The very first Saks store was opened on September 15, 1924 by Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel. The two gentlemen desired to make a unique store that specialized in delivering fashionable, yet gracious, living to its clients. At the time, upper Fifth Avenue was mainly a residential district, and putting a store in that location was previously unheard of, but going beyond expectations has long been something in which Saks Fifth Avenue has believed. When the two companies merged, Adam Gimbel, Bernard Gimbel’s cousin, became Horace Saks’ assistant. This proved to be a lucrative move for the store, because when Horace passed away and Adam became the president, he brought the style and imagination that would be needed to push Saks Fifth Avenue above and beyond their competition to be the great store chain they are today.
Expansion happened rapidly and easily for Saks stores. Beginning in 1972, they spread through Texas and the Midwest, opening twenty new stores in a seventeen-year span. They began opening outlet stores in 1992, and those quickly took off, as well, becoming “Off 5th” in 1995. In the middle of the 90s, Saks decided to strengthen their presence in the western states, and opened four new stores – three in California and one in Arizona. The Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue quickly became the most popular store in that area.
In September of 1998, Saks made a huge business move and merged with Proffitt’s Inc., another popular and profitable department store chain. Under the merge, Saks became a division of Proffitt’s. In 2000, they began operating saks.com, giving their customers the option of shopping as if they were in the store or perusing deals and products only available online. In late 2013, Hudson’s Bay Company bought Saks Incorporated, and that long-standing business still holds the deeds today.
Saks Fifth Avenue currently has thirty-nine stores across twenty-two states, and their ideals of excellent service, superior merchandise, and a higher-caliber of products for men and women have never faltered.