Meanwhile, VC warns retailers to prepare for Generation Y
Saks Fifth Avenue president and chief operating officer Andrew Jennings has said securing top management talent is paramount in succeeding in today's retail market.

The world-famous US department store holds theatre-style auditions for potential staff instead of using traditional headhunters and milk round drives. Speaking at the Retail Week Conference today, he said other retailers had to 'think outside the box' in order to cherry-pick the best staff.

Jennings also listed brand differentiation, securing customer loyalty and investing in technology as other key success drivers.

Separately, Gilbert Harrison, chairman of US venture capitalist Financo, encouraged retailers to prepare for a changing customer demographic. He said retailers should strive to win the loyalty of Generation Y - those born between 1979 and 1996 - which accounts for 26 per cent of the US population.

Harrison said this group is fickle with its brands at present, but has more than $175 billion in spending power.