Proving the importance of the category, Saks Fifth Avenue is expanding its footwear department, 10022-Shoe, at the flagship location in Manhattan. The unique department was created five years ago as an emotional shopping experience and the only footwear department with its own zip code. 10022-Shoe will grow from 22,000 square feet to 32,150, with 16,650 for selling and 15,500 for storage.
The expansion plans to bring the entire footwear assortment into one department – designer, contemporary, day, evening and the bridge line Wear. Altogether, the selection will be more balanced, less dependent on big brands and formal offerings, and provide additional casual and versatile styles that are suitable for officewear as well as nighttime.
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“We are just beginning to open up a whole new area with significant volume potential by servicing more of the customers’ lifestyle,” said Ron Frasch, president and chief merchant of Saks.
The new and improved footwear department will offer brands that will be hitting the floor for the first time including: Alejandro Ingelmo, Anniel, Aquazzura, Bionda Castana, Brunello Cucinelli, Carven, Freda Salvador, Golden Goose, Jason Wu, Joseph Altuzarra, MM6, Pierre Hardy, Pirelli by Diego Dolcini, Proenza Schouler, Rachel Comey, Rachel Roy, Tabitha Simmons, The Office of Angela Scott and Vince. The new brands should help increase revenue and strengthen Saks’ image, as the luxury department store has often been perceived as “big-branded” oriented and not as quick as other competitors to seize the latest fashions and display new designers.
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“We want to bring attention to the fact that we are elevating the level of fashion,” Frasch said. “People say we dedicate a lot of space to the big brands, that there’s a lot of Chanel, Prada, Louboutin, Gucci. Big brands consume real estate. Sometimes it’s hard to fit in the new brands. Customers do want more fashion. They are looking for new brands that are the leading edge of fashion, like Nicholas Kirkwood. Perhaps they also want more fashion from the brands we buy. But in all of our categories we constantly have to push and challenge ourselves to enhance the fashion quotient while being mindful of potential risk to margins that comes with trendier fashion and untested designers.”
Saks’ key brands include: Jimmy Choo, Alexandre Birman, Nicholas Kirkwood, YSL, Prada, Giuseppe Zanotti, Brian Atwood, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Gucci, Roger Vivier, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, Chloé and Tod’s.