Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2006 (Revised October 2007)

The Parisian Revival

by Rajiv Lal and Carin-Isabel Knoop


In mid-2005, George Jones had two jobs: head of Saks Inc.'s 41-store Parisian department store chain as well as president and CEO of the Saks Department Store Group (SDSG), an umbrella for seven chains with a total of 182 stores across the United States. In 2003 Jones had taken over direct management of the faltering Birmingham, Alabama-based Parisian, which operated moderate to upscale department stores in the southeastern United States. By mid-2005, he had succeeded in turning the business around. According to Jones, "between Q2 2003 and Q2 2005, we have registered eight successive growth quarters all the while reducing expenses. We had a dramatic impact on almost all of our stores. While some are growing at a single-digit rate, we have registered 20% to 40% sales growth in many of our stores. Turns are up nearly 20% and profitability has improved over 90%.

Keywords: Profit; Leadership; Growth and Development Strategy; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Performance Improvement; Sales; Retail Industry; United States;


Lal, Rajiv, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "The Parisian Revival." Harvard Business School Case 506-035, March 2006. (Revised October 2007.)