• Swings to Q2 loss of $69,000
  • Comparable store sales down 12.4%
  • Updates FY outlook

Value-priced fashion retailer Citi Trends Inc has swung to a second quarter loss, blaming higher merchandise markdowns and tough comparisons with last year when shopper spending was lifted by government stimulus cheques.

For the three months to 1 August, the firm posted a net loss of $69,000 or $0.00 per share, compared with a profit of $2.8m or $0.20 per share in the same period a year ago.

Total sales fell 3.5% to $111.6m from $115.7m, with same-store sales tumbling 12.4%.

Citi Trends, which operates 377 stores, said gross margin shrunk 60 basis points, and that selling, general and administrative expenses rose 5.7%.

Looking ahead, the company expects full-year earnings in a range of $1.28 to $1.33 per share, and that same-store sales will rise 1%.