At Saks Fifth Avenue, fur is on the way out.
The American luxury department store chain announced on Thursday that it would stop selling most fur items by the end of its 2022 fiscal year, a move that applies to both brand partners and private label suppliers. Saks will eliminate products that use hair and hides from animals raised specifically for their fur, a materials list that includes, but isn’t limited to, mink, fox, chinchilla and sable, as well as fur products derived from wild animals like coyotes and beavers. The retailer will continue to stock items that use shearling, goatskin, cattle hide, down, feathers, leather and, of course, faux fur.
In a statement, the company’s chief merchandising officer Tracy Margolies said the move comes in response to an evolving consumer mindset. “Across the Saks Fifth Avenue experience, we evaluate a number of factors when making decisions about our assortment, including customer preferences and societal shifts,” she said. “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.”
Saks is not alone in recognizing and acting on this change. Over the past two years, a number of brands and retailers have aligned their product offering with a growing group of customers expressing not just disinterest but also disdain for fur. Just last year, Nordstrom announced it would stop selling fur by the end of 2021. And as of spring 2020, none of the brands owned by the Prada Group (which includes Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe) use fur in their designs.
Like a renewed focus on sustainability, consumer awareness can be credited with fur’s change in status from a desirable luxury good to a material associated primarily with animal cruelty. And if customers keep voting against the use of fur with their dollars, Saks probably won’t be the last big retailer to stop selling it.