Women's wear retailer Christopher & Banks Corporation is to shutter around 100 underperforming stores and axe jobs as part of moves to help it return to profit.

Most of the closures are due to take place by the end of January, the company said on Friday (11 November). The cost of the move is likely to range from $12m to $16m over the next three fiscal quarters, with an additional $2m impairment charge to restructure occupancy costs at the remaining stores - totalling $0.39 to $0.49 per share.

The company also hopes to save around $2.2m a year by eliminating jobs across its business. This will include a cut of 7% of workers at its corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, excluding the distribution centre. And 13% of the store operations field management team is to go.

The retailer also intends to speed its plans to convert some stores to a dual format that will sell missy, petite and plus sizes under the Christopher & Banks and CJ Banks lines.

"We anticipate that these initiatives will help us to both improve overall store productivity and support our return to profitability," said president and CEO Larry Barenbaum.

"As we prepare for the next fiscal year, we continue to evaluate our cost structure and capital expenditure requirements and we will remain focused on carefully managing expenses and inventories, as well as preserving our cash."

The retailer, which currently operates 761 stores, has seen its sales fall - and profits widen - as shoppers rejected its price rises and "over-engineered" fashions. Last month it said fourth quarter losses widened to $13.0m from $2.5m as total net sales fell 5% to $96.2m. Same store sales slipped 8%.