Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Adding ZIP to Saks’ Shoe Salon

While watching the local news last night, I learned that Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store in New York City is preparing for the launch of a new shoe department. This is no ordinary shoe department, however. This new department will be so big that the chain promises that it will be getting its own ZIP code.

When the store’s fourth-floor shoe department sets up shop on the eighth floor in August, it will be called 10022-SHOE. The moniker doubles as the shoe salon’s ZIP code, and customers can actually send mail to the department, according to the report.

The new shoe department, which promises to be more of a showroom, will be a 17,500-sq.-ft. space. However, 8,500 sq. ft. will be reserved for the sales floor; the remaining 9,000 sq. ft. of space will be used for storage.

Besides featuring an express elevator that will transport shoppers directly to the “shoe-room,” the department will be encased in hand-blown glass walls, and glass chandeliers will add to the ambience.

While this sounds wonderful, I hope there will be some modern conveniences too. Such a vast space is sure to draw a crowd daily. This could be a great fit for kiosks that can act as price checkers, as well as help shoppers see whether their favorite shoes are in stock, or even electronically grab the attention of an associate.

Typically, I am not partial to an overwhelming shopping experience when shoe shopping, but I do plan to visit 10022. If Saks can combine my suggestions with its traditional strong reputation in the retail industry, the shoe showroom will be another avenue the chain can use to differentiate itself in the marketplace.

— Deena M. Amato-McCoy

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