NEW YORK — Eileen Warner, a 25-year veteran of Saks Fifth Avenue, is leaving the store.

Responding to a report on her departure, Saks told WWD on Monday that Warner, who holds the title of vice president and divisional merchandise manager over handbags and accessories, resigned last week to pursue other interests. Her last day at the store will be July 11.

According to other sources, the handbag business at Saks has been tough for awhile, though fine jewelry and cosmetics, which at the Fifth Avenue flagship are also housed on the main floor, have been good.

Warner started at Saks in 1977, became a buyer and rose to divisional merchandise manager in 2000. She has been reporting to Jennifer DeWinter, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of accessories, jewelry, intimate apparel and shoes.

Warner’s departure from Saks follows that of Gail Pisano, executive vice president of merchandising for women’s designer and Gold Range merchandise, intimate apparel, jewelry and accessories, who left the company last week. In May 2002, Wayne Meichner, Saks’ other executive vice president for merchandising, who handled men’s wear, cosmetics and ready-to-wear, left the store and eventually became president of Polo Retail.

With those two senior merchants gone, Bobbie Lenga, partner and managing director of the retail practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, is conducting a search for a head merchant at Saks, who is expected to fill the responsibilities of both departed executive vice presidents. In the interim, Christina Johnson, Saks’ president and chief executive officer, serves as head merchant.

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