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BIRMINGHAM, AL- On the heels of an announcement that it will open its first Proffitt’s department store in the city, Saks Inc. plans to close its Parisian stores in Eastwood Mall and the Western Hills area. Saks will close the 130,000-sf Eastwood Mall store at the end of January 2005 and its 129,000-sf Western Hills store in mid-March. The retailer operates four other Parisian stores in metropolitan Birmingham at the Riverchase Galleria, The Summit, Brookwood Village and the AmSouth Plaza Downtown. All of these locations will remain open.According to George Jones, Saks’ President & CEO, the store closings are part of a strategy to focus on well-performing stores. Early last month, the retailer announced that it would close eight of its Saks Fifth Avenue department stores and three of its Saks Off Fifth outlets, most of them in California.Collectively, the two Birmingham stores being shuttered employ 210 people, all of whom will be transferred to other locations or receive severance packages.

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