Department store chain Groupe Les Ailes de la Mode Inc has narrowed its first-quarter loss, helped by the implementation of new strategies.

First-quarter loss from continuing operations totalled $2.8 million compared to a loss of $5.4m last year.

Net sales for from continuing operations for the first quarter fell 14.8 per cent to $22.8m, compared to $26.8m for the same period last year.

Same-sales for the swimwear division decreased 5.5 per cent, while those for the wholly owned subsidiary Les Ailes stores were down 20.5 per cent, with a total reduction of 16.2 per cent.

David Margolis, president and chief executive officer, said: "We have been successful in improving our inventory turns and levels and product mix while increasing our gross margins on products sales by taking advantage of buying opportunities".

Groupe Les Ailes de la Mode, formerly called Les Boutiques San Francisco, emerged from bankruptcy court protection in 2004.