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NY & Co sees remarkable growth in pant segment
21
May '10
New York & Company, Inc., a specialty apparel chain with 579 retail stores, announced results for the first quarter ended May 1, 2010. For the first quarter of fiscal year 2010, net sales were $237.0 million, as compared to $232.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009. Comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 increased 2.9%, compared to a decrease of 15.0% in the prior year first quarter. Net loss from continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 remained flat compared to last year at $4.9 million, or $0.08 per diluted share.

Richard P. Crystal, New York & Company's Chairman and CEO, stated: "Our first quarter results included positive comparable store sales and bottom line results which were consistent with our expectations. During the quarter our efforts focused on driving sales with great 'NY Style' and value while continuing to improve our inventory position to maximize sales opportunities in key areas of our business. Nevertheless, the retail environment remains highly promotional which put pressure on our merchandise margin versus the strong levels we achieved last year."

During the quarter, the Company accomplished the following:

• Comparable store sales for the Company's e-commerce store increased by more than 33% during the quarter, reflecting the success of the Company's marketing programs.
• The Company successfully launched its new outlet store strategy opening five new stores.
• New York & Company's important pant category achieved double-digit comparable store sales growth.
• New York & Company's core accessories business continued to improve during the quarter and delivered positive comparable store sales.
• Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales declined by 60 basis points versus the prior year primarily as a result of the increase in comparable store sales.
• To maximize sales opportunities, the Company's inventory per average store increased throughout the quarter with quarter-end inventory up approximately 10% compared to the prior year quarter-end.
• The Company opened six new stores, including five new outlet stores, and closed three stores, ending with 579 stores and 3.2 million selling square feet in operation.
• The Company ended the quarter with $23.2 million of cash-on-hand and no outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility.

"While our customers are shopping, they remain selective in their purchases and are responding to compelling promotions," Mr. Crystal continued. "As a result, in order to drive top-line sales in the second quarter we expect higher levels of promotional activity to increase traffic and conversion. We are also planning additional markdowns in the event we need to aggressively clear some underperforming merchandise to position ourselves for the Fall season. Therefore, while we expect to generate positive comparable store sales in the second quarter, we are expecting merchandise margins to deteriorate year-over-year."

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