Women's apparel retailer The J Jill Group has reported a weaker second quarter than last year, affected by the business's ongoing merchandising transition.

Net sales for the quarter fell 2.6 per cent to USD117.4 million from USD120.6m in the same period last year, while net income totalled USD3.9 million compared to USD6.5m a year ago.

Same-store sales for the quarter were static from last year's.
President and chief executive officer, Gordon Cooke, said that although the quarter was "disappointing" compared to last year's, it had been a lot stronger than originally expected.

"This was attributable to slightly improved top-line results, particularly in our retail segment, combined with higher-than-anticipated gross margins and lower selling, general and administrative expenses", he commented.

Cooke added: "While we are pleased with the initial response in retail to our newly introduced silhouettes, fits and color palette, we are still in the early stages of enhancing the boldness and depth of our embellished novelty and signature product".

The J Jill Group is a multi-channel specialty retailer of women's apparel, including accessories and footwear.