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J. Crew Group cuts outlook on weak sales

Jan '09
J. Crew Group Inc announced that it is revising its fourth quarter and fiscal 2008 guidance, primarily to reflect lower than anticipated sales and gross margin trends. The Company expects to report results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2008 during the second week of March 2009.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, the Company currently expects earnings (loss) per share in the range of ($0.24) to ($0.29), as compared to its previous range for earnings per diluted share of $0.05 to $0.10. This compares to actual fourth quarter fiscal 2007 earnings per diluted share of $0.39. The Company's fourth quarter outlook currently reflects comparable store sales in the negative mid teen range and Direct sales in the negative mid-to-high single digit range.

For fiscal 2008, the Company currently expects diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.77 to $0.82, as compared to its previous range of $1.11 to $1.16 and fiscal 2007 diluted earnings per share of $1.52.

This revised guidance reflects the aggressive inventory actions taken to clear fall and holiday inventory during the fourth quarter. In addition, the Company expects to end the year with cash and cash equivalents of approximately $135 million versus $132 million last year, $100 million of long term debt versus $125 million last year and no borrowings under its $200 million working capital facility.

Separately, the Company announced that it will be presenting at the 11th Annual ICR XChange Conference, held at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa, in Dana Point, California on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 7:45 am PT. Millard S. Drexler, Chairman and CEO and James S. Scully, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, will host the presentation.

J. Crew Group, Inc. is a nationally recognized multi-channel retailer of women's and men's apparel, shoes and accessories. As of January 8, 2009, the Company operates 227 retail stores (including 5 crewcuts and 10 Madewell stores), the J. Crew catalog business, jcrew.com, and 74 factory outlet stores.

J. Crew Group Inc

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