Saks Off 5th CEO Says Luxury Retailers Are Coming for Discount Store's 'Winning Agenda'

Customer research shows that more high-earners are taking to bargain hunting.

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By Sam Silverman

Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Luxury retailers are coming for sale shoppers and their go-to discount stores.

According to Saks Off 5th's CEO Paige Thomas, the brand saw more competition in the discount store space than in years past, calling the 2022 holiday season "the most promotional" she's ever witnessed while speaking at NRF 2023: Retail's Big Show in New York City, per Fox Business.

Lower prices were likely due to high inventory levels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation woes, while holiday markdowns "created opportunity for traditional full-price players to play in our sandbox a little bit and so that became absolutely competitive," Thomas said.

Thomas said that excessive inventory creates an "unbelievable environment" for Saks Off 5th's team of buyers to find the best goods for customers, but now luxury stores are using the same "winning agenda" to target sale shoppers.

Still, despite complaining about luxury retailers (none were mentioned by name), Thomas said customer research conducted by the company shows they are gaining new fans — a high-earning customer that likes deals but doesn't necessarily need them.

In addition to targeting this new customer base of "high earners", that are "very fashion-driven" and "shopped everywhere," according to Thomas, the brand has invested in technology with the launch of its app in 2021 and its resale partnerships Rent the Runway to help give consumers more access to luxury goods.

Entrepreneur has reached out the Saks Off 5th's parent company HBC for comment.

Sam Silverman

Entrepreneur Staff

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. Her coverage spans from business and tech to entertainment news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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