Saks Incorporated to Sell Four North Carolina Proffitt's Stores to Belk

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--()--Jan. 6, 2005--Saks Incorporated (NYSE:SKS) ("Saks" or the "Company") today announced it has finalized its agreement to sell the leasehold interests and certain fixtures and equipment of four North Carolina Proffitt's stores to Belk, Inc. Belk will assume the leases on the properties.

The properties are the 90,000 square foot store in the Colonial Mall in Greenville, the 80,000 square foot store in the Golden East Crossing Mall in Rocky Mount, the 50,000 square foot store in the Vernon Park Mall in Kinston, and the 52,000 square foot store in the Berkeley Mall in Goldsboro.

Proffitt's plans to operate the stores through the end of February, at which time the leases and applicable assets will transfer to Belk.

George Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saks Department Store Group, commented, "We continue to evaluate our real estate portfolio and rationalize it as appropriate in order to focus our resources on our most productive locations. This action is consistent with that strategy."

Proffitt's employs approximately 300 associates in the four stores. These associates will be offered transfer opportunities to other stores, may be given opportunities to interview for open store positions with Belk, or will receive appropriate severance packages.

Toni Browning, President and Chief Executive Officer of Proffitt's/McRae's, noted, "Proffitt's acquired these four stores from Brody's in 1998. We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of each of the associates in these stores, many of whom have been with us since 1998 and were with Brody's for several years before that. We are committed to making sure all associates are provided appropriate assistance during this transition period."

The Company will continue to operate its Proffitt's store in Asheville, North Carolina. Following the consummation of the transaction, the Company will operate 23 Proffitt's stores throughout Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia and 30 McRae's stores in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

About the Company

Saks Incorporated operates its Saks Department Store Group (SDSG) with 241 department stores under the names of Parisian, Proffitt's, McRae's, Younkers, Herberger's, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, and Boston Store and 38 Club Libby Lu specialty stores. The Company also operates Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises (SFAE) which currently consists of 64 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 54 Off 5th stores, and www.saks.com.

Forward-looking Information

The information contained in this press release that addresses future results or expectations is considered "forward-looking" information within the definition of the Federal securities laws. Forward-looking information in this document can be identified through the use of words such as "may," "will," "intend," "plan," "project," "expect," "anticipate," "should," "would," "believe," "estimate," "contemplate," "possible," and "point." The forward-looking information is premised on many factors, some of which are outlined below. Actual consolidated results might differ materially from projected forward-looking information if there are any material changes in management's assumptions.

The forward-looking information and statements are based on a series of projections and estimates and involve risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include such factors as: the level of consumer spending for apparel and other merchandise carried by the Company and its ability to respond quickly to consumer trends; adequate and stable sources of merchandise; the competitive pricing environment within the department and specialty store industries as well as other retail channels; the effectiveness of planned advertising, marketing, and promotional campaigns; favorable customer response to increased relationship marketing efforts of proprietary credit card loyalty programs; effective expense control; geo-political risks; successful operation of the Company's proprietary credit card strategic alliance with Household Bank (SB), N.A.; and changes in interest rates. For additional information regarding these and other risk factors, please refer to Exhibit 99.1 to the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2004 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), which may be accessed via EDGAR through the Internet at www.sec.gov.

Management undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Persons are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures management makes on related subjects in its reports filed with the SEC and in its press releases.

Contacts

Saks Incorporated
Julia Bentley, 865-981-6243
www.saksincorporated.com

Contacts

Saks Incorporated
Julia Bentley, 865-981-6243
www.saksincorporated.com