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. 


Source: press release

[Roots website]

Could La Maison Simons join Nordstrom at the Toronto Eaton Centre?

[Image Source]

Although Nordstrom has leased 213,000 square feet of Sears' Toronto Eaton Centre store, there is still about 140,000 square feet of retail space available within the Sears space. La Maison Simons' CEO Peter Simons has made it no secret that he'd like to open a store at the Toronto Eaton Centre, and there may still be room for his store.

La Maison Simons is seeking store space in the 100,000 - 120,000 square foot range. Given that there is about 140,000 square feet of retail space still available, Simons could possibly secure retail space alongside the new Nordstrom store. 

An insider tells us that Nordstrom is expected to occupy most of the three levels directly below Sears' four levels of office space, leaving about 140,000 square feet of retail below grade (the mall's second level, technically) and possibly on the ground floor (the mall's third level, technically). Peter Simons has said that he'd prefer a prominent street-level entrance for a Toronto Eaton Centre store, so it remains to be seen how a possible deal could play out. 

[Image Source]

At 816,000 square feet, the Toronto Eaton Centre Sears store was the largest Sears in the entire company. Of that space, the top four floors (approximately 460,000 square feet) will continue to be occupied by Sears Canada as its corporate offices. Sources confirm that Sears' rent was only $1/sq ft/year for the space. Given the substantially higher cost for office space in Downtown Toronto, Sears Canada will continue to get a deal by continuing to occupy this space.

We'll keep you updated on the possibility that La Maison Simons could join Nordstrom at the Toronto Eaton Centre.


[Toronto Eaton Centre website]

[La Maison Simons website]

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.


Photo: Google Streetview screenshot

Sears Canada

has sold five more of its store leases to mall landlords for about $400 million. This creates an opportunity to redevelop these spaces as well as possibly pave the way for more Canadian 



Saks Fifth Avenue


La Maison Simons

and even



Sears has sold its store leases back to its mall landlords in the following locations: 

  • Toronto:The Toronto Eaton Centre
  • Toronto:Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre
  • Markham, Ontario:Markville Shopping Centre
  • London, Ontario:Masonville Place
  • Richmond, BC:Richmond Centre

All of these malls are owned and operated by landlord

Cadillac Fairview

except for Richmond Centre, which is co-owned by Cadillac Fairview and

Ivanhoe Cambridge

The following is our analysis of what could replace these Sears Canada locations: 


 Toronto Eaton Centre

The 816,000 square foot crown jewel of Sears Canada's real estate offers plenty of options for redevelopment. We think that


is a frontrunner to replace a majority of the vacated Sears space

, and 

that it would occupy 225,000-275,000 square feet. 

Other possible department store anchors include

La Maison Simons

(which would occupy about 100,000-130,000 square feet) and Bloomingdale's, 

which continues to show interest

in the Canadian market. Saks Fifth Avenue is a further possibility, though we believe Downtown Toronto's Saks

will replace the current Hudson's Bay store at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets

, closer to the luxury shopping area of


and its anchor,




Some of Sears' current Toronto Eaton Centre space could also be subdivided for use by multiple retailers. We'll elaborate soon in an article devoted specifically to Sears' Toronto Eaton Centre real estate. 

The top four floors of the store will remain Sears Canada's corporate headquarters, at least in the shorter term. Sources tell us that Sears Canada will continue to utilize its $1/square foot/year lease for this office space (which would have expired in the year 2077), making it far less costly than other available office space. 

Sears will be vacating the lower retail portion of this location by February 28th, 2014. 


 Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre

There are plenty of options to reuse the 225,665 square foot Sherway Sears space. The store could even be demolished for redevelopment, to be replaced by multiple smaller stores and one or more anchor stores. Sherway attracts affluent shoppers and the mall could see

Saks Fifth Avenue

 occupy part of the current Sears space, though Saks would likely not occupy more than about 130,000 square feet. 

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 2016, 

Nordstrom which will open one of two

 Toronto locations.

Sears will be vacating its Sherway location by February 28th, 2014.

Markham, Ontario:

 Markville Shopping Centre

Markville's Sears store is 130,626 square feet according to its landlord, and we think the store space has limited potential for an upscale replacement anchor store. The mall already features Hudson's Bay and Walmart as its anchors, and the entire mall spans close to a million square feet. Sales per square foot at Markville are only about $490/square foot/year according to the mall's landlord. 

La Maison Simons could replace part of Sears' space. The space could also be subdivided for multiple smaller anchors and other stores. We doubt that, given the mall's demographics and sales, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's or Saks Fifth Avenue will replace Markville's Sears any time soon. 

Sears will be vacating Markville by February, 2015.

London, Ontario:

 Masonville Place

This 127,205 square foot Sears store is in London, Ontario's most productive shopping centre. The mall, in fact, boasts sales of about $770/square foot according to its landlord. Other anchors include a relatively small Hudson's Bay store (at about 85,000 square feet) as well as a 91,200 square foot Target store. 

One could speculate that Sears' space could be replaced by Nordstrom, as the city and store arguably share some of the same characteristics. London is a conservative but relatively well-to-do city whose population could possibly support a Nordstrom. Nordstrom, itself, has been described as being both conservative and upscale. We doubt London would have the quantity of luxury-oriented shoppers to support Saks Fifth Avenue, and we don't expect La Maison Simons to target London in the next several years. 

Sears will be vacating this space by February 28th, 2014.

Richmond, BC:

 Richmond Centre

This 122,000 square foot Sears store could be reconfigured into multiple-tenant retail or be occupied by the likes of Nordstrom or La Maison Simons. Richmond has considerable household wealth, despite income statistics that might indicate otherwise. The mall enjoys sales of about $700/square foot, but may require renovations to entice any new upscale anchors.

Sears will be vacating this space by February, 2015.

Further Details on Sears Leases

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.

Sears is making a large profit from selling its leases. Its

first lease sale

in the summer of 2012 generated about $170 million. The

subsequent sale of two Toronto-area leases

gained the company over $190 million, and a

possible $53 million

for Sears' Scarborough Town Centre lease could further be realized. This is easy money for Sears, and it leads us to anticipate that more Sears Canada leases will be sold in the coming months.


Sears Canada website



[Image Source]

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]


Proposed mall/tower in yellow. Image: Ryerson Master Plan

In May we reported that a large and possibly substantial mall could be built up the street from the Toronto Eaton Centre. We've got an update - a prominent building on the same block has been purchased as part of a land assembly.

The Yonge Street Mission, located at 381 Yonge Street, has been sold to a private equity real estate company. The sale's closing date will be some time in September 2016, allowing the Mission to move and reorganise its operations. The Yonge Street building is adjacent to other buildings already owned by investors Kingsett Capital and the Canada Pension Board.

In April of 2013, Kingsett Capital and the Canada Pension Board purchased several adjacent properties from Primaris Real Estate Investment Trust. Sources tell us that there could be a proposal for a substantial shopping mall on the site, possibly connected to Ryerson University and also possibly including a large anchor retailer. We're not sure what exactly is proposed for the site, though the Ryerson University Master Plan might give some clues. The rendering at the top of this article shows a proposed commercial podium topped by a taller tower.

The immediate area has seen extensive development including an expanding Ryerson University, Canada's tallest residential building (Aura at College Park) as well as the newly-branded Eaton Chelsea Hotel (formerly known as the Delta Chelsea Hotel). The area is enjoying a growth in popularity as well as a substantial increase in its residential population as Toronto continues its condo boom.

381 Yonge Street [Image Source]

We'll continue to keep you updated on this topic, as it could lead to a substantial retail development that could house a Downtown Toronto Target, Walmart, or even La Maison Simons.

Link to our previous article breaking news on the potential Yonge Street shopping centre.

[Source: Yonge Street Mission press release]


[Image Source]
LOFT by Ann Taylor will open four more Ontario locations in the coming months. The locations include:
LOFT opened its first Canadian store at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre in November 2012.  LOFT will be announcing more Canadian locations in the coming months.

LOFT is considered to be a more 'relaxed' and 'younger' version of sister label Ann Taylor. Ann Taylor is a moderately upscale womenswear retailer. The United States has over 500 LOFT stores.

[Source: Press Release]

[LOFT website]


A large retail complex could be built just north of the Toronto Eaton Centre. We received word from a source saying that we should be paying attention to the east side of Yonge Street between Gerrard and Gould Streets. 
Primus (red) and Ryerson (yellow) owned properties in the potential mall area [Source]
For some time, Primaris REIT had been quietly purchasing properties on the Yonge Street block, adjacent to Ryerson University. Ryerson owns the southern portion of the site which was formerly home to Sam The Record Man.  

Based on the above, Primaris appeared to be considering redeveloping the block and notes that it is open to further land assembly (acquiring adjacent properties for amalgamation).

On April 4, 2013, Kingsett Capital and the Canada Pension Board purchased Primaris' Yonge Street properties. We are awaiting to hear back from Kingsett as to their intentions for the block. 
Ryerson Student Centre, currently under construction at the south-end of the site [Image Source]
Ryerson University has also noted that it could consider redevelopment of its portion of the block, along with lands immediately north. This has been set out in the Ryerson University Master Plan. It should also be noted, however, that the Ryerson Student Centre is currently under construction on the Ryerson-owned site. We're not sure if there is a possibility that it could become integrated into a joint retail project.

Source: Ryerson University Master Plan
All of the above is currently speculation and we have little further information at this time. If such a project did go ahead, it could provide retail space for multiple retailers plus one or more large retailers seeking Downtown Toronto space including Nordstrom, La Maison Simons and Target. A source tells us, however, that they expect Target could secure space in the neighbouring Atrium On Bay building which is also undergoing redevelopment. 

Ryerson University has previously entered into joint ventures with retail developers, including the Ted Rogers School of Management building adjacent to the Toronto Eaton Centre. 

We extend thanks to Gil Meslin, urban planner at DIALOG for directing us to the Ryerson University master plan and related information and to his coworker, David Fitzpatrick, for directing us to the Primaris information. David has an excellent urban planning blog called Reurbanist and we follow his twitter daily.

Browns Shoes Opening 5000 sq ft Toronto Eaton Centre Store

Floorplan, Cadillac Fairview. Red Outline/Lettering by Retail Insider
Browns Shoes will open a 5000 square foot store at Toronto's Eaton Centre. This will replace its current smallish 2500 square foot store. Browns will replace Sephora cosmetics, which will move to a larger space on the same floor.

Browns' store will be on Level 3 of the Eaton Centre (as is their current store), often considered the 'most prestigious' floor in the mall. This may not arguable by true but Level 3 is the brightest level since it receives sunlight from the skylights above.
Current Sephora, to be replaced by Browns Shoes. Image:
Browns stores are from Montreal and have stores across Canada. Their stores vary in size, reaching as large as 8000 square feet. Browns once had concessions at Holt Renfrew and Hudson's Bay stores in Canada, as well as at Joseph's of Chicago (a Chicago-based shoe retailer that went bankrupt). These concessions have since closed, leaving free-standing locations.

Browns is one of our favourite shoe stores, especially when they have a sale. We admit we have a shoe problem... we don't have enough room for all of our shoes. Many readers can probably relate. We make regular trips to Browns and its 'younger' store, B2. Both carry private-label and designer shoes with some of the best brands available in Canada.

Browns is in expansion mode and will be opening more Canadian locations. Watch our website/Facebook/Twitter, as we'll update you when we find more openings/expansions.

Source: GKW, Urban Toronto.

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Nordstrom, Simons,Target or Walmart in New Downtown Toronto Mall?

Proposed Oxford Place. Image: Oxford Properties

We have received word that Oxford Properties' proposed new Downtown Toronto shopping centre is already being eyed by retailers such as Nordstrom, La Maison Simons, Target and Walmart. A new 1million square foot shopping centre is being proposed by Oxford (along with convention/office/residential/hotel space and possibly a casino) which may rival The Toronto Eaton Centre for patrons and possibly exceed its size. The mall would be located on a mult-use, 11 acre site beside the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower.

Nordstrom, Simons, Walmart and Target are actively seeking downtown Toronto space and have expressed frustations at lack of retail availability. The Toronto Eaton Centre is space-limited, and Sears doesn't seem willing to give-in to Cadillac Fairview's offer to buy-out its lease for a new flagship Nordstrom store (or for Simons, also eying a chunk of Sears' space). We reported earlier that Nordstrom is seeking 225-270,000 square feet, while Simons wants 100,000+ square feet in Downtown Toronto.

The Toronto Eaton Centre's non-anchor square footage is 582,000 square feet (Sears, Canadian Tire and Best Buy add another 1.035million square feet). The proposed Oxford Place would be around 1 million square feet, making it possibly 'grander' than Toronto's Eaton Centre's non-anchor retail portion. More importantly Oxford Place could become home to substantial anchor-tenants, ranging from lower-end big box retailers to large luxury retailers, depending on what the landlord deems marketable.

Oxford is in the preliminary planning stages of its new project, and we've been told that it is being pressured to bring forward its planning application to Toronto City Hall 'asap' by potential tenants desperately seeking large downtown retail spaces. We will keep you updated on what might become a very exciting Canadian retail development.

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Nordstrom Continues Canadian Location Search For Six-to-Nine Stores

Nordstrom is working with Cadillac Fairview to secure a total of between six and nine Canadian locations. As we previously reported, Nordstrom will open four Canadian stores in conjunction with Cadillac Fairview in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. A second-wave of searching and negotiating for further Canadian Nordstroms is now underway.

Cadillac Fairview has several top-performing Canadian malls and importantly, many include Sears stores. Nordstrom has the opportunity to open several more Canadian stores via Sears' leases. We'll give a quick rundown of some potential locations...

1) Fairview Mall in Toronto: Cadillac Fairview's Fairview Mall in Toronto includes a 149,552 sq ft Sears store. The mall is one of the most productive in Canada with a sales of $829/sq ft (as of September 27 2012), and Sears is well-positioned as per the floorplan below:
Fairview Mall Floorplan: Cadillac Fairview
A Fairview Mall Nordstrom could coincide with a mall expansion to make it more competitive with Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

2) Toronto Eaton Centre: Sears Canada currently occupies over 800,000 sq ft of space at The Toronto Eaton Centre. Nordstrom would like somewhere between 225,000 sq ft and 270,000 sq ft of retail in this space. If the deal goes through, some Sears space may be converted to Nordstrom's Canadian headquarters, or office space may be leased in an adjacent office tower.

3) Polo Park Shopping Centre in Winnipeg: This mall achieves sales of $753/sq ft and has a 263,243 sq ft Sears store. If converted to Nordstrom, some space would become multi-tenant retail while the rest would be Nordstrom (about 130-160,000 sq ft). Floorplan:
Polo Park Shopping Centre: Cadillac Fairview
4) Richmond Centre, Richmond BC: This suburban Vancouver shopping centre has seen numerous popular retailers introduced, with considerable success. The mall includes a 122,021 sq ft Sears location that could be converted to Nordstrom. Floorplan: 

Richmond Centre: Cadillac Fairview
Several non-Cadillac-Fairview mall locations are also being considered by Nordstrom, including:

-Metrotown Centre in surburban Vancouver, BC (in either a current Sears location or a new-build)
-Southgate Shopping Centre in Edmonton, AB (possibly in a current Sears location)
-West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, AB (possibly in a current Sears location or a new-build)
-Yorkdale Shopping Centre (possibly in a current Sears location or part of another proposed mall expansion)

As always, we'll keep you updated. Nordstrom is also seeking locations for its discount retail format, Nordstrom Rack.

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Nordstrom's Canadian Headquarters will be in Toronto

Looking up Dundas St. W from Yonge Street in Toronto. 
We have received confirmation that Nordstrom's Canadian headquarters will be located in Toronto. Nordstrom and Cadillac Fairview are working out an office tenancy agreement in an office tower connected to the Toronto Eaton Centre.

***Update*** Feburary 1, 2013. Retail Insider cannot confirm at this time if any deals have been reached for Toronto office space for Nordstrom (we received a request for information from a reader).

We initially speculated that Nordstrom's Canadian headquarters would be located above its 228,000 sq ft Vancouver, BC location. Instead, the 280,000 sq ft of office space will be leased externally.

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Nordstrom Press Release Names First Four Canadian Locations

Photo: Bloomberg
This morning Nordstrom and commercial real estate owner/manager Cadillac Fairview announced Canada's first four Nordstrom locations. We previously reported these four locations, and we now have more information on opening dates and store sizes:

1) The Vancouver Pacific Centre location will be about 230,000 square feet and will occupy the ground, second and third floors of the current Sears location. The top four floors will be 280,000 square feet of office space, and the 48,000 sq ft basement level will be a retailed extension of Pacific Centre's mall-level. It will open Spring 2015.

2) The Calgary Chinook Centre store will be about 140,000 square feet, occupying the Sears store at the North end of the mall. It will open Fall 2014.

3) The Ottawa Rideau Centre store will be about 157,000 square feet, occupying the two upper levels of of the three-level, 240,000 sq ft  current Sears store. It will open Spring 2015.

4) The Toronto Sherway Gardens store will be about 138,000 square feet, and will be a newly-built store at the south-end of the mall (currently occupied by Sporting life, as we previously reported). It will open Fall 2016.

And now for the information not provided in today's press conference. Nordstrom and Cadillac Fairview are actively trying to take over Sears leases at The Toronto Eaton Centre and Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Part of the 800,000 square foot Toronto Eaton Centre store would be Nordstrom, part of the space would be sub-divided, and part might possibly go to La Maison Simons, the Quebec-based retailer seeking a Canadian expansion. The 190,000 square foot Yorkdale store would be entirely (or mostly) Nordstrom, going head-to-head with neighbouring Bay and Holt Renfrew stores.

Nordstrom is examining other retail locations across Canada. Many of these are currently occupied by Sears Canada. A few potential locations include:

-Edmonton: Sears Southgate Shopping Centre
-Richmond, BC: Sears Richmond Centre
-Burnaby BC: Metropolis at Metrotown
-Winnipeg MN: Sears Polo Park

Nordstrom's president, Blake Nordstrom, says Canada has room for between six and nine full-sized Nordstrom stores.

Readers may note that some of the Nordstrom stores seem a bit 'small' and indeed are only slightly larger than a full-sized Holt Renfrew store. Canada's Nordstrom's will initially lack some services offered by some larger American Nordstroms, such as spas, multiple restaurants, and wedding dress salons. The Vancouver store, however, will likely have all of these.

Both Holt Renfrew and The Hudson's Bay Company will be scrambling to secure designer labels and vendors. Holt Renfrew already has massive expansion plans as we previously reported, and The Hudson's Bay Company will issue an IPO late October 2012 to raise much-needed funds (over $1billion) to renovate many of its Canadian locations.

We will consistently update this website with further Nordstrom Canada news, as well as Hudson's Bay Company and Holt Renfrew efforts to modernize and expand their current locations in anticipation of retail competition previously unseen in Canada.

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Many of North America's Most Productive Malls are in Canada

Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Photo from
We're still surprised that many Canadian malls are out-performing American malls' sales per square foot. Vancouver BC's Pacific Centre recently pulled ahead of Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace as the most productive shopping centre in North America (excluding Pacific Centre's 636,000 square foot Sears store that is closing October 7 2012). 

All prices are in Canadian Dollars (which at press time is comparable to the American Dollar). These quotes are 2012 estimates from KPMG. KPMG puts Pacific Centre's 2012 per square foot analysis at $1580/square foot. Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace comes in at about $1470/square foot. 

Here is our list of 'top 15' North American malls and their sales per square foot: 

1. Pacific Centre, Vancouver BC Canada: $1580/sq ft
2. Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas NV USA: $1470/sq ft
3. Toronto Eaton Centre, Toronto ON Canada: $1320/sq ft
4. Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto ON Canada: $1300/sq ft
5. Ala Moana Shopping Centre, Honolulu HI USA: $1250/sq ft
6. Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver BC Canada: $1200/sq ft
7. Chinook Centre, Calgary AB Canada: $1055/sq ft
8. Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills NJ USA: $1050/sq ft
9. Mall at Millenia, Orlando FL USA: $1040/sq ft
10. Rideau Centre, Ottawa ON Canada: $1020/sq ft
11: Sherway Gardens, Toronto ON Canada: $950
12: Fairview Mall, Toronto ON Canada: $880/sq ft
13: Fashion Valley Shopping Centre, San Diego CA USA: $875/sq ft
14: Peter Pond Mall, Ft. McMurray AB Canada: $850/sq ft (we're not joking about this one)
15: Garden State Plaza, Paramus NJ USA: $750/sq ft

That's 6 American malls and 9 Canadian malls. 

We note that Pacific Centre's Apple store pulls in over $70 million/year at just 5366 square feet. We're thinking Apple stores might also prop sales at some of these other shopping centres. 

We were at a bit of a loss as to why Canadian malls were higher. Then we found this excellent analysis by David Fitzpatrick of REUrbanist: This guy knows his stuff. We recommend reading his article if you're interested in examining how currencies and other factors may contribute to Canada vs. USA mall performance. Our favorite quote from David's article?

"I think this chart just shows that you are getting ripped off a lot more than you were a decade ago when you buy retail merchandise in Canada. That $150 CDN dress you bought is worth $150 USD today, but would have been worth only $95 USD in 2002. And most likely, you are taking on increasingly depressing levels of consumer debt to make that purchase." (this comes after the author noting a direct correlation between the closing currency gap and the increased productivity of Canadian malls)

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NORDSTROM Secures Leases for 4 Canadian Stores

Retail Insider was just informed that Nordstrom has secured leases for 4 Canadian stores. These locations will include:

1. Pacific Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia - ~225,000 square feet
2. Chinook Centre in Calgary, Alberta - ~140,000 square feet
3. Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Ontario - ~150,000 square feet and
4. Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Ontario - ~140,000 square feet. 

The first three locations are currently occupied by Sears stores, while the Sherway Gardens store will be a new-build Nordstrom location, corresponding with an expansion of the shopping centre. The 225,000 sq ft Sears  store at Sherway will continue to operate. Nordstrom's board of directors is expected to approve these leases by early next week, while a formal announcement could take up to two months. 

Negotiations are still underway for Nordstrom to occupy part of the current Sears store at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Talks are also underway for Nordstrom to take over the current Sears location at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. A previous attempt at building a 165,000 sq ft Nordstrom at the East side of Yorkdale fell through, so talks to take Yorkdale's Sears is still proposed. Yorkdale's Sears store is 190,000 square feet.

Given the size of these locations, it is expected that at least the Vancouver store will include such amenities as restaurants, spas, and the luxury women's department called 'Collectors' (carrying such designers as Valentino, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Lanvin, Missoni, etc). The new Sherway Gardens store is expected to include a smaller Collector's department, which will compete directly with a future-expanded Holt Renfrew store in the same mall.

At press time, Bloomingdale's is still negotiating with The Hudson's Bay Company to open concessions within several Bay stores, including a full-line Bloomingdale's store at 44 Bloor Street East in Toronto, Ontario. 

More info to follow. Stay tuned! 

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