Saks Fifth Avenue

   Begun in 1867 and incorporated in New York as Saks & Company in 1902, founder Horace Saks joined forces in 1924 with Bernard Gimbel of Gimbels to open their upscale specialty store called Saks Fifth Avenue. In 1926, when Adam Gimbel became president, the store began their national expansion plan by opening stores in resort areas such as Palm Beach, Florida (1926), and Southampton, New York (1928). Stores in Chicago and Miami Beach (1929) followed and by 1938 Saks had ten branch stores in high-profile areas such as Sun Valley, Beverly Hills, Mount Stowe, and Newport Beach. BATUS Industries PLC acquired Saks in 1973 and sold it in 1990 to Investicorp S.A. In 1998, Saks merged with Profitt's Inc., a retail conglomerate of stores which included more than thirty-two McRae stores and the company was renamed Saks Incorporated. The first Saks outlet store opened in Franklin Mills, Pennsylvania, under the name Clearinghouse and, in 1995, as more outlet stores were opened, the name was changed to Off 5th.
   In 2005, Saks was implicated in a chargeback dispute which resulted in having to pay back vendors. In an effort to reduce debt, Saks Incorporated sold off several of their business holdings in 2005 including the Profitt's and McRae's businesses to Belk, Inc., and their Northern Department Store Group to the Bon-Ton Stores. Inc., in 2006.
   Saks Fifth Avenue remains one of the world's preeminent fashion retailers, known for its extraordinary assortment of international and American designer collections. There are 55 full-line stores in 26 states, 2 stores in the Middle East (Dubai and Riyadh), and 50 Off 5th Outlet Stores.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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