(By Balaseshan) Department store retailer Saks Inc. (NYSE:SKS) said it intends to close its Saks Fifth Avenue stores located in Renaissance Place in Highland Park, Illinois and in the Aboretum Market in Austin, Texas.
Both stores are expected to close on December 31, 2012. About 60 associates are employed in the Highland Park store, and about 64 associates are employed in the Austin store.
The company said all affected associates either will be offered transfer opportunities or will receive appropriate employment separation packages.
"We routinely assess the productivity, profitability, and potential of each of our stores and may conclude closings are necessary from time to time. These planned closings are consistent with our strategy of employing our resources in our most productive locations," said Steve Sadove, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saks.
The Highland Park store opened in 2000 and is approximately 49,000 square feet. Saks will continue to serve its metropolitan Chicago customers with its flagship store located on Michigan Avenue.
The Austin store opened in 1997 and is approximately 52,000 square feet. The company also operates Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
The company is engaged in the operation of Saks Fifth Avenue (SFA) stores and SFA e-commerce operations (Saks Direct), as well as Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH (OFF 5TH). Saks currently operates 45 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and 64 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores.
SKS is trading down 4.23% at $11.32 on Wednesday. The stock has been trading between $8.14 and $12.14 for the past 52 weeks.