Shoppers react to possible purchase of Saks 5th Avenue

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SARASOTA - The corporate owners of Lord & Taylor are buying Saks Fifth Avenue; but don't expect much change.

A Saks corporate spokesperson in New York, Julia Bentley, tells ABC 7 Lord & Taylor's parent company is "committed to preserving and building upon the iconic position of the Sakes 5th Avenue brand."

And that comes as good news to shoppers like Barbara Riley.  "I'm hoping things stay the same as I'm used to going to Saks. I'm not that familiar with Lord & Taylor, but I'm hoping it's going to be a good merger," Riley said.

The Saks in Tampa and the Saks at the Southgate Mall near Siesta Drive will each be closing in favor of one location at the new University Town Center.

"I'm glad that we've got that, but I'd rather see more Saks in more locations rather than one bigger one," said shopper Kevin Riley.

No surprise the mall leasing director disagrees.  "This is the only Saks for the Tampa market through Sarasota. It's always been our expectation that we'll have a regional shopping center that will include shoppers coming from as far away as Tampa and from Naples," said Benderson's Director of Leasing Mark Chait.

There is also a Saks outlet mall location in Ellenton.

The acquisition could cost Lord & Taylor's parent company nearly $3 billion.