Talbots' 2Q Loss Swells to $25 Million

Hingham, Mass. Talbots Inc. said Wednesday it lost $25 million in its second quarter ending Aug. 2, nearly doubling year-ago losses as sales fell 8% and restructuring charges mounted. Talbots lost $13.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding losses on its Talbots Kids, men’s and U.K. businesses and restructuring charges, the retailer would have lost $18.3 million in the latest period.

Revenue fell 8% to $528 million from $572.3 million a year earlier.

"This was a challenging quarter to drive top-line sales, predominantly due to the change in our Talbots brand annual June clearance strategy, coupled with a difficult macro environment," said Trudy F. Sullivan, president and CEO, in a statement.

"While a year-over-year shortfall in retail sales impacted the quarter, results were largely offset by the Talbots brand merchandise gross margin expansion," she added. "However, given the heavy inventory position of the J. Jill brand, we took aggressive markdowns during the quarter, which hurt gross margin and our second quarter total company operating performance."

Same-store sales fell 12% in the quarter. Sales for Talbots brand items fell 11.7%, and J. Jill brand sales fell 13.2%.