SAKS BANKS ON KLEINFELD’S TO DOUBLE BRIDAL VOLUME

Byline: R.F.

NEW YORK — With the opening of the Kleinfeld’s in-store bridal boutique at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship here, the store expects to double its bridal business in the boutique’s first year, according to Philip Miller, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks.
The flagship was the only Saks to carry bridalwear, except for Atlanta. Kleinfeld’s has also taken over the bridal business at the Atlanta unit. The Saks-run bridal salons closed last month to be renovated and make way for the Kleinfeld’s operations.
The salon here opened Thursday, and the Atlanta department on Monday. Although Kleinfeld’s leases both bridal departments, each will be referred to as The Wedding Dress at Saks Fifth Avenue.
With a selection of 2,000 bridal gowns in its own store in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Kleinfeld’s will rotate merchandise at the in-store shops on a six-week basis, said Nancy Aucone, an owner of Kleinfeld’s.
Located on the third floor of the flagship here, the 2,000-square-foot shop offers bridal and attendants’ gowns by 15 designers and vendors, including Carolina Herrera, Christian Dior and Arnold Scaasi.
In addition, two lower-priced lines — Marisa and the Diamond Collection — retailing for $1,000 to $2,000, should help fuel sales at the new boutique, Aucone said. Projected volume for the New York shop is $2.5 million, she said. The Atlanta shop should generate about $2 million, which would be a substantial increase compared to the Saks-run business, Aucone said, although she did not have an exact figure.
Saks may open additional Kleinfeld’s boutiques, Miller said, depending on the success of the first two. Aucone pointed to Dallas and Bal Harbour, Fla., as potential sites.
Designer Arnold Scaasi, whose 150-piece line is the largest collection at the new Kleinfeld’s shop, interrupted his vacation in Capri to attend the grand opening at Saks here. During his two-hour visit, 12 of his dresses were sold in the new boutique, Aucone said.
Kleinfeld’s new boutique should help Scaasi’s bridal sales jump from $3 million to $6 million — twice as much as last year — according to Eva Forsythe, president of Forsythe Enterprises, which makes the Scaasi line.

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