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Saks Confirms China Plan

Saks Fifth Avenue confirmed Tuesday that it will open a store in Shanghai through a licensing agreement with Roosevelt China Investments Corp., which will own and operate the store.

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue confirmed Tuesday that it will open a store in Shanghai through a licensing agreement with Roosevelt China Investments Corp., which will own and operate the store.

Saks has two overseas stores, both licensed units, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Through the licensing format, Saks receives a fee plus a percentage of sales.

If the Shanghai store is a success, Roosevelt will develop additional Saks stores in China and Macau.

SFA will be in an historic building in the Bund district of downtown Shanghai, which is along the Huangpu River. The area is undergoing restoration. Shanghai, with a population of nearly 18 million people, is China’s largest city.

Steve Sadove, Saks Fifth Avenue chairman and chief executive, said the Shanghai unit will be the chain’s largest branch, with 300,000 square feet and four levels. He also said it will resemble the Fifth Avenue flagship.

The objective is to get the store open before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing begin.

Saks has scouted Delhi, India, for a possible store, but one Saks official indicated that would be a long shot.

For Roosevelt China Investments Corp., a private international investment company, Saks is its first retail venture. Its chairman, Tweed Roosevelt, is the great-grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt and cousin of president Franklin Roosevelt.

This story first appeared in the April 19, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.