department stores: April 2009 Archives

Saks grows off 5th

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Saks, the retailer that helped create the deep-discounting trend last fall, is seeing more shifts in its business. The luxury retailer has begun altering its mix downmarket in order to carry products with more budget-minded appeal. It is also expanding its Off Fifth outlet stores and producing more merchandise to sell directly via outlets.

Saks Chief Executive Officer Stephen Sadove, noting "an evolution of what the consumer wants," is moving to more value-oriented merchandise, including budget lines from high-end brands. While the specialty retailer holds out hope that exclusive, high-end items will still sell, Saks is acknowledging the changes present.

Update: Scrolling through department store archive news, this development is happening in similar ways at Saks' competition. Nordstrom is lowering prices in order to accommodate new shopping patterns, although it's compensating by raising its credit-card interest rates. And Neiman Marcus is encouraging its designers and buyers to look for value as they prepare collections this year. Neiman, similar to Nordstrom, is hoping to keep shoppers at full price, just on lower-ticket items for now. Said a Neiman VP, "We have to get the customer to buy [at] full-price ... [so] you won't get this discounting nonsense."


Update: Gottschalk's

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After a long bidding battle, the Gottschalk's department store chain will be liquidated and all 58 stores will close. Gottschalk's filed for bankruptcy in January and explored a sale and other options before resorting to the liquidation. The action ends a 105-year-old California-based business; the stores will be closed by July.


Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. Published by David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the department stores category from April 2009.

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department stores: May 2009 is the next archive.

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