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Ann Inc. Lowers Q2 Sales Outlook on Poor LOFT Performance

Ann Inc., parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, lowered its sales expectation for the fiscal second quarter owed to lower than expected sales and gross margin rate performance.

In a statement released Thursday, the company said it now expects net sales to reach $648 million, after a 2.3% sales decline this past quarter, down from its May 30 forecast of $670 million.

Sales for the Ann Taylor brand increased 0.7%, while LOFT sales dipped 4.1% reflecting a 5.2% decrease at LOFT stores and a slight 0.3% increase at LOFT outlets.

Kay Krill, president and chief executive officer, said, “Despite positive performance through mid-June, the remainder of the second quarter proved more challenging, with soft traffic across the industry and a highly promotional environment. While we delivered a positive comp for the quarter at Ann Taylor, we were disappointed in our performance at LOFT, which experienced continued softness in basic knit tops that represent a meaningful component of LOFT’s summer assortment.  We took action to move through summer product, which pressured gross margin but enabled us to end the quarter with clean inventories at both brands.”

Ann Inc. will release its second quarter results on Aug. 22. The company will also host a live conference call and audio webcast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. which will include management comments and a question and answer portion.