Saks Fifth Avenue spinning website into separate business as more consumers shop online

NEW YORK (AP) — Saks Fifth Avenue is spinning off its website into a separate company, with the hopes of expanding that business at a time when more people are shopping online.

Shoppers won’t notice the change. The website will still carry the Saks name. And shoppers will still be able to buy online and pickup items at stores, as well as return online orders there.

HBC, the parent company of Saks, said Friday that the new company will focus on growing online sales by adding more products and services, such as styling.

Richard Baker, HBC’s governor, executive chairman and CEO, said in a news release that luxury e-commerce is poised for exponential growth and Saks primed to “win significant market share.”

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“With this move, we are redefining the luxury shopping ecosystem, supercharged by an enviable customer base, incomparable brand equity, long-standing relationships with top designers, and exquisite stores in top markets across North America,” Baker said.

Online shopping has boomed during the coronavirus pandemic, even for high-priced luxury items, as homebound people avoid stores.

Farfetch, an online store that sells goods from Gucci, Fendi and other high-end designers, said revenue soared 64% last year from the year before.

HBC said investor firm Insight Partners will buy a $500 million stake in the new online business, valuing it at $2 billion. The Saks physical stores will remain operated by HBC, a privately-held company that also operates Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay.

Contributing: Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY

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