Retail Detail. Ann Taylor to Close 163 Stores

March 9, 2009 • Fashion


There was a time, many moons ago, when Ann Taylor was relevant. In fact, I have to admit, I even worked there during grad school. Over the past 15 years or so, it's store I no longer shop. I gravitate towards more upscale clothes and find stores like Banana Republic and H&M more on point. I must not be the only one who thinks this way. Dramatic sales declines, restructuring
and a bad economy led Ann Taylor to a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter
loss, an acceleration of its store closing plans and a 38.5%
drop in its stock Friday.

The company now plans to close 163 stores, up from an earlier projection of 117.

Kay Krill,
president and chief executive officer, told investors, “While this
economic crisis was felt across all demographics, the aspirational
luxury consumer was particularly hard hit, including the professional
working woman, our Ann Taylor division core client.”

Both the
Ann Taylor and Loft divisions felt the sting of the promotional climate
at retail, and their margins experienced “significant” erosion,
according to Krill.

Gross margin for the quarter fell to 35.7 percent of sales from 48.7 percent in the prior-year period.

It's still rather sad…

Source: WWD

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