Saks Fifth Avenue, which has been tiptoeing onto the international stage, took a big step Wednesday by opening its first store in Mexico.
The three-level, 150,000-square-foot unit in the upscale Santa Fe Shopping Center in Mexico City is a test to determine the potential for more stores in the country.
Saks described the unit as "congruent" with others in the luxury chain, in terms of product and service, and geared to cater to local tastes. Merchandise includes established and emerging designers and shop-in-shops for Salvatore Ferragamo, Kiehl's, Hermès and Giorgio Armani. The store also has restaurants and the Fifth Avenue Club for personal service.
If the concept resonates with consumers, Saks and Grupo Sanborns, which is licensed to own and operate Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Mexico, will develop more stores.
In addition, Saks has been eyeing Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Macau and India, among other locations. Saks is one of the few upscale department stores that is internationally recognized and transportable, largely because of its huge Fifth Avenue flagship in New York and key locations in portal cities such as Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles that attract tourists, including those from Latin America.
Saks has two licensed stores in the Middle East, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai. The company's first licensed store in China is scheduled to open in 2009. In the U.S. there are 54 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 49 Saks Off 5th stores, as well as saks.com and the Club Libby Lu specialty shops.
Stephen Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc., said international expansion is not a core strategy, though it's a good way to elevate the brand and broaden its reach, without taking too much risk.
"While our principal focus remains on improving the operations of our domestic stores, the opening of select international licensed locations can broaden the reach of our brand and produce a supplemental income stream for the company," Sadove said in a statement.
With licensed sites, Saks receives an up-front fee plus an additional annual amount based on a percentage of sales, though there's no equity involved and therefore less potential for the business to profit. Saks' international team, headed by vice president David Pilnick, is involved in site selection, merchandising and store design, but does not build or operate the overseas units."We believe that we will fill a void that currently exists in the Mexican market by catering to a discerning luxury customer,'' said Carlos Hajj, ceo of Grupo Sanborns.
Mexico-based Grupo Sanborns is a subsidiary of Grupo Carso, which controls and operates retail, industrial and consumer businesses. Within retailing, Grupo Carso operates Sanborns, Sanborns Café, Mixup music stores and Sears and Dorians department stores, as well as the Oakley, Mask, Pier 1, Sasch and Von Dutch specialty stores, among others. The company also owns and operates shopping centers in Mexico City.
Grupo Carso is controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, one of the wealthiest men in the world, and the largest individual shareholder of Saks. Helú and his family hold about 13.3 million Saks shares, or 8.7 percent of the total shares outstanding.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)