Saks Fifth Avenue announced yesterday that it would close its two downtown Portland stores. The men's only store at the city's Pioneer Mall will shut down April 25, while the main store will close July 31.
Approximately 100 employees will be affected: Some will be offered the choice to transfer, others severance packages.
Saks CEO Steve Sadove said in a statement: "Store closing decisions are never easy but are necessary from time to time. The planned closing of the Portland store is consistent with our strategy of focusing our resources on our most productive stores."
Portland's mayor, Sam Adams, fought to keep the stores open by pleading with Sadove on several occasions, including face-to-face meetings in both New York and Chicago.
The news comes after Saks' February sales showed improvement, increasing by 3% year-over-year. (The company has reported increases in sales for the last three months, encouraging investors. In fact, Tod's CEO Diego Della Valle bought 5.62 million shares of Saks stock in early March, increasing his holdings in the company to 9.4%.) However, that doesn't gloss over the fact that Saks lost $158.8 million in 2009.
An H&M is rumored to be replacing Saks at Portland's Pioneer Mall.