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Saks is about to embark on a pretty weird sales strategy. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that $250 million has been earmarked for upgrades to the Fifth Avenue flagship, including revamping a 30,000-square foot lower-level hair salon and storage space into another retail floor that would be stocked with (even more) expensive products—like the $48,000 Louis Vuitton crocodile handbags they recently received.
Meanwhile, parent company Hudson's Bay Co. is going to make the Saks Off Fifth outlet stores "look a little more unkempt." Wait, what?
Apparently, they're following the tactic of other department-store based discount chains. "Our outlet stores look too much like department stores," according to Richard Baker, chief executive of Hudson's Bay. "Nordstrom Rack is a mess, and customers love it."
While Saks Off Fifth has yet to establish a location in the five boroughs, its competitors have been stepping up their NYC game—Nordstrom Rack has two planned locations in Brooklyn's Fulton Mall and Flushing's Shops at Skyview Center, in addition to their Union Square spot, and Neiman Marcus Last Call is headed to Downtown Brooklyn.
However, we may not have to wait long. In addition to the messification of existing Off Fifth stores, Baker plans to at least double the number of off-price locations around the United States (there's currently 71). Guess he's not afraid of Loehmann's et al. downfall.
· Saks Reaches to Uber Luxe, Stays Mindful of the Masses [WSJ]
· Saks is Hosting a Four-Day Fifth Avenue Tailgate Party [Racked NY]
· Does Loehmann's Signal Discount Department Stores' Demise? [Racked NY]