Casual apparel and footwear retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc has swung to a third quarter loss amid a brake consumer spending, and says it expects to report a loss for the fourth quarter as well.

Losses from continuing operations for the three months to 1 November were $3.5m, or $0.05 per share, including a $4.2m goodwill impairment charge, compared to a profit of $17.1m, or $0.25 per share, a year earlier.

The company, which operates 815 PacSun stores and 125 PacSun Outlet stores, said total sales for the quarter fell 5% to $323.6m from $341.9m last time, and same-store sales dropped 7%.

"It's been well reported that consumer spending decelerated significantly in the September/October period, and we certainly saw this in our own results for the quarter," said Sally Frame Kasaks, chief executive officer.

"To strengthen our financial position in this economic downturn, we are focused on reducing our inventory, capital expenditures, and other expenses."

For its fourth quarter the Anaheim, California-based company says it expects to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.03 to $0.08 per share, amid extra promotional activity and a same-store sales decrease in the negative high-single digit range.