- Marjorie van Elven |
Saks Fifth Avenue’s discount chain Saks Off 5th is to close all stores in the Netherlands and Germany, the brand announced on its local Facebook pages. All retail locations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Bonn, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Heidelberg are now holding a final sale, with markdowns of up to 40 percent.
The closures are part of a wider restructuring plan for the brand, announced by parent company Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in February. HBC plans to close up to 20 Saks Off 5th locations in the United States alone, with the aim to reduce costs, simplify the business and improve overall profitability. “Further streamlining our retail portfolio enables even greater focus on our businesses with the strongest growth opportunities”, said HBC’s CEO Helena Foulkes in a statement at the time.
Saks Off 5th ventured into the German and Dutch markets in 2017. The first store in Germany was opened in Düsseldorf in June of that year, while the first Dutch retail location debuted in Rotterdam three months later.
The closures don’t mean HBC stopped believing in the European market whatsoever. In September 2018, the company signed an agreement with Austria’s Signa Holding to merge Germany’s Galerie Kauthof and Karstadt chains, forming Europe’s third-biggest department store chain. Saks Off 5th’s stores in Germany, which are set to close doors by the end of June, will later be converted into “dress for less” concepts from brands belonging to Sigma’s portfolio, according to German publication TextilWirtschaft. The fate of the Dutch retail locations hasn’t yet been disclosed.