Once one of the top US department store operators, Saks Incorporated has retrenched to focus on its luxury Saks Fifth Avenue business. The company dismantled an empire of some 375 middle-market department stores under 10 different banners (including Bergner's, Carson Pirie Scott, and Parisian) to stake its future on a dwindling number of Saks Fifth Avenue stores, while growing its off-price sister chain, Off 5th, and its online business. The divestments positioned the department store chain squarely in the luxury market. Founded in 1919 as Profitt's, the firm bought renowned luxury retailer Saks Holdings and adopted the high-dollar Saks name. Saks is owned by Hudson's Bay Company, owner of Lord & Taylor.
Change in Company Type
In 2013, Saks was acquired by Canada's Hudson's Bay Company for $2.9 billion. With the addition of Saks, Hudson's Bay became a formidable global retailer with some 320 locations and about $7 billion in sales.
Saks has about 40 stores in the US, five licensed stores in international locations, and saks.com. They also have superstores in about 70 US locations and two in Canada.
In 2014 Saks contributed about $651 million to its parent's sales. Saks Fifth Avenue stores grew sales by 2% and Off Fifth increased 15%. Saks Fifth Avenue stores saw the most growth in menswear and accessories while all categories contributed at Off Fifth.
Parent company Hudson's Bay plans to leverage its existing Canadian infrastructure and experience to spread the Saks name across the Great White North. The company says it will open seven Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 25 Off Fifth locations in the coming years, starting in 2016.