Saks Fifth Avenue
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Number of locations||Saks Fifth Avenue: 43
OFF 5TH: 65
|Products||Clothing, footwear, designer handbags, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares|
|Subsidiaries||Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH|
Saks Fifth Avenue is an upscale department store chain owned by American multinational corporation Saks Incorporated, which operates the flagship store and corporate headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It competes with high-end specialty stores in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, notably Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, and Bloomingdale's; it also competes with luxury retailers Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor.
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 City.
When Bernard's brother, Adam Gimbel, became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926 after Bernard's sudden passing, the company took on national aspirations, opening its very first branch store that year in the city of Palm Beach, Florida, as a seasonal resort store, followed by a second resort store in Southampton, New York, in 1928. The first full-line year-round Saks store was opened in Chicago, Illinois, in 1929, followed by another resort store in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1938, Saks expanded to the West Coast, opening in Beverly Hills, 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, Michigan, in 1940 and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 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 Francisco 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 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 store. Today, the New York flagship store accounts for a significant amount of the entire chain's annual revenue.
Since 2000, Saks has closed a number of locations, including White Plains, Garden City, and Southampton in New York, as well as other suburban, and "downtown" locations around the country. The focus has been to have a smaller number of stores in each key market, and thus make those stores destinations within their respective markets. As an example, the Saks 5th Avenue location at the Shops at Prudential Center in Boston is the only Saks 5th Avenue store in the Boston metropolitan area, and the location in Bala Cynwyd is the only location in the greater Philadelphia market. Saks closed its 60 year-old downtown Pittsburgh location on March 17, 2012.
The chain's strategy for international expansion focuses on underserved luxury markets. Its first international location, operated under license by SFAE, opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, courting the wealth of the oil-rich Middle East. Other locations now include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and two stores in Mexico City. In January 2009, the company opened a second location in Saudi Arabia, in the city of Jeddah. and coming soon opening in Puerto Rico in Plaza Internacional. The opening of this store and grand mall is estimated in late 2012.[dated info]
See also 
- "Saks Incorporated | Our Stores | Off 5th." Saks Incorporated. Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
- "Corporate Addresses." Saks Incorporated. Retrieved on March 1, 2010.
- "About Us." Saks Fifth Avenue. Retrieved on March 1, 2010.
- Saks Settles
- Shoe Store In New York Opens With New Zip Code - CBS2.com - August 17, 2007
- Pittsburgh Business Times. Paul Gough. Published 19 January 2012, accessed 9 April 2012.
- Saks Incorporated Announces Opening of Saks Fifth Avenue in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Reuters - January 11, 2009
- "International Licensed Sax Fifth Avenue Stores". Sax Incorporated. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Saks Fifth Avenue Official website