Luxury seller Saks to spinoff website into separate company

Saks Fifth Avenue is spinning off its website into a separate company today, with the hopes of expanding that business at a time when more people are shopping online.  PHOTO CREDIT: Lynne Sladky

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue is spinning off its website into a separate company, with the hopes of expanding that business at a time when more people are shopping online.

Shoppers won’t notice the change. The website will carry the Saks name. And shoppers will be able to buy online and pickup items at stores, as well as return online orders at there.

HBC, the parent company of Saks, said today that the new company will focus on growing online sales by adding more products and services, such as styling.

Online shopping has boomed during the pandemic, even for high-priced luxury items, as homebound people avoid stores. Farfetch, an online store that sells goods from Gucci, Fendi and other high-end designers, said revenue soared 64% last year from the year before.

HBC said investor firm Insight Partners will buy a $500 million stake in the new online business, valuing it at $2 billion. The Saks physical stores will remain operated by HBC, a privately held company that also operates Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay.