Nordstrom's original plan when designing the Eaton Centre location was that they wanted to generate traffic primarily from within the mall, and they didnt want Yonge Street to serve as a major foot traffic point which is why it looks as understated as it does. Security was another concern. The Eaton Centre also was a deviation from their usual plan since they like to stick to building their stores from the ground up as opposed to being constrained and renovating interiors.The entrance off the EC on both sides (north and south) feels understated and of no particular import.
To me that alone was a serious mistake.
I would also add, while I find the EC store nice, and well-appointed, it just feels small to me. I think, in part, it's victimized by people's memories of what Eaton's looked/felt like at its best, as well as the scale of the south mall.
Obviously it was never going to be as big as Sears, let alone the former Eaton's. Current sales also don't justify a larger footprint.
From what I understand, they also initially had reservations with offering too many products downtown and/or overwhelming consumers with too many product offerings, but in my opinion that's just spin since the amount they spent here is a drop in the bucket compared to what they're doing in NYC.
I couldnt agree more. HBC would have been the obvious choice since they already have a location they could have overhauled completely into a Saks, Nordstrom at the time would have had trouble finding a suitable location unless the chose to partner with the 1BE development to build a flagship.I've also thought that splitting Toronto's downtown luxury market into two different zones made little sense. I still wish at least one of those stores had gone into The Hudson's Bay Centre (at Yonge & Bloor).
Either way the status quo isnt sustainable and any one of them will feel the pain significantly if they dont change. Whichever one is first to change will take over downtown core luxury market.