As rest on stores like Saks Fifth Avenue try to get shoppers back into stores after the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns, the party to online sales may continue to accelerate thanks to personalization technology.
Richard Lautens | Toronto Star | Getty Materializations
HBC, the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, said Friday it will split the luxury department store’s website into a cloistered business from its stores after it raised $500 million.
It said the venture capital firm Insight Team-mates has put up $500 million to take a minority stake in Saks.com, valuing the business at $2 billion. Saks’ 40 brick-and-mortar reservoirs will become a separate business known as SFA, which will remain wholly owned by HBC.
The Covid pandemic has prompted consumers to staff their spending online, with several luxury retailers showing resilience. Affluent shoppers have splurged on high-end handbags, jewelry and other extras.
“Luxury ecommerce is poised for exponential growth,” HBC CEO Richard Baker said in a statement.
Marc Metrick, who was chief administrative of the combined Saks businesses, is set to become CEO of the new digital company. Former Amazon exec Sebastian Gunningham is joining the e-commerce corporation’s board, and Saks veteran Larry Bruce has been appointed president of the SFA business, reporting to Baker.
HBC was taken withdrawn last year by a group of shareholders that includes Baker. HBC also owns the Hudson’s Bay department store restraint in Canada, and the discount business Saks Off Fifth.
“Luxury ecommerce is an exceptionally resilient high-growth sector,” said Acumen Partners’ Managing Director Deven Parekh.
Some of Insight Partners’ other investments include the tech and software ensembles Shopify and Qualtrics.