For the third fiscal quarter, United Retail Group, Inc incurred a net loss of $1.1m, or $0.09 per share diluted. Net income for the third fiscal quarter of 1999 was $0.7m, or $.05 per share diluted. The company's total sales for the third fiscal quarter of 2000 increased six per cent to $92.3m from $86.8m in the third fiscal quarter in the previous year. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased three per cent. For the year-to-date the company had net income of $3m, or $0.22 per share diluted. Net income for the comparable period of 1999 was $11.8m, or $0.85 per share diluted. The company's total sales for the year-to-date increased six per cent to $300.4m from $282.4m in the comparable period in the previous year. Comparable store sales for the year-to-date increased four per cent. George R. Remeta, vice chairman of the board and chief administrative officer, said: "While we are pleased with the sales increase to last year, costs attributable to planned growth investments, including Shop @ Home business start-up costs, resulted in a loss for the quarter." Raphael Benaroya, chairman of the board, president and CEO, said, "Although there was a loss in the quarter, it is important to note that the core retail store business was stable and the loss resulted from investments in strategic growth initiatives." He added, "Taking a forward perspective, I am very pleased with the progress made so far this year in advancing our program for top line growth. Our store expansion and improvement initiatives are on track. We will open 58 new stores by fiscal year end and are planning an additional 60 new stores next year. In addition, our Shop @ Home strategy is on schedule. The AVENUE® catalog was launched in September and the avenue.com website is scheduled to open for business later this year."