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Is Saks’ IPO on-trend?  INTL

Is Saks’ IPO on-trend?  

If you’ve ever traveled to New York City, you know that Saks Fifth Avenue is a must-see attraction. What you probably don’t know is that Saks has also been making significant strides on its e-commerce platform (we’ve all got to digitalize someday, huh?). The luxury department store chain is now prepping to IPO its e-commerce business, aiming for a $6b valuation. Investors, however, won’t be able to buy a piece of the world-famous department store until next year, as the company is just now starting to interview potential underwriters. 

Saks e-commerce’s IPO comes after some serious organizational restructuring. Earlier this year, Hudson Bay Co (the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue) split the store’s website into an independent e-commerce platform following a $500m investment from private equity firm Insight Partners at a valuation of $2b. To ensure that the e-commerce site is a success, Saks hired former Amazon executive Sebastian Gunnigham — how much stronger of a CV do you need to prove you know how to sell stuff online well?

why it matters

The exponential growth of the luxury e-commerce market led many luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue to adopt an omnichannel strategy. The stereotype of the luxury consumer being only interested in exclusive, in-person experiences appears to have been finally torn down, and we bet that even Miranda Priestly has been shopping online.