Ann Taylor?s Loft Retail Stores Out-Profit Namesake

Some major retailers and designer labels are united in the post-recession struggle to turn a profit on women’s fashion lines. But one shop is not on that list. WWD reports that the Ann Taylor’s Loft has just recorded 11 consecutive quarters of growth, an amazing feat in this economic environment.

And while the Ann Taylor stores aren’t hurting by any definition, WWD further reports that this is the first quarter in recent history that in-store sales are up. Moreover, Ann Taylor sales totaled $233.3 million last quarter, compared to an impressive $361.6 million at Loft.

Loft continues to thrive even though Ann Taylor has been established much longer and boasts an image of a high-quality and lifestyle brand, compared to its lower-cost counterpart. With the Loft having twice as many store locations, it seems the people have spoken and they love the Loft.

So what attributes to the growth? Accessibility or Versatility?

According to Loft's president Gary Muto, he believes the brand's strength is attributed to its accessibility. "We never do superserious clothing. There's definitely more of a casual handle here. We're not intimidating at all. It's welcoming. It's approachable fashion," he told WWD.

On the other hand, Ann Inc.'s CEO Kay Krill thinks Lofts success relies on versatility. "It's a brand that works everywhere, in urban areas, suburban areas, small markets, midmarkets, lifestyle centers," she said. "It's a brand that appeals to everybody. It's ageless.”

Regardless of your opinion, it is clear that the Loft has found its demographic and is proving incredible successful for the retailer.

Felena Black

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