Saks Sees $42.8 Million Loss

NEW YORK — Saks Inc. turned in significantly larger-than-expected third-quarter losses as business trends at the New York flagship slipped and women’s apparel showed “widespread weakness.”

Losses for the quarter ended Nov. 1 tallied $42.8 million, or 31 cents a diluted share, and included special items, such as expenses related to the closure of Club Libby Lu, of 18 cents. Analysts, however, were looking for a loss of 3 cents.

In the third quarter last year, Saks posted earnings of $21.6 million, or 14 cents.

Sales fell 12 percent to $698 million from $796 million.

Stephen Sadove, chairman and CEO, said the company’s New York City flagship, which accounts for about 20 percent of the business, performed only slightly better than the company average. In prior quarters, the store “meaningfully outperformed” the rest of the company, he said.

“During the quarter, the company continued to experience widespread weakness in women’s apparel and softness in areas such as women’s shoes and handbags that had delivered explosive growth during 2007,” he said in a statement.

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