Fur is going out of style at Saks Fifth Avenue — for good.
The swanky retailer said Wednesday its 40-store chain will close its 27 fur salons and fur departments by January 2022 and that it will phase out all apparel that contains mink, fox, chinchilla, sable, coyote and beaver by January 2023.
“We evaluate a number of factors when making decisions about our assortment, including customer preferences and societal shifts,” chief merchandising officer Tracy Margolies said in a statement. “We recognize that trends constantly evolve, and that the sale of fur remains a significant social issue. As such, eliminating it from our assortment is the right step for us to take at this time.”
Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom have all eliminated fur from their stores over the past year, with Macy’s closing its 34 Fur Vaults last year and Bloomingdales — which is owned by Macy’s — closing its 22 Maximilian salons. Nordstrom took its ban a step further by banning products made from the skins of alligators, crocodiles, pythons, kangaroos and ostrich.
California became the first state in 2019 to pass legislation banning the sale of fur. Other states including New York have looked at the issue.
Animal rights groups including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States — which worked with Nordstrom on its animal policy — have made significant inroads in the fashion industry in recent years. They have pressured a number of major brands including Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coach, Farfetch, Giorgio Armani and Gucci, all of which have dropped fur from their clothing and accessory lines.
Saks said it will work with vendors that make products from fur over the next year to determine how to apply its new policy.
The retailer, for example, sells coats from Canada Goose, which carry coyote trim on the hoods. PETA has aggressively targeted the Canadian company holding protests and organizing boycotts against the brand, showing gruesome photos of bloodied animals. Last year, Canada Goose said it will stop using fur from freshly killed coyotes by 2022, when it pricey parkas will only carry so called reclaimed coyote fur that come from used products.
It’s not clear how Saks will handle Canada Goose products in the future, but the company also offers coats that do not carry fur trim.
Saks is not giving up animal products entirely. It will still sell goods made from sheep and goat skins, including shearling coats, and apparel made from pony and calf hair as well as coats and bedding stuffed with goose down feathers and leather products, the company said.
The new fur ban will also apply to all products sold on Saks.com.