Jones Apparel Group reported narrower fourth-quarter losses and said it would expand its L.E.I. junior brand to Wal-Mart Stores nationwide for the back-to-school season.


“We see this as a great opportunity to utilize Jones’ operation skills in partnership with a retailer of Wal-Mart’s size and scale,” said Jones’ chief executive officer Wesley Card. “There is excellent potential to grow and leverage the strength of L.E.I. as a branded resource across categories.”


For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the company’s net loss narrowed to $89.8 million, or $1.06 a diluted share, from $269.5 million, or $2.51, a year earlier. Sales fell 16.7 percent to $838.5 million from $1 billion.


For more, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.


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