Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by imageWIS, Feb 22, 2005.
Which one has better merchandise ?
NM or Saks?
I think it depends on the location...
It varies from Saks to Saks and from Nieman Marcus to Nieman Marcus, obviously, so I couldn't really vote. Perhaps a slight preference for Saks, as far as I'm concerned, if we are talking higher end products.
Neiman's by far. Every Sak's I've been to (granted that's only Houston and the NJ area; no big flagships) has had primarily midline selection, with none of the high end stuff. Even the least well-stocked Neiman's stores I've been to have had some selection of Brioni/Kiton/Hermes/Oxxford/etc-quality pieces.
Neiman's better for dresswear, Saks better for sportswear.
I hate to say it, given their oftentimes condescending attitude and the fishwife-like scramble for commission I've seen, but Neimans has better merchandise though in general not better service. However, this comes along with a sense that they are catering for the sort of man who buys the most expensive thing thinking they are the best. And when a friend of mine asked to buy their best white dress shirt they steered him to a Zegna, which given that they usually have Borrelli, Charvet, Kiton et al makes me think they just get a bigger margin.
This is leaving Bergdorfs out of the equation, as it is a very different animal than Neimans.
Saks tries very hard. However, it seems to carry more crap for trendoids (1 Like No Other?.). When Saks does have quality merchandise like Green or H&K I rejoice, but that's getting rarer.
First off, the Saks flagship store in New York is without equal. Â I've been very pleased with what I've bought there and it seems to carry the best line of quality men's sportswear of any department store in the city (though Barneys is a little more 'fun'). Â So I'd have to exclude it form my comparasins of the two chains, as I would also have to exclude Bergdorf Goodman (basically Neiman's by another name) and Neiman-Marcus's flagship stores at NorthPark and Downtown in Dallas. Â Those stores are unusually well-endowed. That said, suburban store to suburban store, Neiman Marcus comes off a little more exclusive and modern. Â A lot of Saks stores seem like truncated Macy's stores, right down to the selection. Saks is improving. Â The new small-market stores they're putting up (examples: Richmond, Va., Raleigh, N.C.) have a higher level of store design and push the envelope fashion-wise while remaining accessable; in other words they're starting to do their best Neiman-Marcus impression
I'm not sure which is better here in Phoenix/Scottsdale. Neiman's seems to have more haute couture designer-type stuff while Sak's seems to be more accessible in terms of the brands they carry.
Additionally, the NM salespeople seem to hover more and act snootier than the Saks salespeople do, so I'm generally less comfortable in NM's than I am in Sak's. In either case though, I'd generally rather shop at Nordstrom's or Dillard's.
However, neither of them compare to the Hugo Boss store here in Scottsdale where the salespeople just seem to look you up and down and then proceed to ignore you (while somehow exuding the attitude that you don't belong in their hallowed store). That store intimidates the heck out of me - good thing the general consensus on here is that their stuff is cr*p.
I'll echo Ambulance Chaser's comments. For dress furnishings and tailored clothing, NM, especially the larger locations (Chicago, Bal Harbour, Boston, etc.) has a superior selection. Saks generally seems to have a larger and more varied selection of sportswear, even in some of the smaller locations.
I hate Saks. In BH, I'll typically skip over Saks in favor of NM and Barneys. Saks at South Coast is one of the worst stores I've ever been in.
While Neimans might have a better selection, I find that overall, you can't really compare each in terms of having better or higher quality merchandise. Â Saks carries Borelli, Loro Piana, RLPL, Brunello Cucinelli and Oxxford to name a few. Â The only real top tier brand I can think of that Neiman's carriers over Saks would be Kiton. Â I would put both stores on the same level, versus say Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, which are obviously a couple tiers below Neimans and Saks.
I would also say that there is a certain level of intimacy that I get in Saks (at least the one's I have been to) that I don't get in Neiman's, and this feeling is most likely due to the smaller feel of the stores (although I am sure not all would engender that feeling in me, but at least the San Francisco store does).
Genrally NM is better, especially Americana Manhasset, South Coast Plaza, etc.. However, the NYC Saks is great, but then again I guess NMs competitor to the Saks there is BG.
Depends on what you are looking for, and the location. The designer sportswear at Saks Men in SF is amazing. The equivalent selection at NM SF is mediocre and generic. On the other hand, NM SF overwhelms by the number of high end brands they carry and the amount of merchandise.
In general, the Saks in smaller locations, including Boston, carry mediocre merchandise. Actually, the NM in Boston is not that great either, come to think of it.
Barneys is by far my favorite of the bigger chains. And I by far prefer small independent boutiques like Stel's in Boston, Ron Herman and the other Fred Segal boutiques and Scott and Co. in LA, Unis and Steven Alan in NYC, and Factory People in Austin to any of those big box stores.
I hate both, but would pick Sak's because they tend to do a better job carrying urban wear.
Saks Manhattan Flagship trumps any NM. Nice decor, excellent selections both in quantity and quality. NM stores at malls have a generic feel, they look like more spacious Macys.
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