Saks Delays Probe Report; SEC Launches Formal Inquiry

New York City, Saks Inc. announced late Monday it extended its internal probe into improper collections of vendor markdown allowances as the Securities and Exchange (SEC) opened a formal investigation into the matter. The retailer said its inquiry, disclosed on March 3, is expected to be completed in April. Saks initially said it would finish the investigation by the end of the month.

Additionally, the SEC, which has been conducting an informal probe, informed Saks on March 24 that it issued a formal order of investigation.

The investigation relates to alleged improper collections of vendor markdown allowances in one of Saks Fifth Avenue’s merchandising divisions. The adequacy of a 2002 initial internal investigation into the matter and accounting and disclosure issues that came up as part of the probe is also being investigated.