This week, it was announced U.S. retailer Saks will soon open its doors in Canada, with plans to launch up to seven stores north of the border. The proposed deal, involving Hudson’s Bay Co., is worth a reported $2.9 billion.
Although nothing has been confirmed for Winnipeg, with The Bay continuing to downsize its iconic location on Portage Avenue, the idea of transforming the location, in part, with one of the more renowned retail brands in the United States is of particular interest to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.
Chambers President and CEO Chuck Davidson views this as an opportunity for added growth to the retail sector in Winnipeg.
“Our members have identified workforce issues as a major challenge as we grow as a city and province,” Davidson says. “The potential for new jobs, new areas of income and adding a major name to the city’s business community will help attract skilled employees into the workforce.”
Whether or not the downtown location or any other Bay store in the city becomes a Saks, Davidson thinks the idea of Prada, Dolce and Gabbana or Armani merchandise hitting Winnipeg shelves could have a lasting, positive effect on Manitobans.
“People like choice, whether it’s high-end fashions or discount prices,” Davidson adds. “The more people that are out in retail shops, the better it is for store owners, workers and for the economy of our city and province.”