Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue
Type Subsidiary of Saks Incorporated
Industry Retail
Founded 1898
Headquarters New York, New York, USA
Number of locations Saks Fifth Avenue: 46
OFF 5TH: 57 (April 2011)[1]
Products Clothing, footwear, designer handbags, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.

Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury American 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 in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, i.e. 'the 3 B's' Bergdorf, Barneys and Bloomingdale's. The company headquarters and the company-designated flagship store are in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.[2][3]



The 1996-2007 Logo

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. The very first branch store opened in 1851 in the city of Palm Beach, Florida as a resort store, followed by a Southampton, New York resort store in 1928. The first full-line year-round Saks store was opened in Chicago 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 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 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 2005 vendors filed against Saks alleging unlawful chargebacks. The SEC formally investigated the complaint and Saks settled with the SEC in 2007.[4]

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 (Manhattan) store.[5] 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" location 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 stores in the greater Boston metropolitan area, and the location in Bala-Cynwd is the only location in the greater Philadelphia market <7>.


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, Qatar and two stores in Mexico City. A new store is planned for Kazakhstan. In January 2009, the company opened a second location in Saudi Arabia, in the city of Jeddah.[6] and coming soon opening in Puerto Rico in Plaza Internacional, the opening of this stores and this grand mall is estimated in finally 2012.




External links

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