Saks to start Black Friday sales early: Hudson's Bay CEO

Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:30pm EST
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By Sneha Banerjee and Subrat Patnaik

(Reuters) - Black Friday comes early to Saks Fifth Avenue stores this year.

The luxury retailer, owned by Canadian department store operator Hudson's Bay Co (HBC.TO: Quote), will start Black Friday sales on Wednesday, Chief Executive Jerry Storch said.

"We thought it would be nice for customers to be able to come on Wednesday and get the great Black Friday offerings without having to go through the more crowded atmosphere on Friday," Hudson's Storch told Reuters.

The upscale Saks Fifth Avenue stores will be closed on Thanksgiving, unlike the offprice Saks OFF 5TH stores that will remain open on the day.

Black Friday is the peak shopping day of the holiday season and sales on the day signal whether retailers need to drop prices or change promotions. Last year, reports of weak Black Friday spending were followed by deeper discounting in the week before Christmas.

This year, retailers are taking a more cautious approach and have started offering deals sooner to attract shoppers.

Earlier this month, Inc (AMZN.O: Quote) offered a preview of its upcoming Black Friday deals, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote) said the majority of its Black Friday deals would be available on after midnight on Thursday.

Best Buy Co Inc BBY.N has over the past couple of weeks offered discounts on select items. Others including Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote), J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote) and Kohl's Corp (KSS.N: Quote) have also stepped up promotions and deals as they look to grab a piece of the action.   Continued...

Shoppers walk up 5th Avenue past Saks Fifth Avenue on Black Friday in New York November 28, 2014.    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri