Saks Fifth Avenue, continuing to prune its store base, said Tuesday that its unit in WestShore Plaza in Tampa, Fla., will close May 4, affecting 105 associates.
“We never like closing stores,” Stephen I. Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc., told WWD. “It’s never an easy decision. But Tampa’s volume was declining. We didn’t think there was a longer-term growth opportunity for us. We think we can make better use of corporate funds. We are investing in a new store in Sarasota, which is less than an hour away from Tampa.”
Asked how many more Saks Fifth Avenue stores could close in the future, Sadove replied, “I don’t think you will see a huge number of store closings going forward.” He added that the company regularly assesses the productivity, profitability and potential of each store. Saks Inc. operates 43 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 66 Saks Off 5th outlets and saks.com.
The company previously said it will close its Stamford, Conn., store in early 2014, and the store in the Galleria in Dallas will close in June. Over the past decade, Saks Fifth Avenue has closed 19 stores.
In Tampa, the Saks associates will be offered transfer opportunities or will receive employment separation packages. The Tampa store is 15 years old. In Sarasota, a new 80,000-square-foot Saks, opening in The Mall at University Town Center in 2014, will replace an existing 40,000-square-foot unit.