• Q4 losses widened to $16.7m
  • Sales fell 2.3% to $99.6m
  • "Carefully managing inventory levels"

Women's wear retailer Christopher & Banks Corporation has posted losses in both its fourth quarter and full year after admitting its merchandise "did not resonate with customers."

Sales in the three months to 26 February fell 2.3% to $99.6m, while same store sales were down 1%. Losses in the quarter widened to $16.7m or $0.47 per share, from a loss of $6.4m or $0.18 per share, a year earlier.

Gross margin fell to 22.9% from 31.9%, the company said.

For the fiscal year, the retailer swung to a net loss of $22.2m or $0.63 per share, compared with a profit of $0.2m or $0.00 per share, the year before.

Total sales were down 1.6% in the year to $448.1m, with same store sales falling by 1%. The company operates 775 stores.

Describing 2011 as "a challenging year," president and CEO Larry Barenbaum said: "We are transforming our merchandising strategy to update the assortment to better align with our customers' tastes and we expect this strategy to be reflected in our fall collection, which is scheduled for in-store delivery in August.

"In the meantime, we are carefully managing our inventory levels to ensure that we maintain a fresh in-store merchandise assortment."