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Ann Taylor CFO James M. Smith Resigns

Women's clothing retailer AnnTaylor Stores said Friday James M. Smith resigned as chief financial officer. AnnTaylor said Smith, 45, will stay in his current position until the end of September or until his successor is named. The company is looking for someone to fill the post, it said.

Smith is leaving the company "to pursue other interests," the retailer said.

The news came a day after the apparel chain, dragged down by its lower-priced LOFT division, posted a 5% drop in same-store sales, extending a sluggish trend in sales over the past year.

Same-store sales are sales at stores opened at least a year and are considered a key barometer of a retailer's health. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a 3.4% decline. So far this fiscal year, AnnTaylor's same-store sales have averaged a 4.6% decrease, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-UBS tally.

Last year, the chain averaged a 2.9% gain in same-store sales.

The stock5 fell $1.02, or 3.5 percent, to $28.44 Friday.