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Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury Americanmarker specialty store owned and operated by Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises (SFAE), a subsidiary of Saks Incorporated. It competes in the high-end specialty store market with Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodmanmarker, Nordstrommarker and Neiman Marcus. Saks is headquartered in New York Citymarker.

Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises (SFAE) consists of 54 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 48 Saks Off 5th stores, and saks.com.

History

Saks Fifth Avenue logo used until 2007.
The replacement logo is actually a modification of an older logo Saks used until the mid-1990s.


Saks Fifth Avenue is the successor of a business founded by Andrew Saks in 1867 and incorporated in New York in 1902 as Saks & Company. Andrew died in 1912 and in 1923 Saks & Co. merged with Gimbel Brothers, Inc., operating as a separate autonomous subsidiary. On September 15, 1924, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in New York Citymarker.

When Bernard's cousin Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926 after Bernard's sudden passing, the company took on national aspirations. The very first branch store opened in 1926 in the city of Palm Beach, Floridamarker as a resort store, followed by a Southampton resort store in 1928. The first full-line year-round Saks store was opened in Chicagomarker in 1929, followed by another resort store in Miami Beach, Floridamarker. In 1938 Saks expanded to the West Coast, opening in Beverly Hillsmarker, California. By the end of the 1930s Saks Fifth Avenue had a total of 10 stores, including resort locations such as Sun Valley, Mount Stowe and Newport. More full-line stores followed with Detroit in 1940 and Pittsburgh in 1949. In downtown Pittsburgh, the company moved to its own freestanding location approximately one block from its former home on the fourth floor in the downtown Gimbel's flagship. The San Franciscomarker location opened in 1952. More expansion followed from the 1960s through the 1990s including Texas, the Midwest, and the South.

BATUS Inc. acquired Gimbel Bros., Inc. and its Saks Fifth Avenue subsidiary in 1973 as part of its diversification strategy. In 1990, BATUS sold Saks to Investcorp S.A., which after investing in the company and weathering the early 1990s recession took Saks public in 1996 as Saks Holdings, Inc. In 1998, Saks Holdings Inc. was acquired by Proffitt's, Inc., then the parent company of Proffitt's among other department stores. Upon closing of the acquisition, Proffitt's, Inc. changed its name to Saks Incorporated.

In 2005 vendors filed against Saks alleging unlawful chargebacks. The SEC formally investigated the complaint and Saks settled with the SEC in 2007.

In August 2007 the United States Postal Service began an experimental program selling the plus Zip Code extension to businesses. The first company to do this was Saks Fifth Avenue which received the zip code of 10022-SHOE for the eighth floor shoe department in its flagship Fifth Avenue marker store. Today, the New York flagship store accounts for a significant amount of the entire chain's annual revenue.

The chain's first international location, operated under license by SFAE, opened in Riyadhmarker, Saudi Arabiamarker, courting the wealth of the oil-rich Middle East. Locations would follow in the United Arab Emiratesmarker, Mexicomarker, and Bahrainmarker. In January of 2009, the company opened a second location in Saudi Arabia, in the city of Riyadhmarker.

References

  1. Saks 10-Q
  2. Saks Settles
  3. Shoe Store In New York Opens With New Zip Code - CBS2.com - August 17, 2007
  4. Saks Incorporated Announces Opening of Saks Fifth Avenue in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Reuters - January 11, 2009


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