Eataly will bring its innovative Italian food concept to Toronto

Sources tell us that Eataly will open its first Canadian food concept in Toronto, likely in the city’s Yorkville area. Steph Chiu has written this analytical piece about Eataly and how it will affect local food retail if it opens in Yorkville.

By Steph Chiu

Yorkville is a popular destination in downtown Toronto, known for its upscale shopping, restaurants, and hotels. Gourmet grocery stores have also emerged in recent years as consumers have started to demand higher-quality food products. Currently, shoppers in the area can visit 

Pusateri’s Fine Foods (57 Yorkville Avenue), the Bloor Street Market (Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West) or Whole Foods Market (Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road) for all their grocery needs. However, consumers will soon have a fourth option to choose from: Eataly, a new Italian food concept coming in the near future to the Yorkville district.

Toronto's Yorkville area

Toronto's Yorkville area

Typical Eataly store interior [  Image Source  ]

Typical Eataly store interior [Image Source]

Eataly is an Italian food market that first opened in Turin, Italy in 2007. Eataly was founded on Oscar Farinetti’s desire to combine elements of a lively, open environment with a learning centre to create a unique atmosphere where anyone could shop, taste, and learn about high-quality Italian foods.

Eataly goes beyond the traditional shopping experience and offers more than your average fine grocery retailer. Inspired by the European food-hall concept, its massive stores are populated with tasting areas and gourmet restaurants to complement the upscale food offerings. The intention is for customers to taste the artisan products, learn about them from educated staff, and then buy the ingredients to recreate Eataly’s restaurant food at home, at fair prices.

One of Eataly’s many in-store dining areas [  Image Source  ]

One of Eataly’s many in-store dining areas [Image Source]

Not only do Eataly stores have dedicated departments for nearly every category of food imaginable (including unique departments like Chicago’s Nutella bar), they also offer a variety of unique classes that range from cooking lessons to wine tastings.

Overall, Eataly boasts 27 locations around the globe, with stores in Italy, Japan, the United States, Dubai, and Turkey. Eataly only recently entered the North American market with its two stores in the United States: a 50,000 sq. ft. emporium in New York City, and an even bigger 63,000 sq. ft. landmark in Chicago. The NYC store has quickly become one of the most visited tourist sites in the city and achieved nearly $70 million in sales in its first year alone. The larger Chicago location, with over 10,000 products and 23 eateries, was so popular in its first week that it had to shut down

because it ran out of food. Crowds continue to populate both stores daily, eager for a taste of the unparalleled gastronomic experience. If the success of these two stores is any indication, Eataly’s arrival in Toronto will likely be just as well-received.

The Eataly Chicago map shows just how big and extensive the store is in both size and product offerings [Image Source]

Pusateri's Yorkville store exterior [  Image Source  ]

Pusateri's Yorkville store exterior [Image Source]

As we mentioned above, Eataly’s entrance into the Yorkville district will put it in direct competition with Pusateri’s and Whole Foods (and to a lesser extent the Bloor Street Market and local Rabba grocery outlets). But how do they compare to Eataly ?

Pusateri’s olive oil bar [  Image Source  ]

Pusateri’s olive oil bar [Image Source]

Pusateri’s Fine Foods is a Toronto-based family business known for leading the revolution in fine foods in Toronto, opening its first store in 1986 on Avenue Road. Its stores offer an extensive selection of products from around the world, including their renowned olive oil bar, and are designed to resemble a European marketplace in ambiance. There are currently three Pusateri’s locations in Toronto: Avenue Road, Yorkville, and Bayview Village.

Whole Foods Yorkville, store exterior [  Image Source  ]

Whole Foods Yorkville, store exterior [Image Source]

Whole Foods Market is a well-known chain of grocery stores that originated in Austin, Texas in 1980. Whole Foods is a purveyor of fine natural and organic foods and has strict quality standards for the foods it allows to be sold in its stores (for example, Whole Foods does not sell anything containing ingredients named on its “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food” list). The store design resembles a standard grocery store environment, but with a higher-quality selection. The chain expanded to Canada in 2002. There are now 371 locations worldwide, with stores in the United States (355), Canada (8), and the United Kingdom (8). Whole Foods expects to open another 40 Canadian stores in the coming years.

Whole Foods Yorkville store interior [  Image Source  ]

Whole Foods Yorkville store interior [Image Source]

In comparing the two grocery stores to Eataly’s store concept, it would appear that Eataly has the edge with its comprehensive value proposition. While all three are very comparable in product quality and variety, neither Pusateri’s nor Whole Foods have added services like restaurants and classes, and the atmosphere inside an Eataly store is undeniably unique. Consumers will no doubt be intrigued by what Eataly has to offer.

We are very excited for Eataly’s imminent arrival in Toronto, which we predict will cause quite a disturbance in the growing luxury grocery scene. Although further details cannot yet be released, stay tuned for more updates on this developing story and to find out exactly when and where it will be located.

Industry note:

The specialty food industry in Canada has been growing rapidly in the last decade, with 7.5% growth from 2012 to 2013 according to Stats Canada , making it the fastest-growing segment in food and beverage retail. Although the definition of 'specialty food' varies considerably, from "anything that is above average in quality or price" to "products that exemplify quality and innovation...often made by small manufacturers, artisans, and entrepreneurs," it is clear that this is a distinct and emerging segment of the grocery industry. 2012 report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada outlined consumer trends in healthy, natural, and unique products, driven by increasing ethnic diversity, as key reasons for the growth in specialty foods. Specifically in the gourmet and artisan food space, demand continues to grow as consumers become more affluent as well as interested and informed about their food choices.

Read more: Whole Foods Brooklyn vs. Eataly Chicago

Steph Chiu is an Honours Business Administration student, currently attending the Ivey Business School at Western University

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Roots to renovate/expand 2 flagships and relocate 3rd

 Toronto Eaton Centre 'Roots Central' [Image Source]
Roots has confirmed new leases for two flagship stores in Toronto and one in Vancouver, and it is committing several million dollars in major renovations to these stores. A third flagship on Toronto's Bloor Street West will relocate.

The stores include the company's two top-performing locations - one at the Toronto Eaton Centre and another at Vancouver's high-profile downtown intersection of Robson and Burrard Streets. The third store involves a relocation from 100 Bloor Street West in Toronto to a smaller location at 80 Bloor Street West

According to lease plans, the Toronto Eaton Centre Roots store is 7,665 square feet. It enjoys a high-profile location adjacent to a mall entrance, and it will neighbour the mall's flagship Nordstrom store which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. 

The Vancouver Roots store occupies the same corner as the world's second-largest Victoria's Secret store, as well as a new flagship Lululemon store which is expected to open this summer. Tesla Motors' new store will be half a block east and one of Canada's largest Sephora stores is under construction steps away. Pedestrians will continue to be drawn to the intersection and eastward as Nordstrom opens nearby in the fall of 2015. 


Roots' Vancouver flagship store. Photo: Google Streetview screenshot
"We're particularly excited about these three flagship stores," says Roots co-founder Michael Burdman. "Each one provides an ideal showcase of the entire Roots brand for both our Canadian customers and the many foreign tourists who visit our stores in Toronto and Vancouver. Despite the phenomenal growth of our online business in recent years, our retail stores remain the ultimate, defining experience of our company."

The new Bloor Street store will replace its former 15,000 square foot flagship, located a block west. The store's 6,500 sq. ft. layout is "more ideally suited to the needs of Roots in the Bloor-Yorkville area, Canada's preeminent shopping district," according to the press release. It opens in May, 2014.

At the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, Roots will reportedly conduct a major renovation of its multi-level store, known as 'Roots Central'. In Vancouver, Roots will be expanding and renovating its Robson St. flagship store. We're awaiting further details of the Vancouver expansion and we'll report more shortly.

Interestingly, Roots is also enjoying significant growth in Asia. Thanks to a partnership with Taiwan-based partner, Branded Lifestyle, Roots now has 118 stores in Taiwan and China. Branded Lifestyle plans an extensive retail expansion for Roots in Asian to take place over the next three years. 

RELATED: 

Source: press release

[Roots website]

Roots will relocate Toronto flagship to 80 Bloor Steet West

[Image Source]

Roots has just announced that it will open a flagship store in the former Gap Kids retail space at 80 Bloor Street West in Toronto. Roots will be about 6,500 square feet and is scheduled to open in May, 2014. 

Despite receiving a press release discussing three Roots flagships, we've created this separate article for its new Bloor Street store since we were initially informed that Roots had leased the considerably smaller retail space across the street at 89 Bloor Street West (and not at 80 Bloor, as we now know). We're not sure if Roots plans on opening a concept in the space or if it even intends on opening there, at all. 

Holt Renfrew will replace Roots' 100 Bloor Street location with a 15,000+ square foot men's store

Roots' lease at 80 Bloor Street West will only last for a few years, however. 80 Bloor's owner plans to eventually demolish the entire building, replacing it with about 37,000 square feet of retail space below a tall residential tower. 

RELATED: 

Source: press release

[Roots website]

Toronto's 'World's Biggest Bookstore' to be replaced with 4 restaurants

Toronto's

World's Biggest Bookstore

will be replaced by four large restaurants. The new property owner,

Lifetime Developments

, is plans to build "an exciting and transformational new Restaurant Row" for the site that will be ready in time for

Toronto International Film Festival

in 2015.

Brokerage

Paracom Realty Corporation

is the exclusive listing/leasing broker for 20 Edward Street, currently the World’s Biggest Bookstore. The store is scheduled to close at the end of March, 2014.

Current store [

Image Source

]

Designed by

Turner Fleisher Architects

, with multi‐level patio opportunities, soaring ceiling heights, column free space, and common ‘back of house’ elements, this new restaurant row will offer exceptional dining spaces.

The entire site boasts 250 feet of frontage along Edward Street. Each of the four restaurants will have numerous eye catching signage and branding opportunities to pull in the millions of yearly patrons from the many office buildings, stores, hotels, universities, theatre and entertainment offerings Yonge and Dundas has to offer.

“We are really excited to work on this project and know that being steps from Toronto’s busiest intersection the site will attract the best ‘New to Market’ operators along with established Canadian brands and international chefs and concepts. 20 Edward Street will be Toronto's ultimate restaurant destination” says Jordan Karp, Vice‐President,Retail Advisory Services and lead for Paracom on the project. 

The site is considered to be prime, especially now that

Nordstrom

and

Saks Fifth Avenue

will open flagship stores only a short walk south. 

RELATED: 

[

Paracom Realty Corporation website

]

[

20 Edward Street website

]

Canadian first: 'J. Crew Collection' featured at new Bloor St store

[Image Source]
J. Crew has opened a 6,500 square foot store at Toronto's 110 Bloor Street West, and it is reportedly the first in Canada to extensively carry the company's more expensive and fashion-forward 'J. Crew Collection'. The Collection features pieces that are considered to be 'more complex' than the regular-priced, somewhat conservative J. Crew line. 

J. Crew and neighbouring Brooks Brothers have replaced retail spaces formerly occupied by Guerlain as well as a 13,000 square foot Escada store. Guerlain moved to a neighbouring retail space at 110 Bloor, while Escada moved to a substantially smaller space (3,656 square feet) at 131 Bloor Street West, aka 'The Colonnade'. 

RELATED: 


Source: Toronto Life

[J. Crew website]

Holt Renfrew to replace Toronto's Roots flagship with a men's store

 

Holt Renfrew has leased the corner retail location at 100 Bloor Street West in Toronto, and it has confirmed by Twitter that it will open a men's store on the site. The space's former leaseholder was Roots Canada. Few details are known about the new men's store which will compete with menswear retailer Harry Rosen , who's flagship store is directly across the street.

BREAKING NEWS We are excited to announce that we will be opening a standalone men’s shop this fall at 100 Bloor St W #holtsmen#comingsoon
— Holt Renfrew (@HoltRenfrew) February 6, 2014

We were first notified that Holt Renfrew was in negotiations for the 100 Bloor Street West retail space on January 13th. Immediately after, brokers and insiders began emailing us, asking for details on a new 'menswear concept' that they had heard would be opening in the former Roots space. Some speculated that Holt Renfrew's men's store would exit its 50 Bloor Street West flagship entirely so that it could relocate to 100 Bloor Street West. Not knowing details of the men's store and realizing the space is substantially too small for an entire Holt Renfrew men's store, we held off reporting on it until now, after the Globe & Mail revealed its research that a Holt Renfrew men's store will open in the space.

According to lease plans provided by 100 Bloor's landlord, the former Roots space is in excess of 15,000 square feet. The Globe & Mail reports that the adjacent Body Shop store will also close as Holt's will occupy both retail spaces. Given the relatively small size of this retail space compared to the size of its flagship men's store, we're not sure exactly what Holt Renfrew has planned for the space.

For size comparisons, Holt Renfrew's Vancouver men's store is about 25,000 square feet. Its Calgary men's store is just over 19,000 square feet, while its Yorkdale men's store spans 18,000 square feet. Contemplating these sizes and also noting that Holt Renfrew plans to expand the size of its Bloor Street flagship, we were left scratching our heads wondering what Holt's has in store for the former Roots space. We had suspected that the space could be devoted to the company's new unisex 'Holts Commons' concept, noting that Holts Commons had opened in a 7,000 square foot  space at Holt Renfrew's Yorkdale store. At the same time, we doubted that the substantial rents for this prime Bloor Street corner location would be appropriate for the mid-priced Holts Commons concept.

Competitors Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew will be close neighbours. Photo: Google Streetview

Competitors Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew will be close neighbours. Photo: Google Streetview

Menswear retailer Harry Rosen's 55,000 square foot flagship store is directly across Bellair Street from this new Holt's men's store. Harry Rosen will continue to be a very strong competitor. Its flagship carries some of the world's top menswear designers and features shops-in-store for such luxury labels as Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani Black Label. It will be interesting to see what Holt Renfrew will attempt with a space less than a third the size of Harry Rosen.

Both Holt Renfew and Harry Rosen may find some relief now that Saks Fifth Avenue has announced that rather than building a massive 300,000+ square foot flagship nearby, it will locate within Hudson's Bay's Queen Street flagship store. A source at the Hudson's Bay Company tells us that they expect Saks Fifth Avenue will also try to compete head-to-head with both Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen, as well as Nordstrom when it opens in Canada

.We'll keep you updated on Holt Renfrew's new menswear concept on Bloor Street, as well as its renovation and expansion plans for its 50 Bloor Street West flagship store.

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Chico's to expand into Canada

[Image Source]

Popular American womenswear retailer Chico's intends to open Canadian stores as part of its international expansion. Its first Canadian store locations will be in the Toronto area, according to Women's Wear Daily.

Chico’s was founded in 1983 in Florida. It sells private-branded clothing and accessories for women "featuring a combination of great style with on-trend, expressive and one-of-a-kind designs to yield a wardrobe that is fashionable, unique, relaxed, figure-flattering, and comfortable," according to a description on its parent company's website.

Chico’s currently operates more than 600 stores and over 100 outlets across the U.S., the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Chico's is a division of Chico's FAS, which has already opened White House | Black Market stores in Canada including three in the Toronto area. Both Chico's and White House | Black Market are expected to further expand into Canada. Besides White House | Black Market and its Chico's women's stores, Chico's FAS operates Soma Intimates and Boston Proper.

RELATED: 


Source: Women's Wear Daily

[Chico's website]


Suitsupply's 1st Canadian store opens February 20th

[Image Source]
Suitsupply has announced that it will open its first Canadian store location on February 20th, 2014. We previously reported that the Dutch menswear retailer had leased space at 9-11 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto. According to its press release, the store will occupy about 4,800 square feet.

Suitsupply is a vertically-integrated men's suit retailer that was started in 2000 in Amsterdam. It has received many awards and was voted #1 men's suit retailer by the Wall Street Journal. Prices start at around $400 and both quality and style are considered to be exceptional.

Suitsupply is known for choosing 'unconventional' retail locations. Its Chicago store, which opened over a year ago, is located on the top floor of a former Barney's New York store and features a penthouse roof garden. As a size comparison, Chicago's Suitsupply store is reportedly about 5,500 square feet.

Suitsupply has 10 American store locations and it expects to have three more American stores within a few months, according to its website.

 "Toronto isn't just Canada's largest city," says Suitsupply founder and CEO, Fokke de Jong. "It's also one of the world's style capitals — a vibrant and diverse city. Our decision to expand into this market was from the demand of our Canadian clients. We wanted to give them a store in the Toronto community and we're proud that we can deliver what they've been asking us for."

The company's press release also states: "Suitsupply's newest outpost is housed inside a converted mansion on Hazelton Avenue in the upscale neighbourhood of Yorkville. Brimming with Suitsupply's signature eye-catching photography and bold colour, the 4,800-square-foot space is the perfect backdrop for the label's tailoring-driven collection; impeccably tailored suits and sportcoats made from the finest fabrics from top Italian mills such as Larusmiani and Vitale Barberis Canonico. 

Warm, welcoming and brimming with energy, Suitsupply is the perfect environment for the gentleman who is looking to feel relaxed while trying on a suit or sportcoat. Better yet, if something doesn't fit perfectly items can be altered to sartorial perfection on-site at the tailoring bar, which, as with all Suitsupply boutiques, is located front and center. The shop also features Suitsupply's ever-expanding collection of sportswear, shoes, and other accessories. Of course, this being Canada, there's plenty of warm outerwear on hand too."

RELATED:

Source: Press Release

[Suitsupply website]

Saks Fifth Avenue to replace Sears at Toronto's Sherway Gardens

According to mall management, Saks Fifth Avenue will replace the Sears store at Toronto's Sherway Gardens. Saks will occupy over half of Sherway's 225,000 square foot Sears store location which Sears sold back to landlord Cadillac Fairview in October. Saks is expected to open in the spring of 2016, about one year before the Sherway Nordstrom store which will now open in the spring of 2017

We've been told by a source at Cadillac Fairview that Sherway's Saks Fifth Avenue will be about 132,000 square feet, even larger than Holt Renfrew's recently announced store at Mississauga's Square One. The same source tells us that Saks at Sherway will feature a 25,000 square foot 'food hall', differentiating it from Holt Renfrew as well as from American Saks stores. 

We had initially speculated that Saks would to open shops-in-store within existing suburban Hudson's Bay stores, and this is obviously not the case now for all Canadian Saks stores. In December we noted that the entire 225,000 square foot Sears might be a bit too large for Saks at Sherway, especially as only two American Saks locations are larger than 225,000 square feet, and both are 'urban' flagships, being the Manhattan (646,000 square feet) and Beverly Hills (275,000 square feet) stores. 

Sherway Gardens is one of Canada's most productive malls, enjoying per-square-foot sales of almost $900/year according to its landlord. Hudson's Bay anchors the opposite end of the mall from Sears. Other anchors include Holt Renfrew (which is possibly staying at Sherway and expanding) and, in 2017, a Nordstrom store which will be one of two Toronto locations

Sears will be vacating its Sherway location by February 28th, 2014. Hudson's Bay Company CEO Richard Baker previously discussed opening Saks at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre, as well. We'll update you when we hear more on this and other possible Canadian Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

Top Image - adapted from a Sherway Gardens rendering provided by Cadillac Fairview

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Saks Fifth Avenue to open 150,000 sq ft Toronto flagship within Queen St. Hudson's Bay

Saks Fifth Avenue will open its Canadian flagship store within Hudson's Bay's 851,000 square foot store at 176 Yonge Street (at Queen Street) in Toronto. The 150,000 square foot Saks store will span several levels. It is expected to open late 2015, about a year before the scheduled opening of Nordstrom a couple of blocks north at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

As part of the Saks deal, Hudson's Bay sold its Queen Street flagship (as well as an adjacent office tower) to landlord Cadillac Fairview for about $650 million. Cadillac Fairview operates the adjacent Toronto Eaton Centre. Hudson's Bay will lease back its store for the next 25 years with the option to extend the lease by nearly 50 years thereafter. Hudson's Bay and Saks (as well as the concessions contained within) will be integrated into Cadillac Fairview's Toronto Eaton Centre marketing, as they will be considered part of the mall.

Money used from the proceeds of the sale of the Hudson's Bay flagship will go towards debt payments as well as to further expand Saks into Canada.

This footpath between Toronto Eaton Centre and Hudson's Bay/Saks will be renovated as part of the deal. Image: Google Streetview 

This footpath between Toronto Eaton Centre and Hudson's Bay/Saks will be renovated as part of the deal. Image: Google Streetview 

The announcement of Saks at Yonge and Queen is surprising since we had expected that Saks' Canadian flagship would replace Hudson's Bay at Toronto's Yonge and Bloor intersection. In excess of 300,000 square feet, it would have been the world's second-largest Saks store. Cadillac Fairview reportedly convinced Bay CEO Richard Baker to abandon plans to build the Yonge & Bloor Saks flagship in favour of a Queen Street Saks. We've been told that plans for the Yonge and Bloor Bay store have been scrapped for now, and that the entire Bay store could be shuttered and subdivided as part of a redevelopment.

Hudson's Bay also recently introduced a 19,000 square foot TopShop/TopMan concession into its Queen Street store, and New York City-based Kleinfeld Bridal will open a 20,000 square foot seventh-floor location in May. Cadillac Fairview has stated that both of these will be featured prominently in Toronto Eaton Centre marketing as well.

Earlier this month, Nordstrom announced that it will occupy 213,000 square feet of Sears' Toronto Eaton Centre space. With Nordstrom anchoring the northern side of the Toronto Eaton Centre and a combined Saks/Hudson's Bay to the south, the Toronto Eaton Centre will see its image elevated substantially in a relatively short period of time. La Maison Simons could also move into some of the space vacated by Sears.

Hudson's Bay, Yonge and Queen. We expect this corner/part of the store will become Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo: Darrell Bateman

Hudson's Bay, Yonge and Queen. We expect this corner/part of the store will become Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo: Darrell Bateman

Inserting the 150,000 square foot Saks store into the Queen Street Hudson's Bay will be a challenge. A considerable portion of the Bay store has already been renovated, including portions of the store that we expect to be utilized for Saks. We suspect that Saks will be located at the eastern end of the flagship Hudson's Bay store. Recently completed renovations for a second-floor men's store may therefore have to be demolished. In addition, the future of Hudson's Bay's women's luxury department 'The Room' is in question, as it occupies over 20,000 square feet of the eastern end of the store's third floor.

Another challenge for Saks and Hudson's Bay is that a significant amount of space on the store's ground floor was recently dedicated to one of the world's largest women's shoe departments. Inserting the 150,000 square foot Saks store will require prime ground-floor retail space. Time will tell what will become of the Queen Street Bay and its recent renovations.

Richard Baker says that 'food halls' will be introduced into both its flagship Toronto Eaton Centre store as well as its Sherway Gardens store. These could be similar to food halls in European department stores such as Harrod's in London, Le Bon Marché in Paris or Ka De We in Berlin. We'll update you on this and other Saks-related details as they arise.

Source: Cadillac Fairview press release

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BREAKING: Saks Fifth Avenue to open downtown Toronto flagship and Sherway Gardens store

Photo: Skeezix, Urban Toronto [

Image Source

]

Below is a press release revealing that Saks Fifth Avenue will build a 150,000 square foot Toronto flagship, as well as a second location at Sherway Gardens. We'll update this article shortly with updated information and analysis. 

Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX:HBC) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Saks Fifth Avenue announced today plans to open a full-line Saks store in the heart of downtown Toronto at the Hudson’s Bay flagship store at the corner of Queen Street and Yonge Street. The approximately 150,000 square-foot, multi-level Saks is planned to open in the fall of 2015 and will be co-located with the current Hudson’s Bay store.

HBC has agreed to sell its downtown Toronto flagship retail complex and the Simpson’s Tower located at 401 Bay Street to an affiliate of The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited for a purchase price of $650 million. HBC will lease the entire retail and office complex back for a base term of 25 years with renewal options for a term just under 50 years. Proceeds of the transaction will be used to reduce the Company’s debt and invest in growth initiatives. The transactions are subject to customary conditions and are expected to close on or about February 25, 2014. As part of this transaction Saks has also agreed to lease space in Toronto’s Sherway Gardens for a full-line Saks store.

“We’re very pleased to announce this agreement with Cadillac Fairview, which clearly demonstrates the tremendous value of our dynamic real estate portfolio,” stated Richard Baker, HBC’s Governor and Chief Executive Officer. “This sale-leaseback provides HBC with resources to deleverage and accelerate investment in our growth initiatives. We continue to explore other options to create additional value through the power and potential of our real estate assets.”

“The opening of our first Saks Fifth Avenue stores at Toronto Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens brings Canadian shoppers the full array of luxury fashion collections and exceptional service for which Saks is renowned,” continued Mr. Baker. “We especially appreciate Cadillac Fairview’s strong commitment to the Queen Street location and adjacent Toronto Eaton Centre, providing us with the opportunity to be a major part of Toronto’s premier luxury shopping destination.”

“We are excited to be the first to bring Saks to the Canadian market as part of this iconic property in the heart of downtown Toronto,” said John Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cadillac Fairview.

“We believe there is significant and untapped opportunity for retailers such as Saks in Canada. Through this agreement with HBC we are thrilled to expand the luxury offering in downtown Toronto and at Sherway Gardens, enhancing the superior customer experience for which Toronto Eaton Centre and Sherway are renowned.”

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Mountain Equipment Coop may build a new Downtown Toronto flagship

[Image Source]
Sources say that Vancouver-based Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) may build a new flagship store in Downtown Toronto. The store would replace a 28,000 square foot surface parking lot at the corner of Queen Street West and Soho Street in the heart of the city's popular Queen West shopping area. 

The location of this surface parking lot is unusual. It has remained vacant for years despite its prime location in the centre of one of Toronto's busiest and most popular shopping districts. Most stores in the immediate area are of a smaller size compared to the expected size of the MEC store. Its recently announced North York store will be 44,000 square feet, for example. 

Buzz Buzz Home reports that MEC will locate its Toronto flagship store at the base of a new building on the site that will include commercial offices above and underground parking below. 



MEC already has a Downtown Toronto store a few blocks south on King Street West. We received an update that this building has not been sold, nor has it been listed for sale. A source told us that its building was sold to a Toronto-based real estate developer, and we have been updated that this was incorrect. 

We'll update you when we learn more about this interesting retail and real estate development.

RELATED:

Thank you to source: pw20 of Urban Toronto, who posted this Buzzbuzzhome.com article

[Mountain Equipment Coop website]

Opening of Sherway Gardens Nordstrom delayed until spring 2017


The opening of Nordstrom at Toronto's Sherway Gardens has been delayed until the spring of 2017. It was originally scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Some may be disappointed with the delay, especially since the Sherway Gardens Nordstrom was the first Nordstrom to be announced for the Toronto area when the company made the original Canadian store announcement in July, 2012.

Nordstrom spokesperson Brooke White says that the Sherway store's delay is due to the considerable construction activity required to build Toronto's two other Nordstrom stores. Nordstrom's Yorkdale and Toronto Eaton Centre stores are both now scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Nordstrom announced the opening of its 188,000 square foot Yorkdale store in April of 2013, which will be built as part of a mall expansion. This week Nordstrom also announced that it would build a 213,000 square foot flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre, replacing part of a current Sears store.


Nordstrom's Sherway Gardens store will be a newly-built 138,000 square foot space which will replace retailer Sporting Life at the south end of the mall. Sporting Life will relocate to a newly built store in a northward mall expansion, possibly alongside an expanded Holt Renfrew store.

RELATED:


Images above are renderings of Nordstrom's Sherway Gardens store, courtesy of Nordstrom Canada's Media Kit

[Sherway Gardens website]

[Nordstrom website]

Mountain Equipment Coop expected to open 2nd Toronto store

[Image Source]

Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) is one step closer to opening a 44,000 square foot store at 784 Sheppard Street East in suburban Toronto. North York Community Council* has supported a rezoning application that will go to vote at Toronto City Council on February 19th. If built, this will be Toronto's second MEC store. 

For those unfamiliar, MEC is a Vancouver-based consumers' cooperative which carries outdoor recreation gear and clothing and sells merchandise exclusively to its members. A lifetime membership costs $5, and the company has over 3.5 million members. It is considered to be Canada's largest supplier of outdoor equipment. It was founded in 1971 and has 17 stores in 16 Canadian cities.

The two-level MEC store would be part of a mixed-use development that would also feature 50 units of stacked townhouses behind the new store, on the north portion of the 0.786 hectare site. 

Parking would be provided underground through two separate garages that are connected by a common access ramp. The store garage would hold 125 car stalls; another 93 would be available for residents of the townhomes. Vehicle access to the site would be provided from Sheppard Avenue. Thirty-six bike parking stalls are also proposed for the store.

If approved, construction of MEC’s North York store and the townhouses will begin in March. The store is expected to open in the spring of 2015. It would be MEC’s second store in the Greater Toronto Area, complementing the retailer’s downtown location on King Street West.

"We are extremely pleased to have received the support of North York Municipal Council," said MEC CFO Sandy Treagus. "MEC firmly believes that our proposal aligns with the city’s planning objectives for the site, and we are optimistic that Toronto City Council will also see its merit and approve the rezoning."

Of MEC’s more than 3.5 million members across Canada, over 620,000 reside in the Greater Toronto Aarea, notes Sandy Treagus. “Ontarians are among the most active in this country, and more than 100,000 MEC members actually reside in the North York area. We are looking forward to supporting these members – and anyone interested in joining MEC – to help them gear up for any manner of recreation in the city, nearby parks or adventures further afield.” 

* Thank you, Skeezix, for noting our previous error of referring to 'North York Community Council' as 'North York Municipal Council'. 

Nordstrom to replace Sears at the Toronto Eaton Centre


As many of us expected, Nordstrom has announced that it will replace Sears at the Toronto Eaton Centre. It will open a 213,000 square foot, three-level store. Construction begins in March and the store is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, around the same time as its Yorkdale Shopping Centre location

Although Sears will vacate the Toronto Eaton Centre space next month, it will continue to occupy approximately 460,000 square feet of office space over four floors above Nordstrom for Sears Canada's headquarters. The office space was formerly retail space. 


In total, the Toronto Eaton Centre Sears is about 816,000 square feet. Besides the square footage to be occupied by Nordstrom and Sears Canada's office space, an additional 140,000 square feet of retail space will become available for other retailers. Tenant(s) are expected to be announced in the near future. 

Despite the fact that it will be the company's Canadian flagship, the Toronto Eaton Centre Nordstrom will be its second-largest Canadian store location. Its Vancouver store will be larger at almost 230,000 square feet.


Dundas/Yonge Street, Street level (Level 3) Lease Plan: Cadillac Fairview

Sears sold its Toronto Eaton Centre lease back to landlord Cadillac Fairview in October. Sears' Canadian entry was made possible after it sold back store leases in Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. It subsequently sold two other leases, paving the way for a Nordstrom store at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre
“Our properties were the first to welcome Nordstrom to Canada, and we're thrilled to continue our partnership with Nordstrom in the opening of five of six of its locations in Canada,” said John Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cadillac Fairview.
Wayne Barwise, Executive Vice President of Development at Cadillac Fairview said that over the past three years the corporation has spent $120 million in enhancements to Toronto Eaton Centre.
“This second phase of redevelopment will include an additional $400 million. We are delighted to have Nordstrom be part of this exciting venture as we continue to bring a premier urban retail shopping experience to the city,” he said in a release.