WWD Monday, Women's Wear Daily, The Retailer's Newspaper
THE SAKS SPA
The first in-store shop at Saks Fifth Avenue dedicated to spa apparel and accessories opened last week at the New York flagship.

"The "Spa Collection at Saks Fifth Avenue" has center stage in the eight-floor innerwear department and features spa inspired items by Susan Dunn.

"We plan to roll out the spa concept to 32 doors. We are currently working on a marketing handle," said Barbara Lipton, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of intimate apparel and hosiery at Saks.

"I saw the need for this idea at Saks, and thought the spa category was perfect for what we are trying to get across to our customers-wellness, comfort and ease. It really represents an attitude, a certain feeling-not an age."

Lipton said the concept was tested for three weeks in a temporary location and sell-throughs were "phenomenal."

Lipton said two items by Susan Dunn had been bestsellers: solid and printed slippers that coordinate with Dunn's at-homewear and robes, and crisp-looking waffle-pattern robes of woven cotton.

The slippers retail from $14 to $28; long and short waffle-pattern robes are $110 and $88, respectively.

Other key items were short cotton terry shower wraps, at $45 and $65, and cotton knit and woven robes, from $85 to $175.

As part of the spa launch, Saks staged a two-day gift-with-purchase promotion at the flagship last week.

Designer Susan Dunn was on hand to give customers a free sampling of her "spa fizz tabs"-bath tablets she described as "turning your bath into a Roman spa with amethyst, emerald or turquoise colored water."