Saks Launches Off 5th Ecommerce Site

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Saks Fifth Avenue launched an ecommerce site for its off-price franchise, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, which went live in September.

Michael Burgess, president of Saks Direct, said Saks Off 5th offers the same product collections online found in-store.

Saks, he said, is able to leverage one distribution center for both Saks and Saks Off 5th.  The clearance inventory being sold online helps the company sell through merchandise faster.

“Omnichannel is a top strategy for the company and we know how the consumer expects to be able to interact and buy from our brands online as well as in store,” said Burgess.

According to Maria Haggerty,  president of Dotcom Distribution,  a provider of logistics and fulfillment services,  Saks Off 5th is going  to have to make sure they can deliver a similar experience as it has for

Haggerty said Saks Fifth Avenue will have to be careful about how to successfully use fulfillment with the launch of an ecommerce site.

She said Saks Fifth Avenue can save in places like packaging with the launch of Saks Off 5th.  She said the company is going to have to figure out where they can skimp, however she doesn’t recommend that Saks Fifth Avenue skimp on service since “people will be looking for the same brand expectations with the online store of Saks.”

Haggerty said in order for Saks to adapt its fulfillment processes to omnichannel, it would have to segregate their inventory for offline and almost treat it like its own store in the warehouse.   She said this is how most merchants do omnichannel.

In looking at the site, Haggerty recommended that Saks should also give consumers the ability to shop by size.

Haggerty said with having an already existing platform definitely helps boost the Saks brand.  She said it helps because people that want to shop at Saks, but can’t afford the full-prices, can shop at Saks Off 5th.

According to Burgess,  Saks Fifth Avenue is using the same IT team for for the new site.

Burgess said the company has a mobile website for smartphones and tablets and is currently testing responsive design on handheld devices.

In September, Stein Mart, an off-price specialty store announced the launching of an ecommerce site in an effort to expand customers 24-hour access.  In August, several media outlets reported discount retailer TJ Maxx is planning an ecommerce launch by the end of 2013.