Saks Fifth Avenue spinoff e-commerce unit prepares for IPO with $6B evaluation, WSJ says


On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saks Fifth Avenue retail luxury store’s spinoff e-commerce business was in the process of launching an Initial Public Offering (IPO) next year. The Journal cited sources who said that the valuation would be at $6 billion. Just about seven months ago, the e-commerce arm had a value of $2 billion and its value has tripled, since March.

The report also cited that sources had told the outlet that potential underwriters for the IPO would be interviewed this week. The public offering could be on an unspecified exchange by the first half of 2022.

In March, the privately held company—Saks Fifth Avenue, which is owned by Hudson’s Bay Company of Toronto, had separated its e-commerce component and valued it at $2 billion. It had sold a $500 million stake in this entity to Insight Partners, which is a venture-capital firm. The flourishing business was reportedly separated to unlock its potential value.

During the pandemic, the iconic stores of Saks Fifth avenue remained closed or opened for short durations of time due to lockdowns as well as due to the switch by customers to online buys due to fear of catching COVID-19, by visiting stores. Retail business was also slow. However, online sales were excellent. The company said that online sales surged by 82 percent in the second quarter, when compared with the pre-pandemic sales in 2019, according to the WSJ.

Although the e-commerce entity is in charge of online sales, customers can pick up or return items bought online in brick and mortar stores of the retailer.

When asked for comment, Saks told Reuters that it does not comment on rumors or speculations.

Jana Partners asked Macy to spin off its online business but Morningstar analyst David Swartz said the iconic store would find the idea of splitting its brick and mortar stores and its online retail against its “Polaris plan.”


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