Hudson’s Bay Co., owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, announced that the online arm of the retailer is set to become its own company, separate from operations of its brick-and-mortar stores. It is a move that looks to take advantage of a rapidly growing luxury fashion e-commerce market and expand the existing Saks customer base, according to the company.
Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks will operate as sister companies, with Saks.com as the online entity. Saks Fifth Avenue, which has a store in Greenwich, will remain as the customer-facing name for both businesses. The retailer also operates an outlet store, Saks Off 5th, in White Plains.
Saks will head up merchandising and marketing for both companies, while also retaining control and ownership of branding and intellectual property. The physical locations will serve as “an important customer touchpoint,” offering in-store pickup, returns, exchanges and alterations for Saks online customers, according to Marc Metrick, who will serve as CEO of Saks and hold a position on the company’s board of directors.
Metrick was previously president and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue. Sebastian Gunningham, who had served on Amazon’s executive team, will join Saks leadership as an adviser and a member of the board of directors. Larry Bruce will move up from his position as director of stores for Saks Fifth Avenue to become president.
The decision was part of a partnership between Hudson’s Bay Co. and Insight Partners, a growth capital investor that specializes in software, emerging tech markets and internet companies, which has made a $500 million minority equity investment in Saks, for a total valuation of $2 billion.