Holt Renfrew Shakes Things Up Amid Increased Competition

by MR Magazine Staff

The barber chairs are gone, the shoe shine service is closed, the blow-out bar shut in January — Holt Renfrew at Yorkdale has scaled back on the luxury services it began offering customers in 2014 as the Canadian chain underwent a $300 million renovation and expansion to maintain market dominance in the face of a looming U.S. retail invasion. Holt Renfrew has also scaled back on employee hours and made changes in the senior ranks as it adjusts to competition from Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, powerhouse U.S. luxury retailers that have opened slick outposts in Canada, each with two new locations in the GTA. Earlier this year Holt Renfrew announced that it will close its two hr2 discount stores, one at Vaughan Mills and the other in an outlet mall in Brossard, near Montreal, while Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off 5th discount stores are expanding in Canada. But in an interview with the Star, Holt Renfrew president Mario Grauso said the many changes that have been made since he took over the brand in September are not the result of a decline in fortunes. Read more at The Star.