Saks Fifth Avenue on Wednesday announced plans to phase out products that use animal fur following years of criticism from activists.
The luxury department store chain said that all of its fur salons will close by the end of the 2021 fiscal year, with all products containing animal fur scheduled to be discontinued both online and in stores by the end of fiscal 2022.
"Across the Saks Fifth Avenue experience, we evaluate a number of factors when making decisions about our assortment, including customer preferences and societal shifts,” Saks’s 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,” she continued. “As such, eliminating it from our assortment is the right step for us to take at this time."
As part of the plans, Saks will “eliminate the sale of products made from animals that were raised for the use of their fur or those made with fur from wild animals,” though it noted that it will continue to sell "shearling, goatskin, cattle hide, down, feathers, leather and faux fur products” online and in stores.
The plans come as Saks undergoes a reorganization with parent company Hudson’s Bay splitting off e-commerce operations into a separate entity.
Saks joins a growing number of popular stores that have unveiled plans to drop the use of animal fur in recent years, including Macy’s, Versace and Prada. Other retailers, including Neiman Marcus, continue to sell fur products, however.
California in 2019 became the first U.S. state to ban the sale of animal fur products, including clothing, handbags, shoes and other items, with those in violation subject to civil penalties.
The California law is set to go into effect in January 2023, and fur bans are also under consideration in New York and Hawaii.