• First-quarter net losses narrowed to US$1.1m
  • Sales declined 5.7% to US$44.3m
  • Comparable-store sales fell 2.7% 

US retailer Bakers Footwear has managed to narrow its first-quarter net losses despite recording sales declines over the period.

The retailer said net losses improved to US$1.1m from a loss of $2.5m in the same period of the prior year. Sales fell 5.7% to US$44.3m, while comparable-store sales declined 2.7%.

Gross margin improved to 28.4% from 26.1%, which the company attributed to a reduction in occupancy costs and lower markdowns over the quarter.

"Our first quarter performance reflects our strategy to reduce inventories while delivering a steady flow of fashion right assortments," said chairman and CEO Peter Edison.

"This, combined with our cost containment initiatives, drove a significant narrowing in our operating loss in the quarter from the first quarter last year.

"As we look ahead, we continue to expect our strategies to result in improved gross margin and operating performance in 2012 as we prudently manage inventory and focus on turns. We expect this effort along with our cost reduction programs will improve our operating results, liquidity and financial position."