A difficult retail environment and weak consumer demand for luxury goods have been blamed for a wider loss in the second quarter for Saks Inc.

The retail group had a loss of $58.4m for the period ended August 4, compared with a loss of $5.8m the previous year.

The company recorded after tax charges of $16m, including costs to eliminate its catalogue business and to integrate its Internet business with its Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

Also covered in these charges was store-closing expenses.