Saks CEO Makes First Visit to Tulsa Store
A piece on the Tulsa World website seems intended to put employees of a local Saks Fifth Avenue store at ease. The CEO of the company, Stephen Sadove, had made a visit to the store and announced: “The store is very profitable, and we own the building. There isn’t any reason for us to leave.”
Saks has closed stores in recent years as it sought to shore up its bottom line performance, so Mr. Sadove’s comments should certainly make employees at the location feel more confident about their prospects.
What was stunning to us — in part because it was tossed out without question in the Tulsa World article — is that this was Mr. Sadove’s first visit to the store since taking over leadership of the company in 2006. Saks Fifth Avenue currently operates 46 stores in 22 states, and yet it took five years for the company’s CEO to visit. What’s up with that?
Saks had not responded to a request to confirm that Mr. Sadove’s recent visit to the Tulsa store was his first at the time this story was filed.
Discussion Questions: Do you see store visits to own stores and those of competitors as a basic requirement to lead a retail company? How frequently should executives visit stores?