Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will open a store at Legends Outlets Kansas City — one of four new stores it plans to open nationwide this year.

The Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) outlet retail concept will fill 27,000 square feet at the Kansas City, Kan., shopping center with what the company called a “luxury in a loft” store design that debuted in 2008. It sells apparel for men, women and children, as well as various shoes and accessories.

The Legends store, on track for a July opening on the south side of the center in the former Home Decorator’s Collection space near Adidas, initially will employ about 30, said Sophia Brown, senior manager of public relations for Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

The other stores will be in Oklahoma City; Northbrook, Ill., in the Chicago area; and Charleston, S.C. Saks also is opening a store in Sugar Land, Texas, to replace a store in Stafford, Texas.

“We look forward to expanding our Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store base into several new markets,” Robert Wallstrom, president of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, said in a release.

The expansion signals Saks Inc.’s re-entrance into the Kansas City market. The upscale Saks Fifth Avenue closed its Country Club Plaza store in early 2005, and Plaza owner Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE: HIW) bought the 77,000-square-foot building. It also had an Off 5th location announced more than a decade ago for the Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe.

“When we examined entering the Kansas City market, the right tenant mix and customer profile were critical,” Wallstrom said. “Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th continues to see growth in the next generation of outlets. Legends Outlets captured our attention and made us take another look at this growing area in the market. We are excited to bring our designer portfolio and brands back to Kansas City.”

Saks Inc. runs 46 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 57 Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores, as well as an online store. The nearest Saks Fifth Avenue store is in St. Louis, according to the company’s website.

The Off 5th stores feature flexible designs, no clutter and no hard aisles, and they sell luxury brands at value prices.

The Legends has been repositioning itself as an upscale outlet center, rearranging tenants and bringing in new ones.

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