Cartier and Saks hit each other with lawsuit
Days after Cartier filed suit against the Hudson’s Bay Company due to renovations taking place at the Saks Fifth Avenue location, the company has hit back with a countersuit of $55 million.
The Richemont-owned Cartier filed for breach of contract in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday and is seeking $40 million in damages.
According to court documents, Cartier is arguing that Saks has violated its leasing agreement by asking Cartier to move its shop-in-shop boutique, currently on the ground floor, to a basement space, dubbed the Vault.
Since renovations have commenced at the Saks flagship store, Cartier says it has also been subject to reduced customer traffic, as well as to dust and construction debris that is harmful to employees and to its merchandise.
“For many years, Saks has been planning to renovate the Saks flagship store. Since the plans for the renovation first became public until recently, Saks senior executives had repeatedly and consistently assured Cartier that it would respect the lease, and Cartier would remain in the Cartier location,” Cartier wrote in the complaint.
The company has operated a shop-in-shop at the flagship location since 2011. It renewed its contract with Saks for another five years in 2016.
But Saks Fifth Avenue is fighting back with a $55 million countersuit.
The department store is denying ever promising Cartier that it could keep its coveted spot on the ground floor and that it “changed the matrix, or mix of brands, throughout the store, and also changed its business model via fundamental changes in the customer experience to every floor in the New York store.”
“This transformation was based upon experience showing that the customer prefers not to make purchase decisions in the tens of thousands of dollars in the same place that other customers are shopping for lipsticks,” the Hudsons Bay said. “Saks therefore envisioned all of its highest-end jewelers moving to the vault.”
Cartier has not responded to the counterclaim.
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