• Q3 net loss narrows to US$3.4m
  • Net sales drop to $217.6m
  • Highest gross margin performance since 2007

Specialty apparel chain New York & Co has narrowed its net loss and recorded an increase in comparable store sales in the third quarter.

In the three months ended 2 November, the women's apparel retailer booked a net loss of US$3.4m compared to a loss of $3.8m in the prior year period.

An improvement in gross profit as a percentage of net sales resulted in the company's highest gross margin performance in the third quarter since fiscal year 2007.

The firm has been working on a ‘Six Keys to Success' strategy aimed at improving its performance through cutting costs and initiatives including improving its merchandise assortments, inventory controls and promotions.

Net sales in the period dropped to $217.6m from $219.3m in the third quarter last year, however, comparable store sales increased 3%, with positive comparable sales recorded in each business channel - New York & Company stores, eCommerce, and outlet stores.

Chief executive Greg Scott said that while the company was pleased with its new product and marketing initiatives - including the launch of its line with Eva Mendes - traffic patterns were "softer-than-planned" in the quarter.

Nonetheless, he added: "While it is still early in the quarter, we believe we have the right initiatives in place to capitalize on the balance of the holiday season and to continue our progress in the final quarter of the year."