Luxury Canadian retailer Holt Renfrew announced Wednesday it will close its small Sherway Gardens store, just as Saks Fifth Avenue prepares to open a location in the mall on Feb. 25.
Holt Renfrew president Mark Derbyshire said in a statement Wednesday Holt’s is focusing on flagship markets and larger stores.
“As a result, the company will be relocating its business and associates from its Sherway Gardens location to its new Square One store later this year.”
The Sherway store employs 120 people.
At 130,000 square feet, the new Square One store will be nearly four times as large as the one at Sherway Gardens.
The two-storey Square One store is scheduled to open this summer. No closing date was given for the store at Sherway Gardens.
“That store just never hit home with consumers,” said Farla Efros, president of the retail consultancy HRC Advisory. “It never picked up. It was my understanding that they were going to close it . . . they were just waiting for the lease to come up.”
Efros said Holt Renfrew has had a monopoly on the luxury market in Canada until now.
“I do think that with Saks and Nordstrom coming in, they really need to up their game – and they’re doing that,” she said, referring to the recently renovated Holt Renfrew store at Yorkdale and the Bloor St. flagship.
Saks Fifth Avenue is scheduled to open its first store in Canada at Toronto Eaton Centre on Feb. 18, followed by the Sherway Gardens location a week later.
The lavish new Holt Renfrew at Square One will include the services of a master tailor, a concierge and valet, and will offer shoeshine and sneaker cleaning services. A leather artisan at the store will be available to add bespoke embossing details to leather accessories and offer full-service repairs.
Other services will include a certified watchmaker and a private apartment where guests can shop at their leisure with the help of a personal assistant. More than 2,500 square feet on the mezzanine level will be dedicated to personal shopping.
The second level will feature a 2,000-square-foot café.
Quebec apparel and homewares retailer Simons is scheduled to open at Square One in March. Seattle based retailer Nordstrom is scheduled to open at Sherway in autumn 2017.