Charming Shoppes Reports 4Q Loss

Bensalem, Pa. Charming Shoppes Inc. said Wednesday it swung to a loss in its fourth quarter as sales at stores open at least a year fell at each of the company's brands.

For the quarter ended Feb. 2, the company reported a loss of $127.6 million, compared to a profit of $24.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

Revenue fell 10% to $784.9 million from $874 million in a year earlier. The company said sales in the prior-year period reflected an extra week.

Meanwhile, same-store sales dropped 9%.

Dorrit J. Bern, chairman and chief executive, called the results "extremely disappointing" and blamed downward traffic trends and customer responses to the company's stores and catalogs. Bern said the company had to mark down more merchandise, which hurt margins.

For the year, the retailer swung to a loss of $86.6 million from a profit of $108.9 million in the prior year. Revenue fell 2% to $3 billion from $3.07 billion.

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