Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

J. Crew’s Net Loss Narrows to $7.9 Million as Writedowns Abate

J. Crew Group Inc. posted a narrower third-quarter loss as the preppy-apparel chain moved past writedowns that dramatically reduced its value.

The net loss shrank to $7.9 million in the quarter ended Oct. 29, from $759.7 million a year earlier, the New York-based company said Tuesday in a filing. J. Crew booked $845.9 million in impairment losses in the year-earlier period.

J. Crew has been working to win back shoppers and shore up its balance sheet after a long slump in sales. Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler is trying to get merchandise in front of more customers and eliminating products that distract from the retailer’s strongest lines.

The company confirmed earlier this month it will no longer sell its bridal line in an effort to refocus on its core products. In August, the retailer announced it would sell an assortment of J. Crew clothing through the Nordstrom Inc. department stores.

Despite the efforts, total revenue slid 4.2 percent to $593.2 million last quarter. Same-store sales -- a closely watched measure -- slid almost 8 percent.

J. Crew’s slow comeback has been a challenge for its private equity backers. TPG, which led the chain’s buyout five years ago, reduced the value of its stake in J. Crew by 84 percent at the end of 2015. The firm told investors that its $478.6 million equity holding in J. Crew had fallen to $76 million.

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