Why is Saks Fifth Avenue expensive

For German bargain hunters in general, but especially for fashion-conscious Düsseldorfers, this could be a tempting offer. Provided that he or she doesn't have to turn the cent three times. Because the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), the Canadian owners of Galeria Kaufhof, want to open a discounter for luxury clothes in Germany in a year. Whereby luxury is such a thing.

The evening dress for 10,000 euros will soon be hanging in the Carsch store in Düsseldorf, just as men's suits for 6,000 euros. But it will certainly be more expensive than Primark. With its clothing store Saks off 5th in Germany, HBC wants to venture into completely new realms and fill a gap that, at least in the opinion of Canadians, no one has ever filled: luxury at bargain prices, in the middle of the city center in a prime location.

In fact, luxury brands like Gucci are likely to remain the exception. It is not yet clear which brands will be sold in the new stores. In the US, you can also buy summer dresses for $ 39.99 or polo shirts for $ 16.99 at Saks off 5th. "What we are doing is something completely new in German retail," HBC boss Jerry Storch is nevertheless sure of. He means that the Canadians will be the first to offer premium brands for sale in so-called off-price stores. That sounds new and sounds like nobody should be hurt.

Nevertheless, it is a declaration of war. Especially when you consider the density of textile shops around the Carsch-Haus in Düsseldorf. HBC plans to move its flagship store there on 3500 square meters for the new concept in the summer of 2017.

Four more Saks-off-5th stores are to follow in 2017: in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Heidelberg and Wiesbaden. They should also be located in the middle of the shopping streets, where the Kaufhof Sportarena brand used to be at home. After the opening in Düsseldorf, HBC also wants to sell remnants of high-priced brands there. The company is managed from Cologne.

Off-price stores are sort of like outlet stores, only that they are not in the open air, but in the middle of the city. In addition, independent retailers are behind it and not the manufacturers themselves. This means that the dealers buy the goods from the manufacturers in batches and sell them. One of the best-known and most successful off-price stores in Germany is the British designer fashion retailer TK Maxx. This is exactly where the Canadians poached the chief buyer Berna Bartosch for Saks off 5th. This can also be understood as a declaration of war.

On the other hand, the transition should be as peaceful as possible for the employees. They should be able to choose whether they want to sell sporting goods at Galeria Kaufhof from now on or whether they want to try it after a training at Saks off 5th. HBC intends to open a total of 40 of these stores in Germany, most of which are expected to be integrated into Galeria Kaufhof. The Sportarena brand, on the other hand, will be gone in a good two years.