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ANN INC. Furthers Strategic International Expansion With Entry Into Mexico

NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN) today announced the opening of its first LOFT store in Mexico, continuing the Company's international expansion.  The store is located in the Antea Lifestyle Center in Queretaro, with additional locations planned for later this year in Mexico City's Parque Toreo Mall and Puebla's Angelopolis Mall.  ANN INC. is working with its franchise partner Grupo Axo to establish its retail presence in Mexico.

Kay Krill, ANN INC.'s President and CEO, noted, "Entering Mexico is a natural next step in our international expansion strategy that takes advantage of our brands' strong recognition and client loyalty throughout North America.  This developing strategy is integral to our efforts to continue to grow our client base and further broaden our geographic reach, following our successful entry into Canada in Fall 2012.  Overall, we are delighted that women in Mexico now have greater access to LOFT's modern, versatile style, and we look forward to expanding our presence in this market in the future."

The LOFT stores in Mexico will include women's apparel and accessories, in addition to an extensive petite collection. The new stores will deliver a personalized shopping experience in a warm and welcoming environment designed to encourage interaction among shoppers and LOFT Associates.  The signature LOFT "style closet", which leads into the fitting rooms, will contain the must-have pieces for the season and allow for clients to collaborate with Associates in a fun and social setting.

ABOUT LOFT
At LOFT, we connect with women on a genuine level—we're equal parts trusted stylist, confidante and friend who tells it like it is. We give women fashion advice, outfit ideas for all occasions and inspiration to make their style aspirations attainable. We believe in offering versatile, relatable, and affordable styles, all with a modern feminine appeal, thoughtful details, and flattering fits.  As of August 2, 2014, LOFT operated 544 stores across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as online at LOFT.com. LOFT is a division of ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN).

ABOUT GRUPO AXO:
Grupo Axo was founded in 1994 to represent and distribute internationally renowned brands in the Mexican market. It is a strategic and commercial business partner for the operation of these brands through a retail and wholesale distribution strategy. As of 2014, Grupo Axo operates +2,000 points of sale within the Country's major department stores and +180 free-standing stores. 

Grupo Axo represents Alejandra Quesada, Brooks Brothers, Brunello Cucinelli, Chaps, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Emporio Armani, Etro, Express, Guess, Kate Spade NY, LOFT, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rapsodia, Theory, Thomas Pink, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria´s Secret Beauty & Accessories.

ABOUT ANN INC.
ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women's specialty retail fashion brands in North America.  As of August 2, 2014, the Company operated 1,040 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.  Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available online in more than 100 countries worldwide at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com.  Visit ANNINC.com for more information (NYSE: ANN).

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The forward-looking statements may use the words "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "intend," "project," "may," "believe" and similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements also include representations of the expectations or beliefs of the Company concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties, including:

  • the Company's ability to anticipate and respond to changing client preferences and fashion trends and provide a balanced assortment of merchandise that satisfies client demands in a timely manner;
  • the effectiveness of the Company's brand awareness and marketing programs, its ability to maintain brand image, engage new and existing clients, drive traffic to its stores and websites and gain market share;
  • the effect of competitive pressures from other retailers;
  • the Company's reliance on key management and its ability to hire, retain and develop qualified associates as well as ensure that the Company has the appropriate organizational structure and processes in place to achieve its strategic initiatives;
  • the performance and operation of the Company's websites and the risks associated with Internet sales;
  • the impact of a privacy breach and the resulting effect on the Company's business and reputation;
  • the Company's reliance on third-party manufacturers and key vendors, including operational risks such as reduced production capacity, errors in complying with merchandise specifications, insufficient quality control and failure to meet production deadlines;
  • the impact of fluctuations in sourcing costs, in particular, increases in the costs of raw materials, labor and transportation;
  • the Company's reliance on foreign sources of production and the associated risks of doing business in foreign markets;
  • the Company's dependence on its Louisville distribution center and third-party distribution and transportation providers;
  • the Company's ability to successfully upgrade and maintain its information systems in a timely and secure manner to support the needs of the organization and to operate in accordance with its business continuity plan in the event of a disruption;
  • the Company's ability to successfully optimize implementation of its omni-channel retail strategy and maintain a relevant and reliable omni-channel experience for its clients;
  • the Company's ability to manage inventory levels and changes in merchandise mix as well as optimize the operational aspects of its omni-channel fulfillment strategy;
  • the Company's ability to successfully execute brand goals, objectives and new concepts and strategies, including international expansion;
  • the Company's ability to secure and protect trademarks and other intellectual property rights;
  • a significant change in the regulatory environment applicable to the Company's business and the Company's ability to comply with legal and regulatory requirements;
  • the effect of general economic conditions on consumer spending and the Company's liquidity and capital resources;
  • the impact of fluctuations in sales and profitability on the Company's stock price;
  • the failure by independent manufacturers to comply with the Company's social compliance program requirements or applicable laws and regulations;
  • the potential impact of natural disasters, extreme weather, public health concerns, acts of war or terrorism in the United States or worldwide;
  • the Company's ability to successfully manage store growth and optimize the productivity and profitability of its store portfolio;
  • the Company's dependence on shopping malls and other retail centers to attract clients and the impact of potential consolidation of commercial and retail landlords on the Company's ability to negotiate favorable rental terms; and
  • the effect of tax matters on its business operations.

Further description of these risks and uncertainties and other important factors are set forth in the Company's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to Item 1A – Risk Factors and Item 7 – Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations therein, and in the Company's other filings with the SEC.  Although these forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectations concerning future events, actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results.  The Company does not assume any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements at any time for any reason. 

 

SOURCE ANN INC.

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