Two designer boutiques in Toronto’s Saks Fifth Avenue have officially closed

Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior have closed their luxury brand stores, exiting the Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street location earlier this month.

With the move to more at-home and hybrid working models, cancelled events and lockdowns, consumer tastes have changed. A focus on comfort and casual contributed to the rise in athleisure, and it’s possible the need for designer handbags and shoes has taken a backseat to comfort and practicality- first designs.

Beyond that, reduced foot traffic in stores has companies of all sizes paying exorbitant rent asking the question – is a brick-and-mortar shop really necessary? Mere weeks into the pandemic back in March 2020, several luxury retail storefronts, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi and Jimmy Choo, closed up shop permanently in New York City.

Both Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior opened within the same year of the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue’s first Canada location in Toronto in 2016.

Despite changing tastes and an initial dip in profits, sales for Louis Vuitton and Dior, both LVMH-owned brands, have appeared to bounce back in certain countries, including Japan, China and the United States. In fact, LVMH reported growth was up by a reported 46 per cent in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the first nine months of 2020. The fashion and leather goods business group reported double the amount of growth compared to other sectors.

Despite Dior and Louis Vuitton’s rebound in countries like China and the U.S., it doesn’t seem to be enough to replicate the same surge for the Saks brand. Saks had planned on a national expansion into Montreal and Vancouver, but it’s rumoured these plans have been halted due to weak sales performances across the country.

That said, shoppers can still get their Louis Vuitton and Dior fix in Toronto, inside the Bloor Street and Yorkdale mall Holt Renfrew locations, as well as at their standalone storefronts on Bloor.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO