A succession of snowstorms has had a negative impact on store traffic, but Saks Fifth Avenue seems to have a handle on holiday shopping with its $200 million fragrance floor renovation.
“Saks Fifth Avenue’s renovated fragrance floor has brought increased buzz, traffic and sales,” said Deborah Walters, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for cosmetics, fragrances and intimates at Saks. “The floor is on track as planned for holiday, which includes substantial growth over last year.”
Walters, who has seen a continued rise in sales as Saks moves deeper into December, claims lifestyle fragrances such as the flagship’s latest addition Le Labo, Bond No. 9, By Kilian and seasonal candle installations like Jo Malone, Diptyque, Nest and Acquiessce are big hits with gift givers and continue to drive sales.
“We are [pleased] to provide a deeper focus on our lifestyle vendors,” said Walters. “And to give them the space and format to better express their brand stories to our customers and create unique experiences.”
Each brand is focused on showcasing its signature look and feel for the holidays with initiatives like special services and custom fragrance. For one, Bond No. 9, whose space encompasses 225 square feet of the revamped floor, offers a seasonal Swarovski Elements bar to customize bottles.
“When customers come to Saks, they don’t question the price,” said Laurice Rahme, founder and owner of Bond No. 9. “It’s truly upscale.”
On Saturday, Rahme made a guest appearance to showcase her latest run of 500 units of a limited-edition exclusive scent, Saks New York Oud. Priced at $405, in the past week all 500 have sold out, and Rahme is scrapping to make additional ones.
“[On Saturday, I thought the snow would affect sales.] I was worried,” she said. “Despite the weather, we’ve done 30 percent more [at Saks] this season than last year and we made $90,000 during my personal appearance.”