High-end U.S. retailer Nordstrom is coming to Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver starting in the fall of 2014.
The announcement today in Toronto sees Nordstrom join a fast-growing field of foreign chains vying for coveted Canadian consumer dollars.
Officials from the Seattle-based department store chain and Cadillac Fairview say Nordstrom will be moving into space vacated by Sears and then renovated at Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Calgary’s Chinook Centre, and Rideau Centre in Ottawa.
A new store will be built at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens. The tentative timeline for the stores opening is; fall of 2014 in Calgary; spring 2015 in Ottawa and Vancouver; and fall 2016 in Toronto.
Vancouver will get the largest Nordstrom store, with three levels and some 230,000 square feet planned.
The Ottawa store will be two levels and approximately 157,000 square feet, the Calgary store two levels with approximately 140,000 square feet, and the Toronto store will have two levels with some 138,000 square feet.
“It’s exciting to finally have this opportunity to better serve our Canadian customers closer to home and we can’t wait to open our doors,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom Inc.
“While we’re fortunate to have many loyal Canadian customers who’ve shopped with us over the years, we recognize we’re new here and that we have to earn our customers’ business.”
John Sullivan, Cadillac Fairview president and CEO, called Nordstrom an “excellent fit” for all four locations.
“Not only will they transform our shopping centres, but enhance the Canadian retail landscape as a whole.”
Nordstrom says it will continue to explore opportunities to open more stores in Canada as well as Nordstrom Racks, its off-price retail division.
The retailer also named Karen McKibbin, who started at Nordstrom as a stockperson in 1985, as president of Nordstrom Canada. She’ll live in Seattle for the next year and then move to Toronto, the company said.
The upscale fashion retailer’s foray into Canada marks its first expansion into the international market.
Canadians can currently purchase items directly from Nordstrom’s website, with shipping fees that includes the cost of duties at checkout.
In March, Sears Canada announced it would sell back leases for three of its stores to Cadillac Fairview, its landlord, for about $170 million.
The official announcement of Nordstrom’s arrival in Canada follows a consistently steady stream of U.S. and international chains that have been flocking to the country in recent years.
British fashion brand Ted Baker London and U.S.-based Kate Spade New York will make their entry into the Canadian marketplace this fall with stand alone stores at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
Womenswear brands Ann Taylor and Loft, which are both under the umbrella of New York-based parent company, Ann Inc., will also be launching at Yorkdale, marking their first forays into Canada. Ann Taylor is also set to open a location at Eaton Centre in Toronto.
Anthropologie, Express, Free People, Intermix, J. Crew, Marshalls, Topshop, Topman and Tory Burch are among a host of other high-profile U.S. and international brands that have established storefronts in Canada.
U.S. discount giant Target is slated to set up shop north of the border in 2013. Starting next year, the Minneapolis-based retailer plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada.
Originally founded as a shoe store in 1901, Nordstrom operates 231 stores in the United States.