We went to check out Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Sherway Gardens this afternoon, which opened on Feb 25th. This is the second location of the Saks brand in Canada, after the downtown Bay location, which opened a week ago.
The Sherway Gardens store is located in suburban Toronto (Etobicoke), and is about 143,000 square feet in size. The store occupies three floors, in a space previously occupied by Sears Canada (east end of the mall). The mall seemed busier than usual, even for a Saturday afternoon, and the parking lot was full when we got there in the late afternoon. When we eventually got inside, there were large crowds of people.
We approached the store from inside the mall, and just at the entrance, we came across two metal statues of horses – one fully grown, and one colt, created by local artist John McEwen. They feature his trademark ‘stars’ incorporated into the metalwork, and are quite intricate in their design. The artwork is titled ‘The Miracle’. Between the two sculptures there is a fountain. We saw several people taking selfies in front of the statues.
Entering the Saks store, first impressions: extremely luxurious, with a very American vibe to it – which is a good thing, in my opinion. The store was busy, lots of people milling about, and we saw quite a few people purchasing goods. We first spent time on the main floor, which features shoes, accessories, & perfume, and the selection seemed vast. There are designer highlighted areas with every brand I have ever heard of, and many that I haven’t heard of. Everything from Gucci to Prada, Dolce & Gabbana to Stella McCartney, from Armani to Jimmy Choo.
I am no fashionista, but my girlfriend, who was with me, was impressed. Prices are not cheap, but these are some of the highest-end goods on the planet.
Next we went up to the second floor, which is dedicated to women’s fashions. At the top of the escalator there is an interesting display.
The second floor features another vast selection to choose from, with everything from lingerie to furs. This is not a bargain discount store, but we managed to talk to a couple members of the staff, and they were very friendly and welcoming.
Next, back down the escalator to the lower basement level, for a look at men’s fashions. Lots of high quality stuff here, including everything from business attire to casual, shoes, ties, and so on. The basement level is not quite finished, and although the men’s section is open, they are still finishing a Saks Food Hall, which is planned to open by March 7. On this lower level there were staff serving hors d’oevres, which we sampled, a nice touch!
There is a functioning restaurant on the main floor, Beaumont Kitchen, operated by Oliver & Bonacini, which we somehow managed to miss (too dazzled by those Stella McCartney purses, I guess)!
I think one of the biggest eye openers for most Canadians when they shop in the U.S., is that there always seems to be a much greater variety and selection of merchandise available there. Today at Sherway Gardens we saw a lot of high end merchandise which may have been difficult to find here in Canada prior to the entrance of Saks into the Canadian market. I mentioned some of the well known brands, but there are literally dozens and dozens of lesser known brands with large displays in this store. Overall, I think Saks brings a very upscale addition to CF Sherway Gardens, and we wish them success. They are a class act all the way.
Holt Renfrew Square One
On a recent visit to Square One Shopping Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario, we stopped by to check out the ongoing construction for the new Holt Renfrew outlet on the south side of the mall. Although Square One has been undergoing massive renovations and expansion over the last several years, which has resulted in new food courts, new store areas, and a large expansion on the north side (soon to host Montreal department store Simon’s), it is the south side where some of the most anticipated construction is taking place.
Attention Shoppers! Holt Renfrew coming to Square One
On the extreme southwest end of the mall, an approximate 120,000 square foot addition is being built to house a new Holt Renfrew location. Architects for this Square One Holt Renfrew expansion are Janson Goldstein LLP, who are based out of New York. You can see from the renderings and today’s construction photos, that there will be an interesting “scalloped” effect on the glass facade, a nice added touch in keeping with the luxury branding of Holts.
The new Holt Renfrew is expected to open in the spring of 2016, and will undoubtedly be a flagship for the luxury Canadian retailer, being part of its strategy to counter the entry of Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom, into the Canadian retail scene. Square One itself has been rebranding itself in a big way over the last several years, with luxury retailers gradually squeezing out many of the lower priced stores. The mall itself is looking pretty good these days – brighter, cleaner, and with many new additions. It’s pretty clear that Oxford Properties, the managers of Square One, have spent a lot of time and money doing all the recent renovations, and the results are a definite step towards an “upscale” shopping experience. The addition of Holt Renfrew will be another major addition to this upscale rebranding.
We will keep you posted with updates on the many changes taking place at Square One Shopping Centre. It’s such a central fact of life for those of us living in the city centre area of Mississauga. And for people who love shopping at Holt Renfrew, it looks like you will soon be able to get your Missoni teddy bears, and much more, at Square One.
As mentioned, Oxford Properties manages Square One, and they are overseeing the ongoing development. Municipal address for the mall is 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, ON. L5B 2C9
Something new has been taking shape over the past week at the centre food court area of Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. A gigantic stainless steel chandelier was hoisted into place over the past couple of days, and it will soon be finished with 3000 LED lights. The sculptured chandelier is by Toronto artists Daniel Young and Christian Giroux, who have recently been winning a lot of acclaim, including the 2011 Sobey Art Award. The artwork is titled “Lambent”, and is quite an imposing presence already. Young and Giroux have a website here.
Should be interesting to see it when it is lit up. With the extensive renos to the food court last year, and now this sparkling addition, Square One, under Oxford Properties management, is definitely looking good these days. Look out, Galleries Lafayette!
Hudson’s Bay stores announced in March that they would be rebranding their stores from “The Bay” to “Hudson’s Bay”….sure enough, the new signs went up on the Square One store this week.
Apart from the fact that the precast concrete needs a wash to remove the old sign markings, this new signage definitely has a different look. Comparing it to the big yellow “The Bay” sign, that Canadians have known since the 1970’s, the new look may be a little more classic and upscale, and perhaps a little more “American department store” in style. So what do you think of the new Hudson’s Bay logo? Do you give it thumbs up, or thumbs down?