Bakers Narrows Q3 Loss

NEW YORK — Bakers Footwear Group trimmed its loss for the third quarter, thanks in part to an increase in comparable-store sales.

For the 13 weeks ended Nov. 1, St. Louis-based Bakers reported a net loss of $8.3 million, or $1.18 a diluted share, an improvement from a loss of $15.3 million, or $2.35, during the same period last year.

Net sales for the period were up slightly to $41.1 million compared with $40.3 million last year, and comp-store sales increased almost 5 percent, versus a decrease of nearly 17 percent a year ago. The company cited a strong start to the holiday season.

“As we look ahead, we remain optimistic about our ability to maintain our positive momentum,” Peter Edison, chairman and CEO, said in a statement Tuesday. “We are experiencing favorable customer response to our holiday assortments, with November comparable-store sales up 3.6 percent, including a 13.4 percent increase for the Thanksgiving weekend of Black Friday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 29, compared with the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving last year.”

According to Edison, the trend-right styles and proper management of inventory helped reduce the operating loss this quarter.

“Despite the challenging consumer environment, our sales strengthened throughout the quarter, with healthy regular price selling, led by our dress shoes, boots and branded athletic categories,” he said in the statement.

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