Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation, which operates nearly 300 retail outlets across 42 states, today reported a net loss in sales for the first quarter of more than $20.5m.

For the three months ended September 1, the net loss was $20.57m, compared with a net loss in the comparative three month period last year of $13.53m.

Sales for the first quarter this year were $451.5m, compared to sales of $415.6m in the corresponding period last year. Comparative store sales for the quarter increased 3 per cent while total sales for the comparative quarter increased 8.6 per cent.

Historically, the company's stores have lost money during the first fiscal quarter, with the increased loss this year being blamed on the cost of setting up and running nearly 40 new stores and an extra distribution facility in Pennsylvania.

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