Women's apparel retailer saw its fist quarter net income slide 13 per cent year-on-year as soft sales of dresses and structured suits were compounded by a weak start to its mid-season sale. The Massachusetts-based retailer posted net earnings of $35 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with $40.1m, or 62 cents a share, in the year-ago period, it said in a statement.