of closing: Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on December 31st, 2021 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
On the day of closing: Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on December 31st, 2021 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Shuttered third floor DIOR at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on December 31st, 2021 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street with Louis Vuitton Windows Covered (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Shuttered DIOR at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022
Shuttered main floor DIOR boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Shuttered Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022
Shuttered main floor Louis Vuitton at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. 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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3 COMMENTS

  1. When HBC decided to renovate its Queen Street store to accommodate the entry to Canada of its Saks Fifth Avenue brand, the company was making a bet that luxury shoppers in Bloor-Yorkville would migrate downtown given Toronto’s robust market for upscale goods. Five years later, disappointing revenue and the closure of some LVMH concessions indicate that was not the winning decision. I wonder if HBC would have had more success if it had instead made its investment in the bunker-like location at Bloor and Yonge and made that drab store a showcase. It’s proximity to Toronto’s established home of upmarket shopping would have been a stronger Canadian debut for Saks. There were skeptics at the time and though events seem to have proved them correct, it’s still too early to say “I told you so.” But for now, Yorkville remains one of two nodes for luxury retail in Greater Toronto, its primary competition coming from suburban Yorkdale, which seems to go from strength to strength. Meanwhile, it would be interesting to know how this news is greeted at Holt Renfrew which overhauled its stores and whittled itself down to seven locations with a flagship strategy precisely in anticipation of the arrival in Canada of foreign retailers like Saks and their potential to poach its market. All in all, this is another step in an intriguing retail real estate chess game.

  2. i think they were smart enough to renovate the queen street store the way they did – if Saks ever failed, the bay could easily assume the space that Saks vacates. there were some really high hopes luxury retail would take off, but as an outsider, i never thought the market would ever be big enough in canada to sustain all these stores that were opened (or planned).

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