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Published: 24 Oct 2016

Saks Downtown’s E-Tail-Inspired Flagship

Saks Downtown

US luxury department store Saks has launched a New York concept called Saks Downtown. The design, created by London studio Found Associates, draws inspiration directly from Saks' e-commerce site to maximise engagement.

The concept acknowledges the fact that 60% of luxury sales in the US are now swayed by related digital activity, such as researching online before purchasing and that even Saks' most mature consumers (75% of baby boomers and older) state that they'e ready for 'omnichannel interactions' (Boston Consulting Group, 2016).

  • Online-Browsing-Inspired Layout: The store features a circular layout with lowered sightline shelving (5.5ft). This enables consumers to discover products by walking around in circles – a metaphor for endless online browsing.
  • 'Flat View' Visual Merchandising: Many product displays mimic the 'flat view' product shots found online – such as jeans stretched out on a table, for example.
  • Social-Media-Savvy Sales Assistants: During the recruitment process, prospective employees were asked to cite who they follow on Instagram to demonstrate their social media savvy.
  • Personalised Microsites: As mentioned in Concierge Commerce, Saks has implemented personalised web pages that display product edits selected by personal assistants to suit shoppers' individual predilections. Sales assistants converse with consumers via in-store appointments, a chat tool or email to establish these preferences. The pages are accessible through a personal URL link sharable with consumers by email, social media or Saks' app. The tool was created in collaboration with US technologists Salesfloor. According to Saks, shoppers who use it spend an average of 50% more than shoppers who don't.

See also Next-Level Department Store Strategies.

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