Coldwater Creek has said it was "disappointed" by its second-quarter results as the US women's apparel chain swung to a second-quarter loss.

The company said yesterday (31 August) that for the quarter ended 30 July, it reported a $27.7m net loss against a $1.5m profit in the same period of the previous year. The company said the loss included a non-cash asset impairment charge of $2.4m, related primarily to 18 under performing stores.

Sales fell to $181.4m against $253.5m in the same period of the previous year. Net sales from its premium retail stores fell to $142.2m against $195.4m, reflecting a 30.6% comparable-store sales decline.

Direct sales were down 32.6% to $39.2m. The company said that gross profit fell to $45.3m against $84.7m. Gross profit margin fell to 25% from 33.4% in the previous year, which the company attributed to the deleveraging of fixed retail occupancy costs given the lower sales, and lower merchandise margins due to higher promotional activity.

"While we are disappointed with our second quarter financial results, we had expected the period to be challenging as our summer assortment did not fully reflect our new merchandise direction," said chairman and CEO Dennis Pence. "As we look to the back half of 2011, we will begin to see the collective efforts of our new design and merchandising teams reflected in our fall and holiday offerings, which will be supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign focused on driving traffic and conversion. We believe these actions, combined with our plan to close 35-45 under performing stores, will allow us to more rapidly return our business to profitability."