NEW YORK -- The management of the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., where Saks Fifth Avenue plans to convert its 62,000-square-foot unit into a clearinghouse format, said it is prepared to fight the conversion.

"Saks has 19 years left on its lease, a lease that includes a clause specifying a retail specialty department store, not a discount store," Stanford's management said in a statement. "We will protect the integrity of the shopping center and are not about to stand by and watch Saks erode that," the statement continued.

As reported, Saks decided to close its Palo Alto unit after an ongoing review of store operations. The retailer said it plans to find a new tenant for the store. In the interim it will convert the store into a clearance center format.

Through a spokeswoman, Philip B. Miller, chairman of Saks, said he had nothing further to add about the conversion.

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