US apparel company Jones Apparel Group continues to shutter stores in a bid to focus on core brands, but is not ruling out further acquisitions after the purchase of Robert Rodriguez Collection this month.

Today (10 February) the company posted much-narrowed fourth quarter and fiscal 2009 losses, but also saw an 8% drop in revenues.

The 2009 results include non-cash impairment charges of US$150m, significantly lower than the $838m for certain goodwill and trademarks for fiscal 2008.

The company has closed approximately 100 retail locations as part of a restructuring plan, with an additional 165 locations to close in 2010.

However, its retail business was subsequently profitable in the fourth quarter and posted an 2% increase in comparable store sales.

Meanwhile, Jones Apparel acquired Moda Nicola International, owner of women's wear line the Robert Rodriguez Collection, for $28m earlier this month.

Jones Apparel Group's CEO Wesley Card said on a conference call that the acquisition is designed to help its move into the contemporary fashion space, also bolstered by the introduction of Rachel Rachel Roy line at Macy's earlier in 2009.

He says: "We are looking for brands that are small but can grow into something significant. Robert Rodriguez has penetrated 600 doors around the world with limited resources and inventory behind that penetration.

"If we can generate single-digit growth out of our big core brands and continue to expand those, we can use that infrastructure and leverage those results plus selected acquisitions to achieve good solid top line growth and double digit-bottom line growth.

"We're back on solid ground now and the balance sheet is in such great shape we can take advantage of those opportunities as they arise."