Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue?
This is a very hard question, because both of those luxury retailers are all about excellent service, high quality products, amazing atmosphere, and designer names. Needless to say, both charge premium for all of those experiences. The most convenient locations for our comparison were Saks Fifth Avenue in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California and Neiman Marcus in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. In addition to excellent service and merchandise, both retailers offer various services, from salons to eating corners, and phone charging stations.
First - location. Neiman Marcus is located in Fashion Island mall, which on its own can be a destination with beautiful grounds, gardens, koi ponds, various restaurants, and entertainment for kids, not to mention endless array of upscale and less so stores.
Saks is located in Cota Mesa as a stand-alone store, so it is the one and only destination if you decide to come that way. That can be a good thing, especially for the store because you are likely to spend more time and money there when there are no other distractions.
When it comes to interior design, both stores are equally good. You might like some displays and mannequin stations better than others, but it’s because of the difference in taste and not because of lack of creativity and detail. Both stores maintain those displays meticulously and update them often. We have found many Instagram-worthy creations there. We have to admit, that both stores are winners when it comes to the face of the establishments and well developed themes. The most memorable display for us was the white paper butterfly collection hanging over the escalators at Neiman Marcus.
We love that both retailres are very customer friendly and understand the need for directories when people deal with such vast department stores. Saks is especially attentive to those details and might go a little overboard with signs, but we sure appreciated it even if we have been there before.
Designer names are plentiful in both stores, so expect to see stalls for Fendi, Prada, MacKenzie-Childs, Chloe, Saint Lauren, Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and many others. In center isles and smaller spaces there were displays of various less known names and brands of accessories, hand bags, and jewelry.
Between departments we loved all the colorful displays of fashion and latest clothing collections. Saks separates the brands better than Neiman Marcus, so if you are coming for specific name, you might find Saks more convenient.
Neiman Marcus is all about bags of all sizes and purposes. Sneakers are all the rage now, so you will find multiple displays of them in both stores alongside other shoes and on their own.
We liked beauty and fragrance departments at Saks better simply because all of that had its own separate section, while at Neiman Marcus the displays were among other stalls and goods, making it harder to find. Big name beauty retailers have their own hubs, just like fashion houses.
Saks jewelry section was a quiet corner with comfortable seats for those who get tired looking at all the diamonds. Neiman Marcus features many big names and makes jewelry choosing experience a breeze.
One feature we really loved at Neiman Marcus was the ultra-modern free phone charging station. You have to enter your phone number that becomes your code, choose a security image, and put your phone in a secure box for charging. The process was very fast and very convenient. Neiman Marcus definitely got points for that!
We also loved multiple sales sections at Saks. Something is always on sale there and at Neiman Marcus too. Yes, many of us feel that both of those upscale department stores can be very unaffordable, but this is a common misconception. While not everybody can walk in and get everything they see in sight, both stores have frequent sales and big clearance sections.
Saks is the winner when it comes to price alone. We have found some racks with 75% off clearance prices and if you can add a coupon or two, you can shop until you drop and be very certain about the quality you are getting for the money.
Coming from mom perspective, we feel that it’s very important to note about the importance of quality. Families with teenagers go through simple tees like there is no tomorrow. There are a few ways to acquire them – you can go to Costco and get some for $15 apiece, wash them 3 times, and throw them away because there will be no shape left. You can also come to Saks, get similar tees for $20, and wear them successfully for 3-5 years like new after countless washes. The choice is yours, but we choose Saks.
Neiman Marcus quality is just as good, but the prices are a bit higher.
While walking through both stores, you will notice multiple free gifts with purchase notices, upcoming sales events information, and friendly associates everywhere eager to help. Talking about associates, we deem them all superb and very knowledgeable at both.