Wednesday, 15 January 2014

News: Nordstrom to open at Toronto Eaton Centre in 2016

American department store Nordstrom to occupy key retail site.

Sears Toronto Eaton Centre - Yonge Street Facade
This morning Cadillac Fairview confirmed the much speculated new tenant of the Sears location at Toronto Eaton Centre will be Nordstrom.

"We're excited to be coming to downtown Toronto at Toronto Eaton Centre," said Karen McKibbin, President, Nordstrom Canada in the official announcement. "We want to serve those who live and work downtown as well the many visitors to the city and think Toronto Eaton Centre is a great place to do so."

Construction will begin in March and will reconfigure the space into a three-level 213,000 square foot full line Nordstrom store. The new store will open in the fall of 2016 along with locations at Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Sherway Gardens. The first Canadian store opens this fall at Calgary's Chinook Centre, with locations in Ottawa and Vancouver opening in 2015.

Sears Toronto Eaton Centre - Mall Entrance
"We are excited to welcome Nordstrom to Toronto Eaton Centre," said Wayne Barwise, Executive Vice President, Development, Cadillac Fairview. "Over the past three years we've spent $120 million in enhancements to Toronto Eaton Centre. This second phase of redevelopment will include an additional $400 million. We are delighted to have Nordstrom be part of this exciting venture as we continue to bring a premier urban retail shopping experience to the city."

Sears announced last year that they would be vacating their Toronto Eaton Centre store in February as part of a $400 million sale of store leases to Cadillac Fairview. Sears obtained the site with its acquisition of Eaton's in 1999 and has operated it as a Sears for over a decade with mediocre results.

Nordstrom will occupy the main level as well as the second and third floor, according to WWD. The lower level will be divided into other retail (a second lower level was similarly reallocated after Eaton's closed). The lower level features a central area dubbed the "Well" where escalators feed into the rest of the store. This could provide an interesting point of entry from the lower level into the new Nordstrom.

Sears Toronto Eaton Centre - Lower Level "Well"
Sears will continue to occupy the upper floors where it maintains its corporate offices. The embattled retailer sold their 222 Jarvis Street head office to the Ontario government in 2007 and converted the upper levels at their Toronto Eaton Centre location into office space. Sears was reportedly paying annual rent of $1 a square foot. This legacy lease was inherited from Eaton’s which co-developed the site with landlord Cadillac Fairview. The store has been steadily shrinking since opening in 1977 as a nine level 1,000,000 square foot Eaton's flagship.

[Click here for the official press release.]