Casual Male 1Q Earnings Fall on Sales Weakness

Canton, Mass. Casual Male Retail Group Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter earnings fell as a pullback in consumer spending hurt sales of big-and-tall men's clothing.

First-quarter earnings dipped to $96,000 from $1.1 million in the prior year. The 2007 results include a loss from the company's discontinued Jared M. custom-clothing business of $400,000.

Quarterly sales dipped 3% to $107.6 million from $110.6 million, while same-store sales fell 2%.

Expenses were nearly flat at $47.5 million, compared with $47.4 million in the prior year.

"As we anticipated, our first-quarter sales were impacted by the difficult economy and overall weakness in the men's apparel business, but we were able to maintain our merchandise margin rates and control our expenses," said Casual Male president and chief executive David Levin. "We are also encouraged that while store traffic was down, our conversion rate and average sales transaction at Casual Male XL improved significantly in the first quarter."

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