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SAKS GOES LIVE: In an age of YouTube and Facebook, Saks Direct president Denise Incandela can't emphasize the growing importance of video sufficiently. "We are doing a tremendous amount," Incandela said. "It's the biggest change in the Saks Web site over the course of the last year."
In the fall, saksfifthavenue.com started featuring videos of New York Fashion Week, some in-store events including the Want-It trend promotion and shoe brands Christian Louboutin, Zagliani, Giuseppe Zanotti and Jimmy Choo.
On Monday, Saks raised the bar by launching a "video catalogue" of 17 women's spring looks, primarily contemporary styles from Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Cynthia Steffe and Nicole Miller, among other brands. Each video is about 30 seconds, highlights a dress or a sportswear outfit with accessories and has music, movement to show the fashion front and back and descriptive audio commentary. One video, for example shows a Jay Godfrey ''run for color, sports-inspired but oh-so-sexy dress in bold pink with racing stripes down the sides....Rev it up with a neon green exotic clutch."
Another shows BCBG's "perfect little trompe l'oeil pretty rock star dress'' accessorized with big geometric jewels and ''dangerously sexy'' Christian Louboutin shoes.
The video catalogue will be tested for four to eight weeks to gauge the impact on sales and traffic online. It's prominently introduced on the home page, and could be expanded to men's and other merchandise categories.
"Overall in the industry, we've been seeing catalogues going through a period of decline, particularly with the strength of the Internet," Incandela said. "This is a way of combining the concept of the catalogue with the Internet and bringing it to a new level." — David Moin