Saks Inc. (New York) announced sales fell 15 percent during the fourth quarter, to $835.5 million from $981.7 million a year earlier. Same-store sales dropped 15 percent during the quarter, as well. The company attributes the poor performance to weakening demand across all merchandise categories, including women's apparel, and in its New York flagship.
After the announcement, the company's stock fell 1.1 percent. Saks’ stock has lost 89 percent of its value in the past 12 months, including a 58 percent decline this year.
For the year, the luxury department store chain forecasts same-store sales to decline in the low double digits, including a 20 percent drop in the first half of the year.
To combat the tough economic climate, the company says it's controlling inventory, lowering its capital spending for the year by more than half and has identified additional non-employee based cost reductions in areas such as procurement and marketing. Earlier, Saks announced it would reduce its workforce by 9 percent and eliminate merit- based wage increases.
Saks is just the latest retailer to announce declines in fourth quarter sales. This week, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Home Deport reported disappointing financial results.