Saks Settles Vendor Lawsuits: Report

Upscale retailer Saks confirmed that it has settled two lawsuits alleging it engaged in abusive practices against vendors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday in its online edition.

In its third-quarter earnings report released on Tuesday, Saks said it recorded after-tax expenses of $2.7 million associated with the settlement of lawsuits filed by two vendors.

The Journal said the suits were filed by International Design Concepts -- a former Oscar de la Renta licensee -- and Kleinert's.

"The case is officially over; the money has been paid," plaintiff attorney Donald Kreindler told the Journal, regarding the IDC lawsuit. The Journal said Kreindler declined to disclose terms of the settlement.

Representatives of Saks could not immediately be reached for comment. Saks spokeswoman Julia Bentley told the Journal the company's settlement amount with IDC was not made public.

In September, Saks settled a lawsuit filed by U.S. securities regulators alleging that misconduct at the luxury department store's Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises unit resulted in mis-statements of company earnings in previous years.

The second settlement by Saks came in a suit filed in October 2005 by a trustee for Kleinert's, which makes Buster Brown children's clothing, the Journal said, adding Kleinert's lawsuit alleged roughly $4 million in improper chargebacks by Saks.

Bentley also declined to comment on how much Kleinert's received, the Journal said.

Saks has been overhauling its business, renovating stores and making other changes under the leadership of Stephen Sadove, who was named chief executive in January 2006, and took on the added post of chairman in May.