Saks Incorporated - company profile on Apparel Search
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Today, Saks Incorporated operates Saks Fifth Avenue stores, OFF Fifth stores, and saks.com. The Company also operates specialty store chain Club Libby Lu.

Their Beginning

They began as Proffitt's, Inc. with just five Proffitt's stores in metropolitan Knoxville, Tennessee. Proffitt's, Inc. became a public company in June 1987. From 1994 to 1998, they added McRae's, Parisian, Younkers, Herberger's, and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. (which included Bergner's and Boston Store) as well as 32 additional stores from Lovemans, Hess, Parks-Belk, and Brody's, which were converted into existing store nameplates.

Becoming Saks Incorporated

In September of 1998, Proffitt's, Inc. and Saks Holdings, Inc. completed a merger transaction where Saks Fifth Avenue and OFF 5TH outlet stores became a division of Proffitt's, Inc., and their corporate name of Proffitt's, Inc. was changed to Saks Incorporated. The stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SKS" on September 18, 1998.

Growth and Development

They acquired Club Libby Lu, a specialty store focusing on "tween" age girls, in May 2003.  The mission of Club Libby Lu was to create a spontaneous environment that encourages girls to express their imagination and individuality.

To create value for their shareholders, they sold their Proffitt's and McRae's businesses to Belk, Inc. on July 5, 2005their Northern Department Store Group (operating under the Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, Boston Store, Herberger's, and Younkers nameplates) to The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. on March 6, 2006, and their Parisian business to Belk, Inc. on October 2, 2006.

The Company generated approximately $2.0 billion in cash from the sales of its department store businesses, and used the proceeds to purchase Company stock, pay a special cash dividend to shareholders, and substantially reduce debt.  Today, they operate Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH, and saks.com. They also continue to operate Club Libby Lu.

Divisional History

Saks Fifth Avenue History

  • The Beginning — Dreaming of a unique specialty store synonymous with fashionable, gracious living, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in 1924.
  • Expansion — When Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926, he built an empire of stores reaching from coast to coast.
  • Joining Saks Incorporated — B.A.T. Industries PLC acquired Saks Fifth Avenue in 1973, and sold it to Investcorp S.A. in 1990. When Saks merged with Proffitt's Inc. in 1998, the company was re-named to Saks Incorporated. 

OFF 5TH History

  • The Beginning — The first of their outlet stores appeared in 1992 in Franklin Mills, Pennsylvania, under the name of Clearinghouse.
  • Expansion — With the 1995 decision to expand, they were renamed OFF 5TH.
  • Joining Saks Incorporated — When Saks merged with Proffitt's Inc. in 1998, the company was re-named Saks Incorporated.
  • They have differentiated themselves from other outlet stores by offering in-demand products, greeting customers promptly, offering fitting room assistance, and ensuring an accurate, one-minute checkout experience.

Club Libby Lu History

  • The Beginning — Mary Drolet founded the first Club Libby Lu in August 2000 in Schaumburg, IL.
  • Joining Saks Incorporated — Saks Incorporated purchased Club Libby Lu in May 2003.

In July 2013, Saks Fifth Avenue announced that they agreed to be sold to Hudson's Bay.

Learn more about Saks from the Saks Incorporated website or the Saks Fifth Avenue website.

ML10507 & 102915

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