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Liz Claiborne Inc. announced net sales for the third quarter were $770 million, a decrease of $245 million, or 24.2%, from the comparable 2008 period. For the first nine months of 2009, the company recorded an operating loss of ($199) million compared to an operating loss of ($18) million in 2008.
"Our financial results in the third quarter reflect some early signs of turning around underperforming businesses," said William L. McComb, CEO, Liz Claiborne Inc. "Fourth quarter to date, we are posting significantly improved comparable store sales results compared to the year-to-date trend as we have seen solid execution overall on the merchandising initiatives we outlined [in August]. Although we expect the retail environment to demonstrate sustained volatility throughout the fourth quarter, we expect comparable store sales to be roughly flat overall. In our partnered brands segment, we expect that, after factoring in the impact of transition costs in the fourth quarter, our recently announced licensing agreements with JC Penney and QVC will result in a dramatic shift in profitability for the Liz Claiborne brand wholesale business from a meaningful loss in 2009 to a profit in 2010."