SECAUCUS, N.J., Aug. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLCE), the largest pure-play children's specialty apparel retailer in North America, today announced second quarter net sales increased 5% to $360.8 million for the thirteen weeks ended July 28, 2012, compared to $343.5 million in the second quarter of 2011. Comparable retail sales grew 3.4% in the quarter, driven by increases in both US and Canadian Place stores and strong e-commerce sales, combined with an improved sales trend in Outlet stores. As expected, gross margin declined in the second quarter of 2012 to 31.7% from 33.6% in the prior year, as higher costs for spring and summer merchandise impacted the Company's profitability during the first half of 2012. The Company anticipates gross margin to strengthen in the third quarter and to expand for fiscal 2012 as a result of more favorable product costs for the back-to-school and holiday product lines. GAAP net loss was $18.0 million, or $0.74 per share, in the second quarter of 2012. As adjusted, net loss was $15.1 million, or $0.62 per share, which beat the upper-end of the Company's guidance range for the quarter. The aggregate impact of non-GAAP adjustments of $4.8 million included $3.1 million to exit a West Coast distribution center, and $1.1 million for a legal settlement. In the second quarter of 2011, the Company had a net a loss of $9.8 million, or $0.38 per share. Adjusted net loss is a non-GAAP measure. The Company believes the excluded transactions are not indicative of the performance of its core business and that by providing this supplemental disclosure to investors it will facilitate comparisons of its past and present performance. A reconciliation of net income as reported is included in this press release in Table 3.