The Philadelphia-based apparel retailer said same-store sales fell 10% from a year ago for the quarter ended Oct. 31.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for third-quarter sales of $328 million.
``Our Urban European stores continued to significantly exceed their sales plan while both Free People Wholesale and our direct-to-consumer business saw very positive sales increases, as well,'' said Chairman Richard A. Hayne. ``We see a steady increase in the number of our customers who are embracing the new fashion silhouette and believe this trend augurs well for our future sales. Even though total 'comp' store sales improved throughout the quarter, they continue to trail last year's level so our objective is to manage inventory levels tightly and control operating expenses to maintain healthy operating margins.''