Saks Fifth Avenue Vs. Neiman Marcus: Battle Of High-End Department Stores

When you’re seeking luxury fashion and accessories, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are top destinations. But which iconic department store truly delivers the best high-end shopping experience?

We’ll compare the history, brand mix, services, store experiences, and other factors that set Saks and Neiman Marcus apart. Read on for an in-depth look at how these pillars of luxury retail stack up.

A Brief Comparison Table

ComparisonSaks Fifth AvenueNeiman Marcus
Founded1924 in New York City1907 in Dallas, Texas
Store ExperienceRefined and elegantTheatrical and contemporary
Geographic FootprintConcentrated on East CoastWider national distribution
Loyalty ProgramRobust rewards for top spendersMore basic spending tiers
Brand ExclusivesEmerging designer collaborationsPop-up shops and limited collections
Sustainability ReportingGeneral guidelinesAnnual transparency reports
PricingTends toward higher end of luxuryMarginally lower prices on some items
Store Count39 locations43 locations

Company Backgrounds

First, let’s look at the origins and histories of Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

Saks Fifth Avenue History


Saks Fifth Avenue began in 1924 as a NYC-based luxury specialty store acquired by Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel. They opened a flagship location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, leading to the name Saks Fifth Avenue.

The retailer grew via department store acquisitions and new store openings into the 1960s under the leadership of brothers Adam and Horace Gimbel. Saks now operates 39 stores and its e-commerce website

Neiman Marcus History

Neiman Marcus traces back to 1907 when brothers Carrie and Herbert Marcus opened a store in Dallas selling high-end clothing. In 1914, they took on founding partner A.L Neiman and the Neiman Marcus name was born.

The company focused on luxury fashion, building an elite reputation in Texas and beyond. They pioneered innovations like weekly fashion shows and in-store restaurants. Neiman Marcus now runs 43 stores across the U.S.


  • Saks Fifth Avenue started as an NYC luxury boutique.
  • Neiman Marcus originated as a Texas-based high-end clothier.
  • Both grew via store expansions to become national luxury chains.

So Saks Fifth Avenue is rooted in East Coast fashion, while Neiman Marcus radiates Southern sophistication and style.

Product Range and Exclusives

Luxury retailers thrive on making their brand mix unique. How do Saks and Neiman Marcus compare for products and exclusives?

Saks Fifth Avenue Brands

Saks Fifth Avenue is renowned for its designer clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry, beauty, and home goods. Brands span luxury leaders like Gucci, Dior, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, and more.

They also launch exclusive collaborations with brands to offer collections only available at Saks. Recent examples include emerging designer Azéeza and accessory line Markarian.

Neiman Marcus Brands

Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus takes pride in its edited mix of over 1,200 luxury and designer brands. Standouts include Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Louboutin, Tom Ford, and other top luxury names.

They also host pop up shops and limited collections that can only be found at Neiman Marcus in partnership with designers. Some examples include Zac Posen, Gabriela Hearst, and Richard Quinn.


When it comes to merchandise selection:

  • Both offer extensive designer brand mix across apparel, accessories, jewelry, beauty and more.
  • Saks and Neiman Marcus create exclusives through collaborations and product launches.
  • Neiman Marcus cites a slightly larger brand count.

The product range and exclusives available are comparable top-tier offerings at each retailer. Both excel at curating unique high-end collections.

Also Read: Comaprison Between Neiman Marcus And Bloomingdale’s

Pricing and Loyalty Programs

How do prices and loyalty programs stack up between Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus?

Saks Fifth Avenue Pricing

Given its prestige designer brand mix, Saks Fifth Avenue commands luxury level pricing. Apparel often ranges from $300 up to several thousand for runway and couture items. Fine jewelry, handbags, shoes, and beauty also span premium price points.

The SaksFirst loyalty program offers varying tiers of rewards based on annual spending. Top elites receive the most perks like free shipping, personal advisors, and exclusive access to events.

Neiman Marcus Pricing

As a high-end retailer, Neiman Marcus pricing reaches luxury brackets across fashion, accessories, beauty, and home categories. While not cheap, prices may run slightly less than Saks on comparable designer items.

The NM/BV Credit Card gives tiered rewards like points bonuses and exclusive access. But the program does not have the same robust benefits for top spenders as SaksFirst.


Key price and loyalty differences:

  • Saks pricing skews at the higher end of luxury.
  • Neiman Marcus comes in marginally less pricey on some designer items.
  • SaksFirst offers stronger rewards for elite big spenders.

When it comes to price and incentives for loyal shoppers, Saks Fifth Avenue has an edge. But both command luxury price points befitting their status and brand mix.

Store Experience and Services

The in-person shopping experience goes well beyond just products and prices. How do Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores compare?

Saks Fifth Avenue Store Experience

Saks Fifth Avenue stores feel polished and elegant. Wide aisles, plush decor, and attentive yet unobtrusive staff lend to a refined atmosphere. Sprawling beauty floors and well-curated brand shops provide an indulgent respite for browsing.

Top locations feature lavish shoe salons and lots of prime real estate for major designers to make a statement. Expect fine amenities like concierge services, private styling suites, and dining options.

Neiman Marcus Store Experience

Neiman Marcus stores share a similar upscale yet approachable environment. Their newer and renovated locations focus on “store-as-theater” with striking displays and artful vignettes to showcase luxury designers.

While still polished, Neiman Marcus stores have more relaxed vibes than Saks. Services include dining, spas, beauty lounges, and bars/cafes. Digital tools like memory mirrors allow for virtual try-ons and product comparisons.


Key contrasts in store experiences:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue stores lean traditional and formal.
  • Neiman Marcus locations have more theatrical, contemporary looks.
  • Both offer premium amenities and services.

While Saks centers heritage and tradition, Neiman Marcus wins for pushing store experiences into the future. But both deliver rarefied luxury environments.

Geographic Footprints

The number and location of stores also impacts accessibility and convenience factors. How do Saks and Neiman Marcus compare in terms of retail footprints?

Saks Fifth Avenue Locations

Saks Fifth Avenue operates 39 stores, mostly concentrated on the East Coast and California. Their busiest flagship stores are the New York and Beverly Hills locations. Saks also has stores in keystone luxury markets like Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston.

Smaller Saks locations are sprinkled through the Midwest and Southwest. But huge swaths of middle America lack convenient access to Saks’ stores.

Neiman Marcus Locations

With 43 stores spread across the U.S., Neiman Marcus has a slightly larger footprint than Saks centered primarily in the South and West. Major flagships are in Dallas, New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco.

Neiman Marcus also operates Last Call outlet stores and Bergdorf Goodman locations around major metros. Their wider reach gives more customers easy access to stores.


The core location differences:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue has greater density on the East Coast.
  • Neiman Marcus has a larger national footprint spread across more states.
  • Both have notable flagships in New York City and California.

Neiman Marcus’ more nationwide spread makes them more convenient overall versus Saks’ East Coast concentration.

eCommerce Experience

With luxury retail, the online shopping experience is equally important. How do and compare? Features offers free shipping, an easy search/browse experience, expanded product imagery, and clear category/brand navigation.

Online shopping mirrors the in-store experience with store pickup options. Digital tools like virtual try-on for makeup and personalized recommendations make visits personalized. Features provides a clean, image-driven design with lush product presentation. Robust size and fit tools, an online stylist, and AI recommendations deliver individualized experiences.

Order online pickup in store, free returns, and fast free shipping provide convenience. The site excels at storytelling content to fully immerse visitors.


Both Saks and Neiman Marcus provide stellar ecommerce experiences:

  • Luxurious visual design and products presentation.
  • Digital tools that mimic real-life shopping.
  • Seamless integration between online and in-person.

Top luxury standards define the websites for Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. When it comes to digital, the brands are evenly matched.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Younger luxury consumers also prioritize social impact. How do Saks and Neiman Marcus perform in these areas?

Saks Fifth Avenue Initiatives

Saks has comprehensive guidelines for ethical treatment of workers and partners. They aim for sustainability through initiatives like eco-friendly packaging, recyclable hangers, and reducing waste.

The company partners with charities and causes related to health, culture, and communities. Efforts like the Key to the Cure campaign support women’s cancer research.

Neiman Marcus Initiatives

Neiman Marcus publishes an annual sustainability report covering goals like emissions reductions and ethical labor practices. They partner with conservation groups to protect endangered species.

Charitable initiatives include the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation supporting youth arts education. Neiman Marcus awards major funding and grants to emerging designers and non-profits.


  • Both Saks and Neiman Marcus prioritize ethical business practices.
  • Each dedicates resources to charity foundations and causes.
  • Neiman Marcus has greater transparency through sustainability reports.

Neiman Marcus edges out Saks for proactive sustainability initiatives and reporting. But both demonstrate substantial corporate social responsibility.

Also Read: Comparison Between Saks Fifth Avenue And Nordstrom

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue?

The main differences are that Saks Fifth Avenue originated on the East Coast as a luxury clothing boutique, while Neiman Marcus started in Texas and focused more on high fashion. Saks tends toward more formal vibes, while Neiman Marcus goes for contemporary luxury. Neiman Marcus also has a larger national retail footprint. But both offer designer brands at luxury price points.

What is special about Saks Fifth Avenue?

Saks Fifth Avenue is renowned for its elegant shopping experience reflecting East Coast old money sensibilities. Their stores offer concierge services, luxurious beauty floors, curated brand shops, and refined dining options. The SaksFirst loyalty program rewards elite big spenders. Saks also partners with emerging designers for exclusive collections.

What’s the difference between Saks Fifth?

The key unique aspects of Saks Fifth Avenue are the sophisticated shopping experience steeped in heritage, prime real estate given to major designers, tailored services like personal styling, and exclusive products launch in collaboration with brands. Saks represents the pinnacle of timeless East Coast luxury.

Is Saks and Neiman Marcus the same?

No, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are competitors in the luxury department store space. They sell similar upscale designer brands, but the Neiman Marcus brand and stores originated in Texas with more contemporary store designs. Saks has an East Coast heritage and more formal atmosphere. They also have some differing brand mix and designer partnerships.

The Verdict

While both deliver outstanding luxury fashion experiences, Neiman Marcus edges out Saks Fifth Avenue for a few key reasons:

  • More theatrical, forward-looking stores
  • Broader national retail footprint
  • Stronger corporate sustainability

But for shoppers craving heritage and classic luxury vibes, Saks Fifth Avenue still reigns supreme. There’s no wrong choice between these enduring beacons of American luxury.

Ultimately, your preference comes down to whether you crave timeless sophistication or modern indulgence. With Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, you’re guaranteed a pinnacle shopping experience full of designer treasures fit for royalty.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.