NEW YORK — Waning sales conspired with gross margin erosion to throw J. Crew Group Inc. into the red in the third quarter.

For the three months ended Nov. 2, the New York-based retailer and direct merchant sustained a net loss of $700,000. That compares with the year-ago quarter when the company realized profits of $300,000. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, EBITDA, fell 9.4 percent to $17.3 million from $19.1 million last year, and the loss before taxes was $1 million versus earnings of $400,000 a year ago.

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