NEW YORK — Sagging sales, promotional pressures and special charges conspired to drive United Retail Group Inc. out of the catalog business as its fourth-quarter losses grew to plus-size proportions.

For the three months ended Feb. 1, the Rochelle Park, N.J.-based specialty retailer of plus-size women’s apparel reported a net loss of $16.1 million, or $1.24 a diluted share. That compares with last year’s smaller loss of $624,000, or 5 cents. Excluding a pretax, noncash charge of $5.6 million for goodwill impairment, as well as a deferred tax asset valuation allowance that increased its tax provision by $7.3 million, the company would have recorded a more modest loss of $3.2 million, or 25 cents.

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