Dress Barn 1Q Earnings Drop 28%

Suffern, N.Y., Dress Barn Inc. said Tuesday its fiscal first-quarter earnings dropped 28% as warm weather and cautious consumer spending weakened sales at the company’s namesake stores.

For the quarter ended Oct. 27, earnings fell to $19.6 million from $27.4 million in the year-ago period. Quarterly net sales increased less than 2% to $363.7 million from $358.4 million.

Dress Barn attributed its sales increase to new store openings, which partially offset a 3% same-store sales decline.

The company's dressbarn stores reported an 8% drop in same-store sales, while its maurices stores booked a same-store sales increase of 8%.

President and CEO David R. Jaffe said Dress Barn has increased promotional activity to reduce seasonal inventory and has focused on controlling costs.

"There has been some recent improvement in the sales trend of our dressbarn stores toward the end of the quarter, but we expect an increased promotional retail environment for much of this holiday season," Jaffe said.

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