By  on November 13, 2012

Saks Inc., amid a retail climate getting increasingly precarious and discount driven, has lowered its sales forecast for the fourth quarter, citing the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Saks did report gains in third-quarter sales and profits, but projected comparable-store sales will be flat for the fourth quarter while gross margins could be flat to down 50 basis points. Nor was Saks alone: The TJX Cos. Inc. also on Tuesday projected sales flat to 1 percent up in November and flat to 2 percent up in December and January for its Marmaxx Group, composed of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, though the off-pricer had a 7 percent comp-store gain in the third quarter. Other retailers, too, are responding to the storm and the macroeconomic forces by stepping up their discounting and accelerating Black Friday specials.

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