Is Ann Taylor on a Rebound?

Ann Taylor could use some bright news, and some is apparently coming its way. The apparel retailer said that fourth quarter results are coming in ahead of of its expectations.

Flat same-store sales are projected, including a 2% rise at its Loft concept. Meanwhile, the gross margin rate is seen at 52%, way higher than the 35.7% recorded during the prior year’s fourth quarter.

And these numbers certainly outshine Ann Taylor’s third quarter, when total same-store sales plunged 13.7%, including a 25.8% freefall at its namesake locations.

Management attributes the boost to improved product assortment. Can the chain sustain a favorable performance, or is it part of a fourth-quarter rebound that is expected for many retailers?

ALSO: P.C. Richard Joins hhgregg in Consumer Electronics Expansion


4 Responses to “Is Ann Taylor on a Rebound?”

  1. 1 Gigi February 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Their clothing hasn’t gotten any better. Boo!!!

  2. 2 dac February 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

    This is a great example of a dead cat bounce. Positive comps will be more easy to attain when up against such horrible sales in the previous year.

    Yet the fact remains that AT has lost 2 generations of customers: the moms who used to wear it religously but now feel alienated by an increasingly youthful design; and the daughters who only need that one AT suit for interviews and funerals. Otherwise, she is more inclined to choose something more “on trend” and contemporary.

    AT’s only hope is to drastically cut its store count to the top 100 A+ malls and simply let LOFT and Outlet drive growth.

  3. 3 aeo February 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I disagree with dac about AT’s customer base. As the ‘mom who used to wear it religously…’, I can speak for many of us who don’t feel alienated by youthful design. We can still be trendy, somewhat youthful, and classic in their designs. I think you underestimate the power of the generation’s moms/consumers.

  1. 1 Is Ann Taylor Rebounding? « Trackback on February 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

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