Mar 27, 2012
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Charming Shoppes posts wider-than-expected loss

Mar 27, 2012

Women's clothing and shoe retailer Charming Shoppes Inc posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as higher product costs and steep discounts at its Lane Bryant brand hurt margins.

Charming Shoppes' Lane Bryant brand / Photo: Charming Shoppes

The plus-sized apparel retailer, which has been losing market share to rivals like Ann Inc and Chico's FAS Inc, plans to close between 90 to 105 underperforming stores this year, it said in a statement.

Charming Shoppes, which hired Barclays Capital in December to help it review its options, posted a fourth-quarter loss of $13.2 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a loss of $30.4 million, or 26 cents a share, a year ago.

Before items, it recorded a loss of 6 cents, wider than the analysts' average estimate of 2 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell nearly 3 percent to $559.1 million, but beat market expectations of $542.3 million. Gross margin fell to 42 percent from 43 percent a year ago.

In December, Charming Shoppes said it will shed its Fashion Bug business and focus on its flagship Lane Bryant brand instead, in a bid to spark a turnaround in its business.

Shares of the company closed at $4.88 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Juhi Arora in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal

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