By  on May 18, 2012

Ann Inc. topped Wall Street earnings expectations in the first quarter on the strength of the Loft division. But the Ann Taylor brand saw comparable-store sales fall 6.9 percent, with a 15.5 percent drop at its stores, as the company steered away from price cuts.

“In the [Ann Taylor] stores channel, we significantly reduced promotional activity as we focused on reinforcing the aspirational nature of the brand,” Kay Krill, chief executive officer, said. “We have invested more in opening price points and select categories, and are seeing great success so far.…We definitely have become more surgical in our approach to markdowns and promotions in this channel, and we are definitely improving our gross margin rate and we will continue to be surgical in our approach as well.”

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