Saks For Sale

Discussion
Mar 31, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Saks Inc. has reportedly put its 241 regional department stores, including Carson Pirie Scott, McRae’s, Proffitt’s and Parisian, up for sale. The retailer is also said to be willing to consider a deal for its Saks Fifth Avenue chain under the right circumstances and at the right price.


According to The New York Times, Brad Martin, Saks’ CEO, is shopping the regional stores hoping to cash in on the real estate frenzy that has been worked up in retailing circles over the past couple of years. Analysts, reports the Times, believe all of Saks Inc. might bring up to $3 billion in a sale.


Burt Flickinger III, managing director of the Strategic Resource Group, says now is the time for Saks to sell and that it is not likely to get a better deal in the future than it is right now.


Among those mentioned as possible bidders for part or all of Saks’ banners are the Belk’s department store group as well as investment firms the Blackstone Group, the Apollo Group, Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.


Moderator’s Comment: Of all the mergers/acquisitions in retailing (cross-channel) history, which do you think have been the most and least successful?
What was behind the success or failure?

George Anderson – Moderator

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5 Comments on "Saks For Sale"


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Stephan Kouzomis
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Stephan Kouzomis
15 years 11 months ago

Sounds like Saks is refocusing on its high end, and upscale strength. Makes sense to sell the middle of the road operations, and focus on the growing upper end of the “luxury” business.

Joseph Peter
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Joseph Peter
15 years 11 months ago

I would have to say the most successful acquisition was Walgreens buyout of the Medi-Marts in the Northeast, and Ribordy’s in Northwest Indiana in 1986 would have to be a very unknown success story in my opinion. Walgreens quickly acquired the stores and integrated them into power house stores and retained their customer base and employees. They converted dowdy old stores into modern Walgreens stores. Now the leases on these stores are running out and Walgreens is relocating them to freestanding, thus becoming extremely profitable.

The most unsuccessful acquisition has to be Safeway’s buying of Dominick’s, Geraldi’s and Randall’s, especially Dominick’s; with which they have ruined everything from lighting, to store decor, to product selection.

Tom Zatina
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Tom Zatina
15 years 11 months ago

On Tuesday we read and commented on Saks’ upscale vision for the future. Sounds like things may have changed over the past few days.

Al McClain
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Al McClain
15 years 11 months ago

The constant churning of ownership of many department store chains no doubt contributes to the continued decline of the channel. I think in 5-10 years, we’ll look back at Federated’s acquisition of May Company as a failure, especially if they implement their plan to turn May’s regional chains, who are known for something, into Macy’s, which I see as a fading brand. Rumored conversion of Lord and Taylor stores into Bloomingdale’s makes no sense to me either. You’d think the department store channel would look over the fence at supermarkets and learn from Safeway’s missteps in this area.

EDWARD COLLINS
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EDWARD COLLINS
15 years 10 months ago
I see the sale of the Saks regional department stores as a great step and long overdue. They need a new owner who is dedicated and has a vision. I noticed that Carson Pirie Scott under Saks was starting to deteriorate more than when Bergner’s purchased Carson Pirie Scott in the early 90s. Merchandising (visually) is poor, they are behind on fashion trends and some stores are not kept up well. Has anyone been into one of Saks regional stores? Merchandise is severely crammed, disorganized and it’s hard walking through aisles. Most importantly, Carson’s lacks integrity: how can you merchandise a $19.99 American Flyer luggage right next to a $550 piece from Tumi or have a $9.99 Consensus polo being sold next to a $79.50 Ralph Lauren piece? I’m confused, do you want to be in the same category as Kmart or Marshall Field’s? I’m so glad stores like Marshall Field’s (it’s longtime rival) doesn’t do things like that. I was raised on Carson’s, but as years went by, a lot of customers started to… Read more »
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