Hudson’s Bay Company-owned Saks Fifth Avenue is marking its first year of operations in Canada. So far, the luxury retailer has opened two full-priced stores, as well as nine off-price Saks OFF 5TH locations under the separately-run HBC division. There are plans for more locations under both banners in Canada over the next several years. Sources say that some of Saks’ market share is at the expense of homegrown luxury retailer Holt Renfrew, while Seattle-based Nordstrom competes with both with an unusually high amount of luxury offerings in its larger Canadian locations.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s Canadian flagship was originally supposed to have opened on the site of the Hudson’s Bay store at the northeast corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street, at Brookfield’s Hudson’s Bay Centre. The massive Saks would have surpassed 300,000 square feet, making it second in size to the retailer’s Manhattan flagship. Plans were scrapped after Cadillac Fairview offered to buy the flagship Hudson’s Bay building (at Yonge Street and Queen Street) and adjacent office tower for $650 million, with part of the deal involving Saks Fifth Avenue taking four levels of the Hudson’s Bay retail building’s east side. The Hudson’s Bay buildings became part of the massive CF Toronto Eaton Centre complex as a result.