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Jones Apparel 4Q Loss Narrows

New York City Jones Apparel Group Inc. on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter net loss narrowed although sales fell as Jones Apparel exited several apparel lines and posted weak holiday sales.

Quarterly loss totaled $89.8 million from $269.5 million last year. Fourth-quarter results include the gain on the sale of its high-end department-store chain, Barneys New York, and costs associated with a restructuring plan.

Revenue fell 17% to $838.5 million from $1.01 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $874.8 million. Same-store sales fell 4.8% during the quarter.

"The fourth quarter proved to be particularly challenging across our operating segments, largely due to the disappointing holiday retail season and the overall macroeconomic environment," said Wesley R. Card, Jones Apparel Group president and chief executive. "Our wholesale businesses were negatively impacted by higher-than-planned markdowns to support our retail partners, and our retail operations continued to trend negatively during the quarter consistent with the overall climate."

Separately, Jones Apparel said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will begin carrying its l.e.i. juniors, juniors plus and girls line in the summer.

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