Saks Fifth Avenue licensed department store opened today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, within the Esentai Shopping Mall, part of Esentai Park, a new mixed-use development which includes luxury residential and commercial towers as well as a five-star hotel which is expected to open in 2013. The new Saks Fifth Avenue spreads over three floors and covers 91.000 square foot, featuring a wealth of major international luxury fashion and accessories brands.
Local company Viled Group is the licensee for the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Kazakhstan. The Viled Group was established in 1999 and is the largest retailer of luxury jewelry and watches in Kazakhstan. operating 15 stores in Almaty, Kazakhstan and is the exclusive retailer for more than 30 well-known brands including Cartier, Harry Winston, Vacheron Constantin, H. Stern, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef and Arpels.
The opening of Saks Fifth Avenue in Kazakhstan comes at a time of economic slow down in the country, which resulted in a decrease of buying power, even among the most wealthy. Kazakhstan rich are mostly used to shopping abroad, Istanbul being a top choice destination.
Outside the US, Saks Fifth Avenue is present in the U.A.E (2 stores in Dubai) and in Saudi Arabia. Saks Fifth Avenue’s international competitors include Harvey Nichols (U.A.E, Turkey, Kuwait, Hong Kong) and Galleries Lafayette (U.A.E, Morocco, Germany). Internationally, all luxury department stores are operated in franchising.
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