Mid-price shoe company Bakers Footwear Group widened its loss in the third quarter of the year despite a 7.7% increase in net sales.

Quarterly loss totalled US$2.6m on a net basis compared to a loss of $1.1m a year ago. Operating loss was $4.2m compared to operating income of $3.4m in the same period a year ago.

Net sales totalled $46.6m compared to $43.2m last year. Same-store sales, meanwhile, were down 4.2% compared to a 21% increase previously.

Bakers chairman and CEO Peter Edison said: "We were disappointed with our third-quarter operating results, which reflected the difficult comparison to last year. We also experienced sales and margin pressure due to our efforts to clear seasonal sandal inventory, as well as higher operating costs throughout the quarter associated with operating 27 net new stores, since the third quarter last year."

Edison added: "As we begin the fourth quarter, sales remain challenging with November comparable store sales declining by 12.4% versus a comparable store sales increase of 29.0% last year.

"The comparable store sales decrease can be attributed to our boot and bootie category, which was very strong last year. We expect this comparable sales trend to continue through the remainder of the fourth quarter.

"We continue to remain excited by our opportunities for long-term sales and earnings growth and believe that our strategies position us to increase value for Bakers Footwear shareholders."