With Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom scheduled to open their first-ever doors in Manhattan this year, the competition among department stores in the crowded landscape remains more fierce than ever. Which is why Saks Fifth Avenue’s ongoing $250 million renovation project at its flagship location is crucial for getting customers excited about shopping in-store.

As part of the remodeling, the entire ground floor is now a sprawling handbag emporium featuring 50 brands that run the gamut from a $45 Saks tote to an exotic $49,500 alligator top handle bag from The Row. The 53,000-square-foot ground floor was previously the beauty department and fine jewelry (which has been moved up to the second floor). READ MORE