• Q2 losses narrowed to $2.7m from $4.3m
  • Sales edged down 2% to $223.1m versus $227.7m 
  • Comparable store sales climbed 2.1%
  • Gross margin grew to 26.9% from 25.3%

Specialty apparel chain New York & Co has seen its second quarter losses narrow, after stronger comparable store sales and improved margins offset a decline in total sales.

The company, which operates 512 stores, said net losses reached US$2.7m for the three months to 3 August, compared to losses of $4.3m in the same period last year.

Sales edged down 2% to $223.1m from $227.7m in the prior year, while comparable store sales climbed 2.1%.

Gross margin grew by 160 basis points to 26.9% from 25.3% last year, driven by improved product costs and sourcing efficiencies, as well as lower markdowns, partially offset by a slight rise in buying and occupancy costs.

CEO Gregory Scott said: "We are pleased to deliver positive comparable store sales and improved operating results in the second quarter, which were well within our expectations.

"Our results marked the third consecutive year in which we delivered an improved second quarter performance, which we attribute to our focus on our six key strategies for success."

New York & Co expects total sales for the third quarter to increase by a low single-digit percentage, and comparable store sales to rise by a low to mid-single-digit percentage. Gross margin, meanwhile, is forecast to grow 100-200 basis points.