CHARMING THROWN FOR LOSS OF $107 MILLION IN QUARTER

NEW YORK — After a $103 million restructuring charge, Charming Shoppes Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $107 million against earnings of $5.2 million, or 5 cents a share, a year ago.
Charming previously said it would take a charge of $65 million to cover the closing of 290 underperforming stores. The remainder of the charge is for restructuring in the company’s domestic operations and overseas sourcing arm.
As reported, about 2,500 jobs are to be cut in the restructuring . The Bensalem, Pa.-based specialty chain noted that sales for the three months ended Feb. 3 dropped 6.8 percent to $321.8 million from $345.2 million. The firm said consumer response to its merchandise was disappointing during the quarter and that an increase in markdowns resulted in lower gross margins.
In the year, the company lost $139.2 million, including the restructuring charge, against earnings of $17.8 million, or 42 cents. Sales were off 13.4 percent to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion. — Fairchild News Service

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