By  on May 24, 2005

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue is getting "Wild About Cashmere."

That's the theme of the store's fall promotion, during which the Saks flagship here, all 56 domestic branches and the two Middle East licensed locations will be awash in cashmere like never before. So will the store's ads and windows, with the addition of goat sight gags and mirth.

But the promotion is not simply a celebration of cashmere and goats, particularly those from Mongolia that provide the world's most luxurious fibers. It's also a sign that business goes on at Saks Fifth Avenue despite its difficulties. The company is under investigation for improper vendor allowances and related accounting issues, and has let several executives go.

As a sign that Saks executives are focused on the future, they said Wild About Cashmere is the first in a lineup of major annual promotions geared to give a seasonal theme for buyers so as to provide a consistent style attitude through all categories, and make the shopping more compelling.

"We are creating a temple of cashmere," declared Andrew Jennings, president of Saks Fifth Avenue. "It goes across all the stores. It's a totally integrated event."

"We are a company that is changing so much, and part of the change is how we buy," said Ron Frasch, vice chairman and chief merchandising officer. "We are putting great emphasis on developing product and congruency of product across all product groups so there is a Saks Fifth Avenue fashion point of view. The role of the buyer has changed from someone who selects, to development. It's very different."

Saks, he said, is shifting from "a house of brands to a store with a point of view."

For the fall season, "We would like to be seen as the cashmere-mongers," said Terron Schaefer, senior vice president of marketing.

Saks has apparently received plenty of vendor support. The merchandise exceeds the de rigueur array of cashmere sweaters and scarves that stores of all sorts tend to heavily assort around holiday.

The bread and butter of Saks' cashmere business has been private-label sweaters in the $250 to $300 range. But next fall there will be cashmere jump ropes, cashmere boxing gloves, and tents, sleeping bags and hammocks all in the yarn.

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