Saks Off Fifth, the off-price unit run by Hudson Bay Company's Saks Fifth Avenue, on Thursday announced a private-label beauty collection dubbed "Fifth City."
The line includes more than 35 products including face, lip and eye makeup, brushes and accessories, according to a company press release.
With items priced from from $4.99 to $60, Fifth City, as of Thursday, is available at select U.S. stores and the saksoff5th.com website, the retailer said.
Private labels and exclusives have become important ways for retailers to differentiate their merchandise, lest they become commodities available anywhere. Saks Off Fifth recently also launched an inclusive-size apparel collection with comedian Amy Schumer.
The highly competitive beauty market, where drugstores, department stores, fast-fashion retailers and specialists are all jockeying for market share, is ripe for such moves. Amazon got in the game just this week with its own launch of a private-label skincare line and salon services provider Glamsquad recently launched its own haircare line and has plans for a makeup private label as well.
Saks Off Fifth operates in the lucrative off-price sector that continues to send shoppers to stores for value even in a robust economy, but parent Hudson's Bay Co. is looking to shutter up to 20 of its stores as it works to rationalize its brick-and-mortar fleet.
Those are likely underperforming because HBC may have taken the concept too far at a time when it, like other retail companies, has too many stores, retail analyst Nick Egelanian, president of retail development consultants SiteWorks, previously told Retail Dive. In fact, even if Saks Off Fifth closes down all the stores in HBC's sights, that number pales in comparison to the closures undertaken elsewhere.
Last year, retailers collectively announced 5,524 U.S. store closures, down 32% from the prior year when they peaked at 8,139, according to Coresight Research, which also predicted the number would be about the same this year. But that total has already swiftly reached the numbers of the past two years. Among others, Dollar Tree this month said it plans to close up to 390 Family Dollar stores in 2019, Chico's will close 250 over the next three years, Payless has begun the liquidation of a massive 2,500 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and Shopko this week announced plans to liquidate in light of its inability to find a buyer.