Original ‘The Room’ at Hudson’s Bay Relocates and Downsizes [With Photos]

Hudson’s Bay’s luxury women’s department ‘The Room’ at Toronto Eaton Centre has relocated to the western portion of the store’s third floor, as construction commences for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Canadian flagship. Saks will occupy The Room’s former third floor space on the eastern side of the Hudson’s Bay building. The new ‘Room’ is slightly smaller than its previous location, and features some modifications from its original design. 

The department features natural light from exterior windows, as well as a concierge and private shopping room called The Platinum Suite. The new department is arguably in a better location than its predecessor, as it can be conveniently accessed from the store’s main set of elevators. 

ELEVATORS NEXT TO THE ROOM. PHOTO: CRAIG PATTERSON

The new department features a central area with gray marble flooring, displaying fashions from several luxury brands. The Room also features an Azzedine Alaïa shop-in-store, as well as an area dedicated to Armani Collezioni with corner windows facing both Bay Street and Richmond Street. Other designers prominently displayed include names such as Balmain, Comme des Garçons, Ungaro, Emilio Pucci, Giambattista Valli, J. Mendel, Maison Martin Margiela, Mary Katrantzou, Moschino, Nina Ricci, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Roland Mouret, Viktor & Rolf, and others. 

AZZEDINE ALAÏA SHOP-IN-STORE. PHOTO: CRAIG PATTERSON

The Room is located within two Hudson’s Bay flagships — at Toronto Eaton Centre, and in downtown Vancouver. The original 21,500 square foot Toronto Room opened in October of 2009 and the 18,000 square foot Vancouver location followed in September of 2011. The large new luxury floors were the brainchild of Hudson’s Bay VP Nicholas Mellamphy under the direction of then-President and CEO Bonnie Brooks. Mellamphy’s ‘The Room’ concept is the reincarnation of a luxury department called the St. Regis Room, which opened in 1937 within the Queen Street Simpson’s department store. The Queen Street Simpson’s was rebranded as a Bay in 1991, as it remains today, when parent company Hudson’s Bay Company discontinued the Simpson’s nameplate. 

GREY MARBLE FLOORS AND UNFINISHED CEILINGS. PHOTO: CRAIG PATTERSON

Saks Fifth Avenue will occupy The Room’s former third-floor space, as well as some retail space westward. Level three will be Saks’ women’s fashion floor, including personal shopping suites, according to a source at Saks. Saks will occupy four levels within the Queen Street/Eaton Centre Hudson’s Bay building.

The Room was originally intended to expand into Hudson’s Bay’s downtown Montreal flagship, as well as at Hudson’s Bay Company-owned Lord & Taylor in Manhattan. The Lord & Taylor location was set to open in September of 2013, with the Montreal location following in early 2014. Neither came to fruition.

As far as we’re aware, there are no plans to significantly modify The Room in Vancouver. Although it was originally speculated that Saks Fifth Avenue would locate within downtown Vancouver’s Hudson’s Bay building, sources say that Saks may open one or two suburban Vancouver mall locations, instead. 

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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