NYC - Sak's 5th Avenue Holiday Light Show
Saks Fifth Avenue’s famous Holiday snowflake light show consists of 72,000 lights with fifty 8-foot and 20-foot illuminated snowflakes, reaching 10 stories high and an LED-light show, set to music. The show got a green overhaul in 2006 with 40,400 newly upgraded LEDs from Philips using 2600W of energy--the equivalent of three toaster ovens.
Saks Fifth Avenue is the successor of a business founded in 1867 and incorporated in New York in 1902 as Saks & Company. In 1923 Saks & Co. merged with Gimbels Brothers, Inc., operating as a separate autonomous subsidiary. Both Bernard Gimbel and Horace Saks had been operating independent stores in Herald Square. In 1924, they purchased their "dream store" on upper Fifth Avenue in what was at the time a mostly residential district.
When Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926, the company took on national aspirations. The very first branch store opened in 1926 in the city of Palm Beach, Florida as a resort store, followed by a Southampton resort store in 1928. The first full-line year-round Saks store was opened in Chicago in 1929, followed by another resort store in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1938 Saks expanded to the West Coast, opening in Beverly Hills. By the end of the 1930s Saks Fifth Avenue had a total of 10 stores, including resort locations such as Sun Valley, Mount Stowe and Newport. More full-line stores followed with Detroit in 1940, Pittsburgh in 1949. The company moved to its own freestanding location approximately one block from its former home in the Gimbel's flagship. The San Francisco location opened in 1952. More expansion followed in the 1960s.
BATUS Inc. acquired Gimbels Bros., Inc. and its Saks Fifth Avenue subsidary in 1973. In 1990, BATUS sold Saks to Investcorp S.A., which after investing the in the company and weathering the early 1990's recession took Saks public in 1996 as Saks Holdings, Inc. In 1998, Saks Holdings Inc. was acquired by Proffitt's, Inc.. Upon closing of the acquisition, Proffitt's changed its name to Saks Incorporated. The New York flagship store accounts for 25% of the entire chain's annual revenue.