Saks Fifth Avenue sets up 1000-seat technology centre in India
Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the most famous luxury retailers in the world, is setting up a 1000-seater technology centre in Bengaluru, following in the footsteps of other global retailers like JCPenney , L Brands, which owns the Victoria’s Secret brand, home improvement chain Lowe’s, and women’s specialty brand Ann Taylor. The company’s top executives, including chief accounting officer Todd Eugene Zator and chief human resources officer Janis Hamilton Leigh, have made several trips to the country to finalise the details of the centre
The centre has started functioning with a few tens of employees. A note on the India website of its parent firm Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) says the centre in Bengaluru will build a corporate team that will play an important role as HBC executes its strategic plan. “This centre will house approximately 450 highly talented individuals in the first two years and the office has potential to expand as the business grows. We will begin to build our team in Bangalore focused on information technology, information security, finance and account diversified retailer across North America and Europe that owns brands like Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Gilt, Saks Off 5th, Galeria Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, and Belgium’s only department store group Galeria Inno.HBC has 480 stores and 66000 employees globally .
Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store in New York opened in 1924 as a joint venture between two American retailers, Horace Saks of Saks & Co and Bernard Gimbel of Gimbel, with the objective of targeting upscale customers. In 2013, the year HBC acquired the brand, the flagship store’s real estate value was estimated between USD 800 million and over USD 1 billion, and generated around 20 % of Saks’ annual sales at USD 620 million, according to Wikipedia.
Since 2000, Saks has opened international locations in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico City, and Canada. There is speculation that the retailer is in talks with the Aditya Birla Group to open its first India outlet in New Delhi.
Online retail has put enormous pressures on most physical retailers, which explains the slew of retailers establishing tech centres in India. Listed entities like HBC, Target, Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney have all seen their share prices fall sharply in recent years
Several of the technology centres in India are focusing on creating an omni-channel model that integrates their physical and online stores, and develop analytics models that can better understand customers, and more efficiently manage the supply chain.
Michael Witty, director at research firm Information Services Group (ISG), said the main drivers for the new captive centres is the demand for analytics talent.