Clothing and hat retailer Genesco Inc today slashed its first quarter earnings outlook and said it plans to shutter up to 57 underperforming stores.

Most of the closures will be in its Underground Station Group, but up to 8 urban stores in the Hat World Group may also go.

For the first quarter ended 5 May, charges relating to the closures will come to $6.2-7m, or $0.14 to $0.16 per diluted share, the company said in a statement.

It also expects to incur pre-tax charges of $14m to $15m for additional asset write-downs, lease terminations, and other costs related to the planned store closures over the next 18 months.

The stores targeted for closure in the plan had an aggregate pre-tax operating loss of $4.9m and sales of approximately $22m for the year to 5 May.

With charges related to the store closures - and an unsuccessful takeover bid from Foot Locker - the company now expects to earn between $0.09 to $0.12 a share for the period ended 5 May , down from a previous view of $0.28.

"We remain confident that Underground Station is a viable concept filling an underserved niche in the market," said Genesco chairman and chief executive officer Hal N Pennington.

"We believe that closing these stores will allow us to focus on strengthening the remaining stores and improve the prospects for a quicker turnaround in the Underground Station business."

The company said that it expects to report same store sales growth of approximately 3% for the Journeys Group and 4% for Johnston & Murphy retail, and same store decreases of approximately 4% for the Hat World Group and 22% for the Underground Station Group for the quarter.