Casual apparel chain American Eagle Outfitters Inc on Wednesday announced a sharp 8.1 per cent fall in September same-store sales and warned a cotninued weak retail environment could impact earnings.

The Pennsylvania-based company said consolidated same-store sales, which include American Eagle and Bluenotes/Thriftys stores in Canada, fell 10.1 per cent last month, with Bluenotes/Thriftys same-store sales plunging 30.2 per cent.

American Eagle said total sales for the five weeks to October 5 slipped 0.2 per cent to $113.2 million, which included $7.1m from its Bluenotes/Thriftys unit, which was down from $9.9m from the year-ago period.

It added if the market does not pick up soon then its third quarter earnings would be between 31 and 34 cents a share. It also said if the retail environment stayed soft into the fourth quarter those earnings would be between 50 and 55 cents a share.