Saks to Shutter Stores, But Cites Growth Plans

Department stores continue to struggle, as evidenced by Saks deciding to close several more stores, though the chain remains optimistic in terms of the growth of the business.

Saks, which currently operates 53 stores in the US, announced the closure of two Portland, OR locations last month, prompting discussion of the brand's future with chairman and CEO Stephen I. Sadove and primary shareholder Diego Della Valle, as reported by WWD.  According to Sadove, the outlook is positive, with consumer spending habits on the up-and-up and Saks' adaptation to the evolution of the market. That said, apparently Saks intends to close more than a few more outposts, a bit less than 20 stores overall.

Although "less than 20" could mean one or, well, 19, Sadove maintained the business was bracing for resurgence across all markets.  Among the strategies they'll employ to foster that positive movement are the expansion of the Off Fifth outlet chain and, perhaps in an early sign of low-priced-collaboration backlash, the gradual phasing out of such promotional lines. 

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