Saks to close after the holidays

Economy, Business and FinanceSaks Inc.

The Saks Fifth Avenue in Highland Park will close after the holiday season, displacing roughly 60 workers, the company recently announced. The 12-year-old, 49,000-square-foot store will close Dec. 31.

"We routinely assess the productivity, profitability and potential of each of our stores and may conclude closings are necessary from time to time. These planned closings are consistent with our strategy of employing our resources in our most productive locations," said Saks Chairman and CEO Steve Sadove in a statement.

Affected associates will be offered opportunities to transfer or will receive employment separation packages, the company said.

Metzler Real Estate, which manages Renaissance Place that houses the Saks, said it expects to announce new tenants in the "coming months," but it has no immediate plans to fill the Saks space with another large department store.

Instead, the company is seeking a "complementary mix of national, regional and boutique retailers," CEO Don Wise told the Tribune.

Wise added that he wasn't ready to say who would be setting up shop in the vacated space but that he intends to create an alternative to the larger retail malls.

"It's difficult to provide details today ... it's premature to dive in too deep," he said. "It's an interesting challenge; it's one that if we do it well, should really provide a great location ... a great venue for downtown Highland Park."

Saks Inc. operates 45 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and 64 Off 5th Stores, including five in the Chicago area.

This story appeared in a daily edition of the Chicago Tribune.

crshropshire@tribune.com

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