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NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue is making a major push to get closer to its customers.
The upscale retailer today unveils its redesigned Saks POV Web site, featuring richer editorial content, such as designer profiles, coverage of brands carried at the store and lifestyle pieces highlighting the coolest restaurants, exhibits and cultural events. The existing Saks POV site was launched in December 2010.
“Our objective was to give the story behind the products” carried at Saks Fifth Avenue, said Denise Incandela, chief marketing officer and president of Saks Direct. “We can use this as an outlet to engage with our customer and a portal for the best of fashion editorial.” The site will include “blogs we love,” she said, “guest editors and Twitter followers. We want to be the go-to destination for our customers.”
Incandela said because Saks offers a “tremendous amount of exclusive content” in its stores, POV will offer “an insider’s view” of the brands and products carried, previews and behind-the-scenes peeks at store events.
“We believe the blog should represent our customer and her lifestyle,” Incandela said. “We want to create a differentiated experience.”
Under the direction of editorial director Sophia Chabbott, POV’s launch will feature an exclusive interview with Tom Ford to mark the launch of his beauty brand at Saks, an exclusive video on the making of the Eva Mendes commercial for Thierry Mugler’s Angel and an excerpt from the essay “I Love Saks” from Amy Ephron’s book, “Loose Diamonds.”
The site will also offer regular columns, including “How to Make It in NYC,” which will chronicle how a garment is conceived and produced in the Garment Center. The first column will feature Nanette Lepore. “Open to Interpretation” will be a column for artists and others in the creative community outside fashion to interpret Saks products in their particular medium. Photographer Barbara Beyda, famous for her images of carousel horses, has created images for the inaugural column using beauty products from Nars, Dior, Tom Ford and Guerlain.
Another regular feature will be “Fashion on the Fly,” where New Yorkers from all walks of life, including fashion editors, artists and musicians, get styled by Sunita Kumar, a veteran of W magazine. Dancer Shirley Catton is the first subject.
Writers who are contributing content to the site include Jennifer Kim, Ben Setiawan, Julee Kaplan, Caroline Tell, Rachel Felder, Rachel Wolff and Alexis Clark. The content will be updated weekly.
“It has many of the characteristics of a magazine, but is more robust,” Incandela said, pointing to the site’s Twitter feeds and social media attributes.
Visitors to POV can also link to Saks’ e-commerce site. “We’ve learned that the more we can engage the customer, the higher the spend,” she said, noting that the current users of POV “spend significantly more.”
The soft launch will be today and will include an e-mail blast to Saks’ online customers. There is also a plan to host a Twitter contest the week of Nov. 28 asking users for their point of view on the relaunched site.