US women's apparel group Ann Inc has lowered its sales guidance for the second quarter, blaming weakness at its Loft brand.

The company now expects net sales to be $648m, reflecting a 2.3% comparable sales decline. This is lower the $670m it forecast earlier, with a comparable sales increase in the low-single digits.

According to Stifel analyst Richard Jaffe, management lowered its guidance to an implied earnings per share of $0.67 from its previous implied guidance of $0.82.

During the quarter, comparable sales edged at the Ann Taylor brand edged up 0.7%, reflecting an increase of 2% at Ann Taylor partially offset by a decline of 1.9% in the Ann Taylor Factory channel.

The Loft brand, however, saw comparable sales fall 4.1%, reflecting a decline of 5.2% at Loft and an increase of 0.3% in the Loft Outlet channel.

"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," noted president and CEO Kay Krill.

Loft experience softness in basic knit tops, which Krill said represent a "meaningful" component of Loft's summer assortment. After moving through summer product, the company ended the quarter with clean inventories, he added.