Apparel retailer J Crew Group Inc today said comparable store sales declined 15.5 per cent in the fiscal year ended 2 February 2002, while net sales in J Crew's Direct business dropped 8.8 per cent.

Revenues for the year were $778.0 million versus $826.0 million in the same period ended 2 February 2001. The net loss for fiscal year 2001 was $11.0 million compared to net income of $11.9 million last year.

"The challenging economy, weak retail market, and merchandising mistakes on our part led to disappointing results in 2001," said Mark Sarvary, chief executive officer, in a statement. "Despite the difficulties, we made important progress operationally, improving our supply chain and enhancing our infrastructure through key systems upgrades."

Revenues for the fourth quarter were $246.7 million compared to $286.7 million last year. Comparable store sales decreased 18.7 per cent, while net sales in J Crew's Direct business decreased by 12.6 per cent.