Ottawa’s Fashion Footprint

With the recent opening of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th in the Tanger outlets , fashionistas and those looking for designer wear at off the rack prices have a new option. Winners and Marshall’s have been the dominant player in this discount designer niche for many years and by the sheer volume of these stores in the National Capital region (14 stores) it appears that Ottawa folk like their discounted designer garb. By all appearances this past weekend the Sak’s Off 5th was were designer bargain hunters lined up and sorted through the racks. For those who are not familiar with Sak’s Off 5th it is a discount designer retailer with ties to Saks Fifth Avenue one of the leading premier destinations for anything designer. The idea is that when previous season items do not sell they go to the less swanky ie no bells , whistles and no service sister store which are offered at discounted prices. With the 2013 HBC purchase of Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Canadians now have the ability to shop in these store, on our own turf and the merchandise is priced in Canadian dollars. It appears that HBC is a taking on a competitive role in trying to change the Canadian retail footprint with the introduction of Saks 5th Avenue (presently only in Toronto) and the Saks Off 5th in Ottawa (new store to open fall 2016 in Rideau Centre)….the retail landscape is changing.

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I visited Sak’s Off 5th at Tanger outlets this past Easter weekend. I had mixed feelings, usually I love this store when I am traveling in the US however I found there to be some differences . The store is smaller therefore not as many offerings and labels to choose from, hence fewer sizes and colours . The premier labels , think Armani, Akris, Jill Saunder etc occupied 5 rolling racks and ironically most of these pieces still had sku’s from The Room (which is the upscale department of the Bay) obviously previous seasons garments that were overstock and/or simply did not sell…browsing through you kind of get why! The children’s section was underwhelming only offering a few pieces in each size category as was the accessories area, once again limited selection. The shoe department which occupies a large amount of space was the place to be …lots of designer shoes in many current styles, however very limited area to try anything on……Handbags also had the usual offerings Rebecca Minkooff Valentino, Tory Burch etc.

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All in all I am happy that Saks albeit a Saks Off Fifth now has a presence here. An eagerly awaited opening weekend with no doubt a great deal of merchandise been picked through and purchased . I will go back but most probably will wait for the Rideau Centre location to open.

With that being said shopping online at and Saks Off 5th is open 24/7 sans the line-ups. These websites offer a fabulous selection, a great filter to help you shop your specific needs/wants in Canadian currency. After returning from the Tanger outlets and Saks Off 5th I went online to browse and in the clearance section found some great deals on cashmere, coats…have a look at the Jane PostGramercy Mixed-Media Coat 0400087556535 was $450.00 now $112.00 75%off, (perfect for April showers) ….I also ordered some over the knee black leather boots for my daughter who adores this style at a steal “ Gentle Souls Edgefield Leather Buckle Boots for $97.24 original price $575.00 ( 76% off) … if you have the time and patience to surf the site there are lots of bargains available. Sak’s Off 5th uses Borderfree which calculates taxes, duty and shipping at checkout but be sure to visit the correct site for Canadians

The Ottawa Department store retail landscape is changing. Holt Renfrew is gone but now there is Nordstroms , Saks Off 5th, , Sportinglife and La Maison Simons in the National Capital region joining existing fashion department stores The Bay, Winners and Marshall’s providing options for everyone and every budget. It appears that Ottawa people really like their Designer brands and with this current retail footprint it seems most prefer to purchase at discounted prices! Welcome Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th to Ottawa.