Marina Strauss [Image Source]
We want to give recognition to the news reporter who wrote our favourite Canadian retail article of 2013. The Globe & Mail's Marina Srauss composed a lengthy piece on the Hudson's Bay Company CEO Richard Baker's purchase of Saks Fifth Avenue. The article was published in the November 27th Report on Business Magazine. The writing, research and content is exemplary and worthy of recognition.

Needless to say, we think the article deserves a look and we encourage you to click here to see it. For those interested in the future of Saks Fifth Avenue in Canada and how the deal came about, the article is captivating. Ms. Strauss starts by revealing that Richard Baker intends on opening the world's second-largest Saks Fifth Avenue store at Toronto's Yonge and Bloor Street intersection, replacing a current Hudson's Bay store.

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Ms. Strauss went above and beyond, travelling with Mr. Baker on his private jet to New York to learn more about the deal as well as Baker's work and family life. Details of a failed Bloomingdale's deal are provided before it is revealed that Baker really wanted to buy Saks Fifth Avenue all along.

Ms. Strauss further interviewed the 'competition' including Holt Renfrew President Mark Derbyshire. She also interviewed various suppliers and retail experts. She then provided excellent analysis of her research, outlining increased competition in Canadian luxury retail now that Saks and Nordstrom will open here. 

Thank you, Marina Strauss, for this and other excellent retail reporting over the past year. We look forward to more outstanding journalism in 2014.

[Marina Strauss on Twitter]

[Meet the man trying to shake up luxury retail in Canada: Globe & Mail Report on Business Magazine, November 27th 2013, by Marina Strauss]


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Nordstrom could open at the Toronto Eaton Centre, now that Sears Canada has a new CEO who's reportedly willing to sell store assets

On Friday October 18th, Sears CEO Douglas Campbell told the Globe & Mail that he would consider selling Sears' Toronto Eaton Centre location for the right price. This could open the way not only for Nordstrom, but  also for redevelopment that could include multiple retailers as well as possibly a second anchor store such as La Maison Simons

The Toronto Eaton Centre Sears store is about 816,000 square feet over several floors. Though it's unlikely that the top levels would be used for retail, a substantial amount of space could become available that could create an exciting cluster of new retailers in the mall, including possibly Nordstrom's Canadian flagship store.

In the past 14 months, Sears Canada has sold off several of its leases to mall landlords. In the summer of 2012, Sears sold its leases in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, paving the way for Nordstrom's first Canadian stores. Sears subsequently sold two leases in the Toronto area, resulting in speculation that La Maison Simons may move in. Sears also announced a $1 billion project to redevelop its Burnaby BC real estate at Metrotown. 

Our source for this article is this article by Marina Strauss of the Globe & Mail.

[Toronto Eaton Centre website]

[Sears Canada website]

[Nordstrom website]