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Opening the Vault

Saks Fifth Avenue on Wednesday unveiled it’s new high-jewelry floor at the New York Flagship, aptly called The Vault.

5 Sept 2019 By David Moin

The Vault on the lower level of Saks Fifth Avenue opened Wednesday, revealing a rich array of “high” fine jewelry and world class watches and a fluid passage from the main floor for luxury handbags, sunglasses, soft accessories and travel.

“The customer will now truly be able to feel the connectivity between the lower level, the main floor and our second level for beauty. It’s really all one main floor,” commented Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue. “There’s visual connectivity and energy that flows through, from floor to floor.”

“We’re really seeing the whole building come to life. All that cross shopping coming together is really exciting,” added Tracy Margolies, Saks Fifth Avenue’s chief merchant.

That easy transition results from extending the Rem Koolhaas-designed escalator down to The Vault from the main floor, following its rise up to the beauty floor last February. The escalator, with iridescent dichroic film coating in varying colors, is a centerpiece. It’s massive, and has replaced some of Saks’ productive selling space. Yet it creates an openness to the flagship setting, providing views to the floors above and below and beckoning shoppers to explore deeper into the store.

There’s also aesthetic continuity with the selling levels having perimeter designer shops, opaque terrazzo flooring and area rugs with colorful tones and patterns.

The 12,059-square-foot Vault, combined with the recently renovated fine fashion jewelry area on two, more than doubles the space Saks previously dedicated to jewelry, which had been relegated to the back of the main floor, like an afterthought.

“In the past, if you want to shop Gaff, you had to walk through beauty and handbags, past thousands of square feet, before getting to jewelry,” Metrick said.

“Jewelry has never had the right representation in a luxury department store. Decades ago, we ceded the role of selling high fine jewelry to our customers. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity.” According to Boston Consulting Group’s “True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight” 2019 report, the personal luxury goods market is expected to reach $446 billion by 2025, of which jewelry and watches are expected to reach $151 billion.

The Vault makes a strong case for becoming what Metrick characterized as a “headquarters destination for high fine jewelry in New York City.” It offers more than 25 high fine jewelry and watch brands from around the world including six high fine jewelry shops-in-shop. Averaging 500-plus share feet from Chanel, Chopard, Piaget, and Graff and the first shops-in-shop from Boucheron and Repossi in the U.S.

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