NEW YORK (AP) — Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc. is heading to Canada, starting in the fall of 2014, its first move outside the U.S.
The announcement, made at a press conference Thursday in Toronto, comes as a slew of other retailers flock across the border to compete for Canadian shoppers' dollars.
The Seattle-based chain said Thursday it will be teaming up with Canadian mall developer Cadillac Fairview to open four stores, in Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Cadillac Fairview operates shopping centers across Canada.
Officials from Nordstrom and Cadillac Fairview said Nordstrom will move into space vacated by Sears and then renovated at Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Chinook Centre in Calgary and Rideau Centre in Ottawa. A new store will be built at Toronto's Sherway Gardens. Nordstrom plans to open the store in Calgary for the fall of 2014. It aims to open the stores in Ottawa and Vancouver in spring of 2015; and Toronto in fall of 2016.
Vancouver will get the largest Nordstrom store, with three levels and some 230,000 square feet planned, bigger than a Wal-mart Supercenter.
"This is a significant milestone for this company," said Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Inc. during the press conference. But he cautioned there's a learning curve even though the market is nearby and customers speak English. "We are the new kids on the block, and there's a lot to learn," he said.
He says he envisions Nordstrom operating as many as nine stores in Canada.
John Sullivan, Cadillac Fairview president and CEO, described Nordstrom an "excellent fit" for all four locations.