Monday, 24 June 2013

News: Hudson’s Bay Company Interested in Saks Fifth Avenue

The Hudson’s Bay Company has reportedly been formulating a bid to purchase upscale American department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue. According to WWD, sources confirm that HBC has been working on a deal for Saks which operates 41 Saks Fifth Avenue Locations as well as their Off 5th outlets.

Recently HBC was in failed talks with Bloomingdales to collaborate on boutiques in selected Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada. If HBC is successful in acquiring Saks, there is the possibility that Saks could open freestanding stores in Canada or operate boutiques in Hudson’s Bay stores.

Last week HBC re-organized their executive team, moving Bonnie Brooks to the position of vice-chairman which would give the veteran retailer a key hand in any deal.

HBC currently operates Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters stores across Canada and Lord & Taylor in the United States.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

News: La Maison Simons Coming to Toronto?

Do Sears store closures open a window for Simons?

According to the Toronto Star, Quebec-based department store La Maison Simons is actively seeking real estate in the Toronto area. The recent sale of store leases by Sears Canada has provided a point of entry for Simons in two of the most coveted shopping centres in the region.

Last week Sears announced that as part of a continuing strategic review of its real estate assets it has decided to sell its Yorkdale and Square One store leases back to the mall landlord (the malls are co-owned by Oxford Properties and the Alberta Investment Management Corp.). The $191 million deal will result in the stores closing in March of next year. The retailer also sold an option for their Scarborough Town Centre location (which the landlords have 5 years to exercise for $53 million).

“In this case, we were presented with an opportunity that gives us a significant financial benefit without changing our plans to improve the business and make Sears more relevant to Canadians,” said Sears Canada President and CEO Calvin McDonald. Sears previously sold store leases back to mall operator Cadillac Fairview, which facilitated the entry of Nordstrom into Canada starting in 2014.

Simons confirmed that they are interested in the spaces being vacated by Sears at Square One and Yorkdale. Last year the retailer opened its first location outside Quebec at Alberta’s West Edmonton Mall and an additional location is planned for Ottawa’s Rideau Centre. The retailer is known for its mixture of on-trend fast fashion and high-end designer brands.

Also, at this week’s Annual General Meeting of the Hudson’s Bay Company, CEO Richard Baker welcomed the competition of both Nordstrom and Simons saying it benefits HBC and would rather have them as neighbours than embattled Sears.

Monday, 3 June 2013

News: Two New Outlet Malls Coming to Southern Ontario

New off-price shopping centres to woo Toronto shoppers.

The Outlet Collection at Niagara
For years Canadian consumers have been going over the border in droves to partake in that Canadian ritual of “cross-border shopping.” For Torontonians the targets of many of those excursions have been the outlet malls in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. Those trips might become increasingly unnecessary as mall developers are planning two large outlet malls in close proximity to Toronto.

Toronto Premium Outlet

Though its name might be a bit of a misnomer (the mall is located in nearby Halton Hills just north of Oakville), this large mall is currently under construction and slated to open this summer. The 500,000 square foot Toronto Premium Outlets is a co-development between American mall developer Simon and Calloway REIT.

Toronto Premium Outlets
Positioned as an upscale outlet mall, its promised 85 outlet stores include Brooks Brothers, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Restoration Hardware, and the first Hudson’s Bay outlet store. The mall will be constructed in an open air “racetrack” design.

A complete listing of stores can be found here.

Toronto Premium Outlets
Simon operates 70 outlet malls under the Premium Outlet banner in the United States, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Amongst their properties are the popular Woodbury Common (near New York City) and Grove City (near Pittsburgh). A second Canadian Premium Outlet location is planned for the Montreal area.

The Outlet Collection at Niagara

Located about 1 hour from Toronto down the QEW in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the first phase of The Outlet Collection at Niagara will open in spring 2014 with 520,000 square feet of retail space also in a “racetrack” style design. Construction started last month on the $200 million project which includes a food court pavilion and a space for community events and a farmer’s market.

The Outlet Collection at Niagara
The mall will be anchored by a Bass Pro Shops stores (the third in Canada) and will include almost 100 outlet and company stores from Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Forever 21, Gap, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger.
The mall is being developed by Ivanhoe Cambridge and a proposed second phase will add an additional 720,000 square feet of retail space.

The Outlet Collection at Niagara
[Map via Google Maps]
[Toronto Premium Outlets renderings via Toronto Premium Outlets]
[The Outlet Collection at Niagara renderings via Ivanhoe Cambridge]