January 10, 2002, 12:00 AM

Ann Taylor takes a $7 million write-off on its one year-old web site

Ann Taylor`s online store stays, but the company is writing down the value of systems and equipment, citing sales that have fallen short of expectations.

Ann Taylor Stores Corp. said it will take a $7 million write-off on its online store, Anntaylor.com, due to lower than projected sales volume at the web site, which launched in November 2000. "When we launched, we expected a higher amount of revenue from the business, and that has not happened," says Doreen Riely, director of investor relations. "So based on our current cash flow projections, we are writing down the depreciation of the systems and equipment."

Riely added that the company will continue to operate the web store and plans no imminent changes in its web strategy. "We are pleased with the way the site looks. We’re just bringing the value of the asset into line," she adds. For the five weeks ended January 5, Ann Taylor reported that sales rose 7.7% to $167 million from $155 million a year ago, while year to date sales have increased 5.6% to $1.2 billion from $1.150 billion in the same period last year. The company does not break out the dollar volume of its web sales.

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