Saks Fifth Avenue could take on Amsterdam, weak retail market

Saks Fifth Avenue (Photo: Flickr/Zyphbear)Saks Fifth Avenue (Photo: Flickr/Zyphbear)

Update, 5:50 p.m., 1 April 2016: Some changes were made to this story after making contact with representation of Haussmann.

The Canadian owner of luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue is negotiating to open a branch on the Rokin in Amsterdam. The report, first published by Het Parool, comes less than a month after rumors surfaced that plans for a Dutch investment group's new private luxury department store concept in the same building, The Haussmann, were unlikely to come to fruition.

Initially, the newspaper quoted Haussmann director Lodewijk Bianchi as saying that the the Dutch department store project was definitely off the table. In an email to the NL Times, Bianchi's attorney, Thomas van Vugt, said that is not the case.

Plans to open the new Dutch department store were already delayed from September 2016 to February 2017. In December, just before Dutch retailer V&D declared bankruptcy for the second time in as many years, there were also reports that Haussmann was having trouble attracting luxury brands.

Saks Fifth Avenue, an American chain owned by Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay, is considered among the more upscale department stores in North America. It has 47 stores in the United States and Canada, and more than a hundred stores of its outlet store, Saks Off Fifth Avenue, according to the newspaper.

Another global retailer with ties to Asian markets is also negotiating for the right to open in the building, Van Vugt told the NL Times. They disputed the Parool's claim that the firm was based in Asia, but would not say where the firm was actually headquartered.

Ivy Group, the developer of the new building, would not comment to the newspaper on the future of the Haussmann. In 2014 Ivy Group decided to open its own luxury department store after being unable to find a suitable tenant.

Saks owner Hudson's Bay failed in its attempt to take over several V&D properties during the V&D bankruptcy negotiations in the first quarter of this year.