SAKS CLOSURES: Saks Fifth Avenue will close two stores, in Renaissance Place in Highland Park, Ill., and in the Arboretum Market in Austin, Tex., both on Dec. 31. About 60 people are employed in the Highland Park store, and about 64 in the Austin unit. All affected associates either will be offered transfer opportunities or will receive severance packages.
Saks has already closed eight stores since 2010. Saks Inc. operates 45 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 64 Off 5th outlets and saks.com. Deborah Weinswig of Citi Research reported that by closing the two stores, Saks sacrifices about $30 million in annual sales, which is less than 1 percent of the luxury chain’s total volume, but will realize a slight improvement in its overall operating margin.