Whitehall sales slide 4.6%

Whitehall Jewellers Inc., Chicago, reported Thursday sales fell 4.6% and that store closings and deferred financing charges further damaged the retailer’s bottom line, Reuters reports.

In a press release Thursday, the company reported a net loss of $2.9 million. In last year’s second quarter, the company earned $114,000.

Whitehall said it expects sales to pick up in the second half of the year, noting that its preliminary August results are showing comparable-store sales growth.

The company says it plans to close “several” of its 384 stores after Christmas.

The Company operates stores in regional and super regional shopping malls under the Whitehall Jewellers, Lundstrom Jewelers and Marks Bros. Jewelers brands.