New York – Saks Fifth Avenue is reportedly planning to both increase the amount of high-end luxury goods it sells and also increase the number of Saks Off 5th outlet stores it operates. According to the Wall Street Journal, Richard Baker, CEO of Canadian department store chain (and new Saks owner) Hudson’s Bay Company wants to overhaul Saks stores by selling more items such as $48,000 Louis Vuitton crocodile handbags.
In addition, Baker plans to spend as much as $1 billion in upgrading Saks stores, with $250 million earmarked for the company’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York. Changes to the flagship will include redeveloping the 30,000-sq.-ft. lower level that currently houses a hair salon and storage into retail space, which will double the space dedicated to handbags and also include new duplex displays that cover both the first and second floors.
Baker also plans to more than double the store count of Saks Off 5th outlet stores from the current 71, including 20 stores in Canada. He also wants to increase outlet profitability by placing more lower-priced merchandise, including Lord & Taylor overstock, and increase customer appeal by making the stores less like traditional department stores and more cluttered full of item like competing Nordstrom Rack outlets. Other new plans for Saks include using its e-commerce platform as infrastructure for all Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Saks online activities, which would save the company a reported $50 million per year.