Women's wear retailer AnnTaylor Stores Corporation is to make more cost cuts across its business as it battles the slowdown in consumer spending.

Its plans follow news in January that the company was to close 117 stores and axe 180 staff as part of a multi-year reorganisation.

AnnTaylor could not immediately comment on whether today's (6 November) announcement would involve more store closures when contacted by just-style.

The company said its actions were designed to further reduce its cost structure and enhance operational efficiency, and are expected to result in annual savings of US$25m.
The programme as a whole is expected to generate total annual savings of $80-$90m over three years, compared to the $50m it previously anticipated.

A one-time pre-tax charge of $12m will be incurred in the third quarter of fiscal 2008 though, the company said.

AnnTaylor has also reduced its guidance for the third quarter of its financial year, and will be scaling back capital spending in the coming year.

Kay Krill, Ann Taylor president and chief executive officer, said: "The dramatic deterioration in both the financial markets and the macroeconomic environment in September and October has put additional pressure on the retail industry, in general, and the women's apparel sector, in particular.

"As a result, third quarter financial results are tracking well below our previous expectations.

"We are moving more aggressively to accelerate our cost savings initiatives and to ensure our organisation is appropriately structured for a recessionary environment."

For the third quarter ended 1 November, the company expects to report net sales of $527m, down from the $601m posted a year ago. Same-store sales are forecast to fall 19%.

It added that same-store sales at Ann Taylor fell 25%, and declined 15% at Loft.