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