Saks Incorporated (NYSE:SKS) today announced management changes designed to streamline the organizational structure in its traditional department store business. The management changes will be effective immediately.

R Brad Martin, chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated, said: "During our aggressive growth period, we created a corporate merchandising staff (called Proffitt's Merchandising Group, or 'PMG') to ensure that we extended the best practices of our six department store divisions throughout the entire company. Through the coordination of these activities, we became more efficient and benefitted from our increased scale. As a result of the outstanding efforts of the PMG staff and division management, we achieved many of our objectives."

Martin continued: "An additional strategic initiative of PMG was to create a centralized private brand team within PMG for the department store group. That team is now in place, and we are very well positioned for the future in this important strategic area.

"With this foundation of best practices, division teamwork, and private brand capability well established and because of the recently completed home office consolidations of two of our divisions, it is now appropriate to re-align certain centralized staff positions and assign this management talent into the operating divisions. This revised organizational structure will permit us to focus intensely on the needs of our customers, speed decision making, and reduce overhead."
PMG's role going forward will be the execution of the private brand program and key vendor relationship management.

Carol Williams, current executive vice president of merchandising/corporate general merchandise manager - women's apparel for PMG, will assume the position of executive vice president of merchandising for Parisian, with direct responsibility for women's apparel, accessories, shoes, and intimate apparel. Williams joined the company in 1999 as senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women's apparel for PMG and was promoted to EVP in January 2000. Prior to joining the company, Williams held the post of president of 5-7-9 Stores for Edison Brothers, Inc. Williams held previous merchandising positions at Limited Stores, Express, and Federated Department Stores. Williams will report to Travis Saucer, president and CEO of Parisian.

David Zant, current senior vice president/general merchandise manager - women's apparel for Parisian, will be promoted to executive vice president of merchandising for Parisian, with direct responsibility for men's, children's, cosmetics, and home. Zant joined the company in 1998 as corporate general merchandise manager of men's and children's and assumed his current role with Parisian in March 2000. Prior to joining the company, Zant held various merchandising positions with Mercantile Stores for 23 years including corporate merchandise manager for men's, children's, intimate apparel, junior sportswear, and activewear. Zant will continue to report to Saucer.

Mark Fedyk, current senior vice president/corporate general merchandise manager - cosmetics, shoes, accessories, and salon for PMG, will assume the position of senior vice president and general merchandise manager - cosmetics and home for Parisian. Fedyk joined the company in 1994 as divisional vice president for Proffitt's and was later promoted to senior vice president/general merchandise manager of children's, shoes, accessories, intimate apparel, men's, and home. He joined PMG in October 1999. Fedyk has seventeen years of retail merchandising and product management experience. Fedyk will report to Zant.

Rick Brown, current senior vice president of visual merchandising for PMG, will assume the position of senior vice president of visual merchandising for Parisian. Brown joined the company as McRae's corporate visual merchandising director in 1991. He was promoted to senior vice president of PMG in 1999. Prior to joining the company, he held management positions with Edron Fixture Corporation and Dillard's Department Stores. Brown will report to Saucer.

Saks Incorporated currently operates 61 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 46 Saks Off 5th stores, and 251 traditional department stores under the names of Proffitt's, McRae's, Younkers, Parisian, Herberger's, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, and Boston Store. The cCompany also operates Saks Direct, which includes the Folio and Bullock & Jones catalogs and saksfifthavenue.com. The company recently announced its planned spin-off of the Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Saks Direct businesses into a separate entity to be named Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises, Inc. Management expects the spin-off to be completed in November 2000.