Saks Fifth Avenue believes lower Manhattan is the newest and most promising luxury corridor in New York City, which is why it will open three stores in the area.
The retailer was among the first to commit to anchoring Brookfield Place, the former World Financial Center development, with an 85,000-square-foot full-line department store that will open next summer. It will also add a 55,000-square-foot Off 5th location at One Liberty Plaza.
Now it has signed a deal to open its sixth men’s-only store in the U.S. at Brookfield Place. The 16,750-square-foot store at 250 Vesey Street is slated for a spring 2017 opening.
“Building a freestanding Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store at the crossroads of the U.S. financial market and New York City’s burgeoning downtown fits perfectly with our vision to expand our leadership position in the luxury space,” said Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue.
“It’s a huge milestone for us,” Metrick told WWD of opening three stores downtown. “But with all the residences, industries and businesses down there, we knew we had to have a major presence in the market.”
Metrick said men’s wear is “one of the best and most underdeveloped businesses at Saks. And although I didn’t invent the phrase, men are the new women. It used to be that they wore a suit during the week and then there was the weekend uniform. Now, they’re more interested in dressing and we need an environment that respects the evolution of that customer.”
The Saks executive said the planned full-line store at Brookfield “didn’t position men’s in the right way,” so the decision was made to pull the category out of the main store. “In 85,000 square feet, we couldn’t do men’s justice,” he said. “To make a stand in the men’s business, it needed to have its own store.”
Saks operates men’s stand-alone stores in San Antonio; Chevy Chase, Md.; Beverly Hills; San Francisco, and Palm Beach, Fla.
The Brookfield Place store will focus on modern fashion and will have a strong accessories and footwear assortment. There will be made-to-measure and bespoke services and a design that stresses “experiential” shopping.
Metrick said at this point, no other freestanding men’s stores are planned, “but never say never.”