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NEW YORK CITY-Saks Inc. will roll out a new prototype for its 58-unit Off 5th discount chain this year, as the company is in efforts to expand that part of its business. The first store is set to open in Orlando next month, and three to four more should follow during the rest of the year, said Stephen Sadove, Saks’ chairman and chief executive officer, during its fourth-quarter conference call.

Despite tough economic conditions, the luxury retailer still performed well, posting a 9% same-store sales gain year over year. Total sales rose 4.7% from the same year-ago period, to just under $1 billion, while net income jumped to $39.5 million from $21.6 million.

But executives said that conditions are starting to soften. “Across all zones of business, you’re seeing a slowing trend, but more pronounced at the lower end,” Sadove said. Same-store sales were only up 3.4% in February and growing categories such as handbags and menswear experienced a slowdown.

For the coming year management is planning $125 million in capital expenditures. The retailer will renovate and/or expand Saks Fifth Avenue department stores in Bal Harbor, Miami and Naples, FL; Boston; Houston and Los Angeles.

For the coming fiscal year, executives predict same-store sales to rise in the mid-single digits. The company operates 54 department stores across the country as well as the Club Libby Liu specialty chain.

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