Women’s fashion retailer New York & Company expects to exceed its second quarter guidance following an upsurge in comparable store sales and margins.

The US business said comps in the three months to 28 July were set to rise slightly, while gross margins were likely to surge up by 400-500 basis points thanks to improved product costs and reductions in buying and occupancy expenses.

New York & Company now expects to post an operating loss of US$5-7m, compared to a loss of $15.1m in the same period a year ago.

“We are encouraged by our second quarter performance to date, which reflects strong product acceptance across our summer assortments, particularly during the Mother’s Day period, and continued progress on our strategic initiatives,” said Gregory Scott, company CEO.

The company will issue its second quarter earnings results during the third week of August.