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NEW YORK Saks Fifth Avenue's new eighth-floor shoe department is designed to be quite a destination—so much so, in fact, that it has its own zip code: 10022-SHOE. The name, and the subsequent marketing initiatives around it, were dreamed up by Saks's creative team during one of the initial meetings with the floor's buyers.
The press ate it up, with stories in outlets as big as The Fillmore (Ca.) Gazette, not to mention media in India and South Africa. On Friday, the team, led by group senior vice president of marketing Terron Schaefer, completed the grand-opening festivities with a packed morning press conference and ribbon-cutting featuring Debra Messing (who is about to film a movie in the store) and sheets of designer specialty stamps created for the occasion. The ribbon itself was held by models in black dresses and designer pumps, all of which are for sale at the salon.
Rod DeVar, manager of advertising and promotion for the U.S. Postal Service, said the service often collaborates with consumer product manufacturers and is very open to creative ideas. “Forty-four years ago, the U.S.P.S. created zip codes to help deliver mail to the many unique destinations around the country, and this is certainly a unique destination,” he said, perfectly on message for the day.
The special stamps, designed by shoe makers including Valentino, Ferragamo, and Stuart Weitzman, were produced by PhotoStamp, one of three vendors the U.S.P.S. contracts to allow individuals or groups to create custom stamps. Saks also produced the first die-cut stamp in the form of a high heel.
At 10 a.m., when the press conference was officially over, Saks's in-house caterers welcomed customers with flutes of sparkling water and lemonade, shoe-shaped cookies, and mini quiches. “We knew the morning would be crazy, and we wanted to make it an extra-special experience for our customers,” said Kimberly Grabel, senior vice president of marketing for Saks.