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Saks looking further into chargebacks

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Saks Incorporated’s audit committee is re-examining previously disclosed improper vendor chargebacks.

The new inquiry will focus on the timing inventory markdown and vendor markdown allowances were recorded at Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises (SAFE); whether there have been any over-collections of vendor markdown allowances in any of SAFE merchandising divisions that were not examined during an earlier internal investigation; and whether the company has improperly charged any of its merchandise vendors for failure to comply with the logistics, transportation, or billing policies.

Saks has already reduced its net income for the first fiscal quarter of 2005 by $1.2 million because of the chargebacks issue. The company also stated that between 1999 and 2003 it improperly collected $20 million in chargebacks.

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