Almost 3 months to the day Hudson Bay Corporation (HBC) closed the deal to acquire American luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, it announced the first Saks store openings in Canada. Both stores will be located in Toronto, the most populated city in the country and forth most populated in North America (after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles).
While the announcement comes as no surprise, having been mentioned in the takeover plan, the location and timing of the openings sends a direct message to Nordstrom that it will need to compete hard to get market share. Nordstrom previously announced six store openings in Canada, of which three will be in Toronto. The two announced Saks Fifth Avenue store openings are slated for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, well in advance of the Fall 2016 Nordstrom store openings.
While additional Saks Fifth Avenue store openings have not been detailed, it appears more than likely that Montreal will be next in line to experience Saks' legendary luxury shopping.
In other HBC/Saks news, Marigay McKee, former Chief Merchant at Harrods, started her new job as President of Saks Fifth Avenue. Last week she was feted by the CFDA and its President, Diane Von Furstenburg along with several designers who stopped by to wish her luck in her new position. They included Carolina Herrera, John Varvatos and Rebecca Minkoff among others.
One of the major changes McKee will be implementing at Saks is the addition of a Food Court, not unlike the hugely successful one at her London alma mater.