New details have emerged regarding Saks Fifth Avenue's first Canadian locations. Two new luxury boutiques have been revealed, both to be located in what Hudson's Bay Company CEO Richard Baker recently described as being "the single most luxurious department store in Canada". Saks' first Canadian locations are scheduled to open in February, though there will be a delay in opening its food halls.
A recent City of Toronto application, brought by parent company Hudson's Bay Company on behalf of Saks, indicates that a Louis Vuitton shop-in-store will locate within the new Queen Street Saks at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. This will be Louis Vuitton's third downtown Toronto location and the fourth for the city. Vuitton's Toronto stores include a freestanding flagship 'Maison' at 150 Bloor Street West, as well as concessions within Holt Renfrew locations at 50 Bloor Street West and at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. It will also be the ninth Vuitton store for all of Canada, joining a freestanding unit in Vancouver and Holt Renfrew-housed Vuitton shop-in-store concessions in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and at Ogilvy in Montreal.
Recently, Urban Toronto's ACT7 found a job posting indicating that pricey timepiece and jewellery brand Piaget is opening a boutique at Saks in Toronto. This will be the first Piaget boutique for Saks Fifth Avenue as well as Piaget's first Canadian boutique. Priced into the thousands, Piaget watches and jewellery can be found at top Canadian jewellers including Chateau D'Ivoire in Montreal, Royal de Versailles and Raffi Jewellers in Toronto, and at Siba Jewellers in Vancouver. Piaget has five freestanding U.S. locations in Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa CA, Las Vegas, Miami and New York City. It also retails in selected stores and according to Piaget's website, several Neiman Marcus stores carry the brand, but not Saks.
Piaget has since confirmed intentions to open in Saks, as well as possibly a freestanding Canadian store.
Saks Fifth Avenue President Marc Metrick visited Toronto this week, and spoke to journalists about Saks opening in Canada. He confirmed designers Saint Laurent Paris, Stella McCartney and Givenchy would be carried, and other sources indicate that Saks will feature a roster of designers that will include women's ready-to-wear by Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin, Emporio Armani, Valentino Carolina Herrara, and others. Most designers are also carried at Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street West in Toronto, while Nordstrom is expected to carry several when it opens at CF Toronto Eaton Centre next September.
Saks Fifth Avenue's Canadian flagship is scheduled to open on February 18, 2016. The 163,000 square foot store will span four floors in the eastern portion of CF Toronto Eaton Centre's massive Hudson's Bay building. The new Saks will feature personal shopping suites in its Fifth Avenue Club on the third floor, as well as a 21,000 square foot basement food hall operated by Pusateri's Fine Foods. Connected to Pusateri's will be a three-level, 11,000 square foot food experience operated by Oliver and Bonacini. Pusateri's opening will be delayed by up to two months, according to sources, as structural issues with the building were recently discovered during construction. We were recently provided plans and renderings, posted below.
Saks Fifth Avenue's second Canadian location will open on February 25 of 2016 at Toronto's CF Sherway Gardens. The 150,000 square foot three-level store will also feature an 18,500 square foot Pusateri's-operated food hall. Sherway's Saks will locate in part of the mall's former 225,000 square foot Sears space, with most of the remaining space going to a multi-level flagship Sport Chek store. Below is a floor plan of the food hall and renderings.
Ultimately, Saks Fifth Avenue is expected to open seven or eight Canadian Locations. Mr. Metrick told the Toronto Star that another Saks location is close to a deal and is expected to open in 2017. The company has indicated that Montreal and Vancouver are both target cities for the retailer, and that a Calgary store could also be in the works. Some are already speculating that Mr. Metrick's comments about a 2017 store opening were referring to a Saks location at Calgary's CF Chinook Centre, replacing a former 115,000 square foot Target location.
As well, Saks' discount Saks OFF 5TH will open approximately 25 Canadian locations over the next several years, with its first scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. So far Saks has confirmed OFF 5TH locations in Ottawa, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Vaughan ON and Calgary, and sources say that more locations have been secured, with announcements expected to be made shortly for British Columbia as well as a second Alberta location.