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Retailer Saks follows others in falling trend of sales
07
Nov '08
Retailer Saks Incorporated announced that owned sales totaled $219.0 million for the four weeks ended November 1, 2008 compared to $269.1 million for the four weeks ended November 3, 2007, an 18.6% decrease. Comparable store sales decreased 16.6% for the month.

For the third quarter ended November 1, 2008, owned sales totaled $692.7 million compared to $790.0 million for the prior year third quarter ended November 3, 2007, a 12.3% decrease. Comparable store sales decreased 11.5% for the third quarter.

On a year-to-date basis, for the nine months ended November 1, 2008, owned sales totaled $2,210.5 million compared to $2,263.6 million for the prior year nine-month period ended November 3, 2007, a 2.3% decrease. Comparable store sales decreased 2.2% for the nine-month period.

In the prior year, comparable store sales increased 10.6%, 11.4% and 13.0% for the fiscal October, third quarter, and nine-month periods, respectively.

For October, the strongest businesses and categories at Saks Fifth Avenue were Saks Direct, men's shoes, men's contemporary apparel, fragrances, cosmetics, and women's outerwear. The weakest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue for October were women's apparel, men's clothing, jewelry, and handbags.

Sales during the fiscal quarter were well below management's original expectations. Third quarter year-over-year promotional activity increased, and consumers shifted purchases from regular price to promotional priced merchandise.

The current economic and operating environment is extremely challenging and management expects a continuation of current conditions through the fiscal fourth quarter. Based on the current level of consumer demand, the increased promotional environment and the Company's permanent markdown cadence cycle, the Company expects a significant year-over-year decrease in the gross margin rate for the third and fourth quarters.

Saks Incorporated currently operates Saks Fifth Avenue, which consists of 53 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 49 Saks Off 5th stores, and saks.com. The Company also operates Club Libby Lu specialty stores.

Saks Incorporated


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