FRANK KELLAR ASKED TO LEAVE POSITION AT SAKS 'FOR CAUSE'

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK--Another real estate shakeup has hit retailing.
Saks Fifth Avenue's Frank Kellar, vice president of store planning and design, has left the company. Sources said Kellar's department has been undergoing an internal investigation and that Kellar was let go "for cause," the official line for violating company policy. It was not clear what policy he reportedly violated.
A Saks spokeswoman said Friday, "As part of our ongoing monitoring of supplier practices, we examine various issues relating to supplier relationships. The total amount at issue was approximately $50,000. However, I cannot confirm or deny the results of our examination."
Asked why Kellar left, the spokeswoman, said, "Our standard is to protect the confidentiality of our employee/employer relationship."
The report about Saks, which went public on Wednesday, comes on the heels of a real estate scandal at Kmart Corp. Michael E. Dowdle, former director of shopping center development and marketing for Kmart Corp., earlier this month pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the retailer by accepting bribes and kickbacks in return for steering contracts to a Milwaukee developer. A July 29 sentencing has been set.
Michael L. Skiles, who was Kmart's senior vice president of corporate facilities, resigned in January after charges against Dowdle were filed.
Kmart is asking managers to sign an integrity pledge, prohibiting employees from accepting any gifts, samples, loans, free travel and entertainment or other such benefits.

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