Saks brings discount luxury to new markets

NEW YORK — Customers with expensive taste will have greater access to luxury now that Saks is planning to open five new Off 5th stores throughout the United States. According to the company, these new stores will be located in upscale outlet, lifestyle, or strip centers, and each store will be designed in Off 5TH's unique "luxury in a loft" format. The new stores should have a particular appeal to foreign tourists, who helped drive up same-store sales to about 15% at Saks' flagship New York store.

Although the locations of the new stores at Merrimack, N.H., Syracuse, N.Y., Livermore, Calif., Grand Prairie, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn. may not seem like markets frequented by non-U.S. tourists, such premium outlet centers as Woodbury Commons, located in Westchester County New York, cater to foreign tourists by offering maps and announcements in a variety of languages.

The U.S. upper middle class consumers cannot be overlooked and Saks is positioning itself to reach those consumers with more disposable income.

"There are numerous opportunities for new Off 5TH stores throughout the country.  We will carefully weigh our options and open in select new markets that we believe have the greatest demand for our distinct merchandise offerings.  The further expansion of Saks Fifth Avenue Off5TH is an exciting step for us," stated Robert Wallstrom, president of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5TH.  

The stores will feature an open air loft-like environment and will range from 25,000 to 28,000 sq. ft.