In 2007, Saks Fifth Avenue unveiled a game-changer in the world of shoe shopping—10022-SHOE, a women’s shoe salon so big it earned its own zip code. Today, the world-renowned department store is giving that same treatment to its male customers with the debut of a brand new shoe floor for men.
Situated on the sixth floor of its New York City flagship, it’s what the company calls one of the largest men’s shoe destinations in the country, an 8,000-square-foot space featuring more than 60 luxury brands and 160 styles exclusive to Saks. The open floor plan, which represents a 60 percent increase on its previous men’s shoe space, also contains a luxe central seating area, custom chandeliers and light installations. There’s even a modern stone staircase in the middle connecting the sixth and seventh floors, making it easier for guys to check out the men’s clothing above. (Before the renovation, you had to wait for the elevators to go up just one floor.)
Previously, the store’s men’s footwear offering was spread over two floors; one housed all the dress shoes and another sold sneakers and casual shoes. But now, guys can find virtually all of their shoe needs in one convenient location, from athletic shoes to flip-flops to streetwear styles and classic Italian loafers. You’ll also find one of the strongest and most fashion-forward brand assortments for men’s footwear in Manhattan, including Celine, Off-White, Versace and Burberry.
But you can also get your shoes repaired and shined on the floor, and even customize your laces thanks to the AGLIT ITALY Lace Bar. The space also plays host to made-to-order programs from brands like Salvatore Ferragamo and Zegna.A host of exclusive shoes offers something for everyone. (Clockwise from top left: Santoni, Tod’s, DIor and New Balance.)[/caption]
The new men’s shoe floor is part of the company’s $250 million Fifth Avenue flagship renovation. Management looked hard and closely at how to reimagine such an important category for Saks, and the entire process took about two years to complete.
“We really thought it was a big opportunity, as we redevelop the New York store, to make it easier for our customer,” says Tracy Margolies, chief merchant at Saks Fifth Avenue. “We felt one shoe floor makes it easy to have a fun, social experience, and this way our customer can buy for all their different lifestyles all at once.”
That said, New York is quickly becoming a battleground among luxury retailers as new entrants are popping up in the market. Neiman Marcus opened its first store here at Hudson Yards this year, and Nordstrom’s men’s store in midtown will soon be joined by a massive flagship selling its women’s assortment right across the street.Sneakers and dress shoes are on the same level. “This way our customer can buy for all their different lifestyles all at once,” a Saks exec said.[/caption]
But Margolies believes that their men’s shoe floor has the potential to truly become a one-stop-shop for guys for all their different needs, whether they’re going on a job interview, planning a vacation or headed to a wedding. In fact, Margolies adds that what sets Saks apart is its distinct, elevated fashion point of view and expert curation.
“I think it’s really about the edit, having your size, the service, the client’s relationship with their style advisor… it’s really a fun social environment that’s comfortable,” she says.