New York City Saks is on a campaign to get shoppers to pay full price again, working with designer brands to lower prices, boosting service at the stores and throwing more special events.
It also hopes that stocking less of the items shoppers want will entice them to buy now.
"Our customer … feels very insecure," chief executive Steve Sadove told investors at the Bank of America Consumer Conference Thursday, which was webcast from New York.
Both the company's most loyal shoppers, and those who patronize it, less-often have retreated since the financial meltdown ballooned in September. But "there is a demand for luxury brand names," he said.
Sadove said the company is making adjustments, including cutting expenses such as inventory, in order to be strong when the market improves.
Saks plans to cut inventory receipts 20% this year compared with a year ago to match reduced demand, a move it started in September, though "more work has to be done," Sadove said.