Shifts in the timing of holiday shipments to retailers, combined with the sluggish retail environment, weighed on US footwear and accessories manufacturer RG Barry's profit during the third quarter.

"We are obviously disappointed in our first quarter results, but ours has never been a quarter-to-quarter business," said president and CEO Greg Tunney.

Net earnings declined 22.4% to US$4.8m during the 13 weeks to 28 September, compared to $6.1m in the same period last year for the company, which is evaluating a buyout offer from private investment firm Mill Road Capital Management.

It attributed the decline to changes in the timing of some seasonal footwear shipments to retailers, the decision to exit a negative-margin private label department store footwear programme, and sluggish retail sales.

Sales slumped 11.3% to $41.9m from $41.9m in the prior year, due to lower footwear sales, which declined 14.2%.

Gross margin, meanwhile, improved 220 basis points to reach 46.5% from 44.3% in the prior year period, because of the shift to a more profitable mix of products and channels.

"We remain fully committed to our growth plan and strategy of investment in both existing and new businesses," Tunney noted.

While senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer Jose Ibarra added: "We recognise that based upon our business outlook and economic headwinds, this is not going to be an easy year for many suppliers to retail.

"Given the current environment, we expect consolidated revenue for the year to be down slightly compared with fiscal 2013."