Saks' new store reveals future strategy

Saks Fifth Avenue (TSE:HBC) debuted its newest store and format in Houston last week, a prototype for its future stores and remodels.

The two-level, 210,000-sq.-ft. store provides a new setting in which to feature luxury goods. There are improved sightlines, a curved staircase, second-floor restaurant and revamped departments, according to Women's Wear Daily.

"We wanted shoppers to come in and be able to see what we have from side to side. It makes for enhanced browsing," said Marc Metrick, Saks Fifth Avenue president. "We also wanted to create environments so you can shop, have a drink, something to eat and spend time."

The restaurant and cocktail lounge sits at the top of the sweeping staircase, a location management hopes will help draw shoppers up a level. There's also a more private Fifth Avenue shopping club which offers personalized styling for men and women.

Saks recently opened dining destinations at its Eaton Centre location in Toronto.

The new Houston location features an expanded men's department, revamped intimates apparel for women, and the second-largest beauty and fragrance area in the United States, according to the company.

There are also a series of branded boutiques from designers including Gucci and Christian Louboutin.

The location is a blueprint for what's to come when Saks Fifth Avenue opens additional stores. There are seven new locations scheduled for 2016 (along with 32 new Off Fifth stores).

For more:
- see this Women's Wear Daily article (tiered subscription)

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