October 1, 2008, 12:00 AM

Saks Direct takes its first international steps—to Canada

The e-commerce division of Saks Inc. is opening its online doors to Canadian consumers. Until now, Saks sent web orders only to U.S. addresses. Saks will enable cross-border shopping with E4X Inc.’s FiftyOne e-commerce product.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Saks Direct Inc., the e-commerce division of Saks Inc., is opening its online doors to Canadian consumers. It becomes part of a growing trend of e-retailers looking for sales outside the U.S. to mitigate the economic slowdown at home.

Until now, Saks, No. 46 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide fulfilled online orders only to U.S. addresses. Saks will enable cross-border shopping with E4X Inc.’s FiftyOne global e-commerce product.

Canadian shoppers at Saks’ main, U.S.-based web site, Saks.com, will automatically see local featured merchandise, promotions, pricing, customer service and delivery options available to Canadians.

“Being able to ship internationally has been a top priority for Saks.com in 2008, and the FiftyOne solution will allow us to configure and launch a robust offering for our Canadian customers in time for the holidays,” says Roger Scholl, vice president of operations for Saks Direct.

Canadian online spending for retail goods in 2009 is forecast to grow 21% to US$16 billion, according to research company eMarketer Inc.

E4X’s FiftyOne offering is a software-as-a-service product, meaning that E4X hosts the application and Saks accesses it as needed over the Internet. The FiftyOne product localizes merchandising, pricing and payments, logistics and delivery, taxes, tariffs and duties, and customer service according to the buyer’s country. To the retailer’s operations, international orders look just like domestic orders with a U.S. credit card and domestic ship-to address.

E4X customers include Overstock.com, Anthropologie, Drugstore.com, eToys and SureSource.

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