News   Jul 19, 2024
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Saks Fifth Avenue Flagship (Queen & Yonge)

Here are a few of my shots from yesterday, stuff that I didn't really see in Jax pix.

Here's the approach from the Eaton Centre, and through to bridge to split:
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As seen above, it's straight ahead or left for Saks, right for Hudson's Bay.

One floor immediately below, there's a larger reception area with a concierge desk in it. The pillar in the middle makes getting overall shots tricky.
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Inside the stores, here what it looks like when you transition from Hudson's Bay to Saks…
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and from Saks to Hudson's Bay:
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In the southeast corner of the main floor, here's where Leña will be going:
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And in the same corner of the second floor, here's what you see:
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There's a door for an as-yet unopened Leña on the left, washrooms in the middle, and a beauty salon on the right.

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Beautiful interiors.

In your first pic, that column looks really awkward the way it meets the archway of the bridge.
 
Meh. What a load of nothing. It's the Bay revamped with the Saks logo plastered everywhere and higher prices. The men's dept is a ridiculous little joke . The women's shoe dept (which is in the same area of the men's dept) is nothing compared to the Bay's (which is conveniently just next to it). For the most part there isn't anything there you can't get at the Bay, Holts or Sephora (or Shoppers). I'm thinking their attitude is, "Well, the Bay's men's dept is a lot bigger and has more of a selection. Why don't you check that out?" Or, "The Bay's women's shoe dept is just next door. Give it a try!" The whole thing just seems pointless. Unless, the intention was to draw people in with the hoopla and hype of Saks and have them wander into the Bay and spend their money there. Lol.

It LOOKS fantastic, though, as the pictures above can attest. I'll give them that.

#TargetPart2
#SaksFauxAve :p
 
It LOOKS fantastic, though, as the pictures above can attest. I'll give them that.

#TargetPart2
#SaksFauxAve :p

I agree the pics are lovely. It all feels very luxe, which is what one would expect. I hope they will do the exterior Christmas illuminations that the 5th Avenue store is noted for!

As for the merch' are you really asserting that it is nothing more than HBC and in fact less than? I'm asking sincerely as I haven't been yet. I think we need to compare the brands on offer to assess this. It's true that HBC has upped its game somewhat but i do expect more of Saks. As for a Target redux I would think the Saks team would have analyzed that failure in depth.
 
Saks is much smaller than Hudson's Bay, so on that score it is "less than". There are some brands which are sold in both stores — I saw Nudie Jeans in both Mens departments for example, but I didn't take any time comparing prices, nor to see if they were selling the same lines exactly — but definitely Saks has all sorts of stuff that is not carried in Hudson's Bay, so every shopper will simply have to decide if they need the Saks merchandise and the Saks price. We'll see…

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After visiting I can't help but think it would have made more sense for Saks to occupy the West half of the store. Hudson's Bay really took advantage of the windows, atrium, and entrances of the East side of the store - while Saks has essentially blocked all of it off. It's absurd. The circulation has also become awkward - the connection between the bridge and escalators on the 2nd floor is now interrupted by a carpeted shoe section that seems out of place. I also find it a bit strange they didn't integrate better with Hudson's Bay or the Eaton Centre - you'd expect a grand entrance at the bridge level, or adjacencies between the men's departments to encourage cross-pollination of customers. Overall, I feel like the store was headed in a better direction before the Saks integration, and I would have prefered to see a Saks flagship on Bloor as opposed to the cramped one we've ended up with.
 
There is a bit of a storm on social media at the moment, as one of the local cycling blogs has stated that Saks wants to eliminate, or "bump out", part of the bike lane to accommodate valet parking drop off on Richmond. While HBC did at one point in the past state that it would be using the Richmond entrance to Saks for valet parking (until the sidewalk was fenced off two or three years ago, even Hudson's Bay had valet parking further west on Richmond, albeit before the bike lanes were installed), it's not clear to me that they have publicly stated that that is a current intention. Nonetheless, there is a bit of a anger being directed their way. Hopefully, it will encourage ethem to drop any plans they might have.
 
There are some brands which are sold in both stores — I saw Nudie Jeans in both Mens departments for example, but I didn't take any time comparing prices, nor to see if they were selling the same lines exactly —

I would anticipate some overlap of course. The point of being a Saks shopper isn't just about the merchandise. It's also about shopping at Saks, i.e. the experience, the caché, the service and the atmosphere etc. In other words, where one choses to buy one's Nudie jeans probably isn't just about the price tag, for the Saks shopper at least.

There is a bit of a storm on social media at the moment, as one of the local cycling blogs has stated that Saks wants to eliminate, or "bump out", part of the bike lane to accommodate valet parking drop off on Richmond. [...] there is a bit of a anger being directed their way. Hopefully, it will encourage ethem to drop any plans they might have.

A compromise is needed. A successful Saks has benefits for our economy and our community in general. They've already partnered with the National Ballet of Canada, including a sizeable donation.... and their presence has been a major contributing factor to the revitalization of this historic building. Who knows what would happen here without it, another condo? They need to be able accommodate the needs of their clientele and the city needs to be mindful of this. I'm sympathetic to the concerns of cyclers, I'm just saying where two interests overlap a compromise must be made.
 
A compromise is needed. A successful Saks has benefits for our economy and our community in general. They've already partnered with the National Ballet of Canada, including a sizeable donation.... and their presence has been a major contributing factor to the revitalization of this historic building. Who knows what would happen here without it, another condo? They need to be able accommodate the needs of their clientele and the city needs to be mindful of this. I'm sympathetic to the concerns of cyclers, I'm just saying where two interests overlap a compromise must be made.

I'm not so sure.

I'm hard pressed to think of a "compromise" that likely doesn't screw over cyclists. If we were talking about regularly interfering with a lane of automobile traffic, there would be no talk of compromise (in fact, the only solution I can think of which would maintain the integrity of the bike lanes while accommodating valet parking would require the loss of part of a car traffic lane - so such a solution is undoubtedly not even in the realm of possibility).

Saks does have benefits. Like any other business. Other businesses routinely give generously to the arts and to charities, yet we don't as a rule allow them all to effectively privatize part of the public realm and interfere with downtown traffic. Not sure why we would have a special rule for Saks. And if Saks, why not every other retailer and restaurant downtown that wants one.

It's not clear to me that Saks has "revitalized" the historic building. HBC spent a fortune restoring the facades in the 2000s long before they even bought Saks. I don't think anyone was seriously talking about turning it into condos, not since Baker bought and revitalized HBC, and not since the building became part of the mall. If anything, the space is more at risk today than it was because Saks in Canada is a bit of a gamble. They've done some nice interior renovations. That's hardly an unusual investment. They did it to sell $2000 pairs of shoes. It's not as if they saved and restored significant heritage interiors or anything. There is not a public benefit aspect the same way there was when, say, Woodcliffe restored the Summerhill train station for LCBO.

Don't get me wrong - I think Saks will likely be a good addition to the old Simpsons building. But the public interest in having safe cycling commuter routes downtown exponentially dwarfs the public interest in luxury retailers having valet parking.
 
Skeezix, it was on Metro Morning where Helen Mann was speaking with Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, where Yalnizyan mentioned in passing that Saks wants to "bump the bike lane out of the way". You can listen here (the comment is at 2:13.): http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/high-end-stores-1.3455096

So, no, we haven't heard it directly from Saks. Until they go on the record to dispute the claim however…

Hmm. Your response is more diplomatic than mine. I'm happy to be more blunt, and to show a little outrage: there is not a chance in hell that any part of the Richmond bike lane will be removed in favour of a Saks valet parking lane—nor should there be—as 1) the cycling lobby (rightfully) has way more clout currently than some may realize, and 2) the need to keep cyclists safe far exceeds the need to cater to the entitlements of the tin-eared.

For those who don't know, the Richmond and Adelaide bike lanes have been a major boon, opening up the downtown to another mode of transportation, a sustainable one, and have helped increase cycle traffic significantly in the area because of the speed and (especially) the safety they offer to cyclists.

It was a battle to get the lanes as many feared that motorized vehicle traffic would be adversely affected, while others didn't even believe that people would want/need to cycle into or through the area, but now that the lanes are in and the cycle traffic has grown (and motorized vehicle traffic is fine), you simply don't carve up the lane: it's a major safety issue. Private cars will always be with us—and in fact the future is brighter in terms of safety as driverless vehicles as on their way—but until such time that cars don't have a possibility of running a cyclist down, you don't add a several kilometre-long protected lane and then interrupt it for an entirely frivolous use.

There are certain prices that are not worth paying for the cachet of having a Saks here. If this store fails because of no valet service at the door? Tough shit for Saks.

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I also think it's dubious to say Sak's revitalised the old building. To me, it feels like they completely ignored it's existence. Once your inside you have no idea if your in Toronto or Scarborough.
 
The war memorial has been relocated to the area beside the elevators (richmond st side) on the first floor (ground floor).
 

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