SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Eyeglasses

Saks Fifth Avenue

Throughout our history, Saks Incorporated has transformed with the times to achieve this mission.

Our Beginning

We began as Proffitt’s, Inc. with just five Proffitt’s stores in metropolitan Knoxville, Tennessee. Proffitt's, Inc. became a public company in June 1987. From 1994 to 1998, we added McRae’s, Parisian, Younkers, Herberger's, and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. (which included Bergner's and Boston Store) as well as 32 additional stores from Lovemans, Hess, Parks-Belk, and Brody’s, which were converted into existing store nameplates.

Becoming Saks Incorporated

In September of 1998, Proffitt’s, Inc. and Saks Holdings, Inc. completed a merger transaction where Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH outlet stores became a division of Proffitt’s, Inc., and our corporate name of Proffitt’s, Inc. was changed to Saks Incorporated. The stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SKS” on September 18 of that year.

Growth and Development

We acquired Club Libby Lu, a specialty store focusing on "tween" age girls, in May 2003. Its mission: To create a spontaneous environment that encourages girls to express their imagination and individuality.

To create value for our shareholders, we sold our Proffitt’s and McRae’s businesses to Belk, Inc. on July 5, 2005, our Northern Department Store Group (operating under the Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, Boston Store, Herberger's, and Younkers nameplates) to The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. on March 6, 2006, and our Parisian business to Belk, Inc. on October 2, 2006.

The Company generated approximately $2.0 billion in cash from the sales of its department store businesses, and used the proceeds to purchase Company stock, pay $8 per share of special cash dividends to shareholders, and substantially reduce debt.

The Company discontinued the operations of Club Libby Lu in January 2009.

Today, we operate Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, and saks.com.

Divisional History

Saks Fifth Avenue History

  • The Beginning — Dreaming of a unique specialty store synonymous with fashionable, gracious living, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in 1924.
  • Expansion — When Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926, he built an empire of stores reaching from coast to coast.
  • Joining Saks Incorporated — B.A.T. Industries PLC acquired Saks Fifth Avenue in 1973, and sold it to Investcorp S.A. in 1990. When Saks merged with Proffitt’s Inc. in 1998, the company was re-named to Saks Incorporated.
  • Today — Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world's pre-eminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. There are 46 Saks Fifth Avenue stores in 23 states.

Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH History

  • The Beginning — The first of our outlet stores appeared in 1992 in Franklin Mills, Pennsylvania, under the name of Clearinghouse.
  • Expansion — With the 1995 decision to expand, we were renamed OFF 5TH.
  • Joining Saks Incorporated — When Saks merged with Proffitt’s Inc. in 1998, the company was re-named Saks Incorporated.
  • Today — OFF 5TH is the savvy shopper's premier source for value-priced designer clothing and accessories, offering customers an unparalleled array of both coveted designer names and unique merchandise under the Saks Fifth Avenue label. OFF 5TH places the highest priority on style, selection, and superior customer service and operates 57 stores nationwide.


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since 2001