DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Saks Fifth Avenue is closing its doors.

Since the recession, the New York based department store has been closing unprofitable stores.

A Galleria spokesperson says its lease is up and its not renewing.

Saks was an original tenant at the Galleria when it opened in the early 80s.

Charlotte, North Carolina based Belk will take its place by Spring of next year.

The chain will take over three floors at the Galleria after it’s remolded.

“I guess it’s surprising because it’s so well known, and it’s a store everybody has been to,” says shopper Lacy Merchant. “Whether you shop here regular or not everyone has pretty much been inside of it before.”

Aisha Bridges echoes that sentiment. “It surprises me, just simply because the Galleria is an upscale mall, so you want the higher end stores there.”

Belk is starting to pop up around North Texas. The location in Flower Mound has been open five years now.

Jim Rose, who is the Regional Vice President, compares the store to Dillard’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s.

The family owned and operated chain has more than 300 stores and markets itself as a store with “modern, southern style.”

“Customers that frequent the Galleria and are accustomed to top brands and high fashion will be very pleased with what they see,” says Rose. “We are really proud to join the long list of premium retailers at the Dallas Galleria and really excited about the opportunity.”

Belk carries brands like Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and dozens of other designers.

“Galleria Dallas has a tradition of bringing retailers to the market for a new presence in North Texas,” explains Angie Freed, General Manager for Galleria Dallas. “The selection of Belk as the next anchor at Galleria Dallas reflects our understanding of changes in the marketplace. Shoppers today want a fashion anchor with top brands, and this is a great complement to our existing retail mix.”

Belk shoppers can hardly wait.

“I prefer Belk mainly for their personnel,” says Nancy Ogden. “They are all very nice.”

Saks has 120 employees who will be transferred.

Outlet stores in Dallas, Grapevine and Grand Prairie will continue to stay open.

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