Women's fashion retailer New York & Company Inc is to close its JasmineSola chain and focus instead on higher return opportunities within its New York & Company brand.

The 23 JasmineSola stores, which sold clothing and accessories for young women, will be closed by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 and incur charges of $28.0m to $30.0m over the third and fourth quarters.

Richard P Crystal, New York & Company's chairman and CEO, said in a statement today (18 October): "We believe that we can generate greater shareholder value by directing our resources and capital towards growth initiatives within our core New York & Company brand and therefore have made the difficult decision to exit the JasmineSola business."

The company said it is exploring opportunities to convert existing JasmineSola locations to its New York & Company concept and to redeploy JasmineSola associates to positions in New York & Company.

New York & Company operates 561 namesake stores, and in the six months to 4 August posted a 66% drop in profit to $4.3m, or $0.07 per diluted share, including of a loss of $0.10 per share in the JasmineSola brand.