Saks total sales for the third quarter rose 1.2 per cent to $1.566bn from $1.547 bn last year. With comparable store sales increasing by 0.4 per cent for the quarter.The results were as expected, the company said, reflecting the continued improved operating performance in the Saks Fifth Avenue business, a decline in the year-over-year operating performance in the traditional department store business resulting from a difficult sales environment and extraordinary markdowns related to spring and summer merchandise clearance activities, and start-up expenses related to the saksfifthavenue.com business launched in September.During the quarter, the company successfully completed the consolidations of the McRae's and Herberger's home office operations into the Proffitt's and Carson Pirie Scott offices, respectively, and further streamlined the corporate organizational structure in the department store group.Saks also opened new stores in Fort Worth, Texas (Saks Fifth Avenue), Chevy Chase, Maryland (Saks Fifth Avenue Men's Store), Schaumburg, Illinois (Carson Pirie Scott), and Charleston, South Carolina (Parisian) totaling nearly 400,000 sq ft.