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02/15/2022

Saks expands influencer marketing to TikTok

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Saks TikTok
Saks is leveraging TikTok as an influencer marketing channel. (Photo courtesy of Saks)

Saks is launching its first-ever promotional content series on TikTok.

The luxury e-commerce platform, which was split off from the Saks Fifth Avenue brick-and-mortar retail business by parent company Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and venture capital firm Insight Partners in March 2021,has made its official debut on TikTok (@saks). Starting Tuesday, Feb. 15, Saks will bring together a group of influencers including creators, celebrities and fashion insiders to promote Saks products via short-form videos. 

For the launch, Saks partnered with content creators Larsen ThompsonEverett WilliamsChanel McKinsie, and Maddie White. The TikTok launch videos showcase these influencers participating in a “shoe flip transition challenge” highlighting loungewear, shoes, and party accessories available for purchase at Saks.  

Saks is stepping up its digital activities as it is also seeing financial growth. The retailer is running a digital-first, 360-degree spring 2022 campaign featuring unique content across Saks-owned channels and partner platforms. Components include interviews and videos on the retailer’s social media channels and main homepage; as well as a dedicated email campaign, an exclusive feature in the Saks editorial hub The Edita spread in the March issue of “Vogue,” and custom content on harpersbazaar.com

In addition, the company recently launched a new Wellness Shop on the Saks.com e-commerce site. And during the 2021 holiday season, the Saks Live virtual events platform offered virtual experiences and shoppable content. The platform will also provide lifestyle, shopping and fashion advice directly from industry influencers. Saks Live hosts speak directly to the viewers, interact with them via a chat function, and can help them shop while they watch.

At the time of the split from Saks Fifth Avenue, the Saks e-commerce business was valued at $2 billion. A planned IPO, which could take place in the first half of 2022, is targeting a valuation of some $6 billion, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The online luxury retailer has also closed on a syndicated $350 million, asset-based five-year revolving credit facility arranged by Bank of America and a $115 million senior secured term loan arranged by Pathlight Capital LP. The asset-based revolving credit facility, undrawn at closing, remains available to Saks for general corporate purposes or growth initiatives. A portion of the proceeds from the term loan will be used to fund certain obligations to HBC in connection with the company's recent transaction, and the remaining amount will be available to Saks. 

The May 2021 financing came as online sales, which took off during the pandemic, continued to boom, particularly in the luxury sector.

"As we continue to innovate and elevate our experience as the leading luxury e-commerce destination, we are excited to introduce another touchpoint for our customers to discover on-demand style inspiration from Saks," said Emily Essner, chief marketing officer, Saks. "TikTok continues to have a significant impact on the fashion industry, and we are excited to join this creative community and connect with our customers in a new and compelling way."

The Saks website and app offer seamless connection to a network of 41 Saks Fifth Avenue stores across North America.