announced

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Additionally, the company is pushing its store-closure count tobetween 150 and 170 stores this year, executives said during theirfourth-quarter conference call. The stores, most of which are setto close during the second half of the year, account for an annualloss of around $5 million.

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Fourth-quarter same-store sales were down 9% year over year atthe company's combined chains. Lane Bryant's 896 units fell 9%, the989-store Fashion Bug chain dropped 8% and 468 Catherine's Storesdipped 11%.

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Meanwhile, net sales fell 12%, to $634.6 million, and CharmingShoppes net loss for the quarter totaled $23 million. For itsfiscal year net sales fell 2%, to just over $3 billion, and thecompany reported a net loss of $87.7 million.

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For the current first quarter, management predicts a highsingle-digit drop in same-store sales and a net loss of 6 cents to8 cents per share.

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The company plans to have a more focused promotional strategythan it did late last year, said Dorrit Bern, the company'spresident and chief executive officer, during a conference call."We want to get her in the store, but we don't want to give awayproduct like we did in the fourth quarter," she said.

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