Saks Fifth Avenue CMO Mark Briggs Explains Sweeping Changes

90-year-old department store aims to be a lifestyle authority

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When Hudson’s Bay plunked down $2.4 billion to acquire Saks Fifth Avenue last year, many remarked on the pluck of chief executive Richard Baker. Hadn’t he heard that department stores were yesterday’s retail idea? Yes, he had—and he didn’t care. “Department stores still make a lot of money,” Baker told Reuters. He also promised to “optimize the Saks business while preserving their iconic brand.”

That was no small promise, of course, and some observers were wary of how the legendary store—which first opened its doors on Fifth Avenue in 1924—would fare under the reins of a mid-scale retailer based in Canada.



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