Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A(nn) big loss

March 6, 2009

USA-HOLIDAYSALES/Check Out Ann Taylor’s huge quarterly loss.

The clothing retailer, which operates its namesake stores and Ann Taylor Loft stores, posted a loss that was almost twice as big as Wall Street analysts had expected. The company is also shuttering 46 more stores as working women curb their shopping urges amid rising unemployment and the unabating financial crisis.

Ann Taylor’s loss came a day after top U.S. retailers posted February same-store sales numbers. While the overall result was boosted by Wal-Mart, several apparel chains and department stores are still bleeding sales as consumers continue to spend their money on basics such as food.

The retailer’s dismal results are just another sign that no quick turnaround is in sight for U.S. companies that cater to consumers’ shopping whims.

Also in the basket:

Coca-Cola to invest another $2 billion in China

JP Morgan raises Family Dollar Stores to neutral

Debenhams to buy Principles brand, no stores

Women turn their closets into stores - WSJ

(Reuters photo)

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