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Maurices earnings up

Maurices pumped the brakes on two years of revenue declines and saw its sales increase to $246.8 million in the fiscal quarter that ended Aug. 4. The Duluth-based retailer celebrated the 1 percent sales increase announced Monday.

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The Maurices headquarters building in downtown Duluth. Maurices' parent company, Ascena Retail Group, reported a $1 billion quarterly loss. (Andrew Krueger / akrueger@duluthnews.com)

Maurices pumped the brakes on two years of revenue declines and saw its sales increase to $246.8 million in the fiscal quarter that ended Aug. 4. The Duluth-based retailer celebrated the 1 percent sales increase announced Monday.

"We were excited to post our first (comparable) increase since the first quarter of fiscal 2016,” Maurices CEO George Goldfarb said in a statement to the News Tribune. “We continue to work on strengthening our position as the best hometown specialty retailer by leveraging our unique store footprint, including localized digital marketing strategies and product assortments and enhanced loyalty program.”

Goldfarb also noted the closure of Younkers and Herberger’s stores across the country could provide an opportunity for Maurices: “The recent completion of the BonTon liquidations offers the potential to increase our market share and attract new customers."

More than a dozen Maurices locations closed in the last quarter as well, bringing the total footprint to 972 stores - down from 1,005 a year ago - as parent company Ascena Retail Group continues its push toward profitability.

Ascena made $33.2 million profit in the last quarter but ended the fiscal quarter with a $39.7 million loss - a dramatic improvement over fiscal 2017.

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