Global luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, is opening a 1,000-seater technology centre in Bengaluru. Many other global retailers viz JCPenney , L Brands, which owns the Victoria's Secret brand, home improvement chain Lowe's, and women's specialty brand Ann Taylor also have tech centres in India.
In fact Saks centre is already functioning. A note on the India website of its parent firm Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) says the Bengaluru set up will build a corporate team that will play an important role as HBC executes its strategic plan.“This centre will house approximately 450 highly talented individuals in the first two years and the office has potential to expand as the business grows.”
Saks Fifth Avenue's flagship store in New York opened in 1924 as a joint venture between two American retailers, Horace Saks of Saks and Bernard Gimbel of Gimbel, with the objective of targeting upscale customers. Since 2000, Saks has opened international locations in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico City, and Canada. There are speculations about the retailer being in talk with Aditya Birla to open its first India outlet in New Delhi.
Online retail has put enormous pressures on most physical retailers, which explains the slew of retailers establishing tech centres in India. Listed entities like HBC, Target, Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney have all seen their share prices fall sharply in recent years. Michael Witty , director at research firm Information Services Group (ISG), says that the main drivers for the new captive centres is the demand for analytics talent.