Teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, struggling to keep up with the fast-changing tastes of young shoppers, reported a quarterly loss as comparable-store sales declined for the seventh straight quarter.

A&F had reported a profit the same time last year.

It also warned of a "significant" erosion in gross margins and a low double-digit percentage fall in comparable sales as it enters the Christmas shopping quarter with excess inventory.

Inventory management, or balancing orders with demand, has been a major concern for the company, forcing it to offer discounts that have eaten into earnings.

Retailers ranging from department store operator Macy's to retailers such as Urban Outfitters are offering huge discounts to help shift stock during what is expected to be the toughest holiday shopping season since 2008.

But teen clothing sellers such as A&F are discounting the most, due in part to high unemployment rates among the young but also because teens are spending more on high-cost items such as mobile phones, gaming consoles and tablets.

A&F reported a net loss of $15.6m, or 20 cents per share, for the third quarter ended November 2 compared with net income of $84m, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier. (Full Story)

Excluding items the company earned 52 cents per share, including a tax benefit of 6 cents per share.

Net sales fell 12% to $1.03 billion while total comparable sales, including online sales, fell 14%.

Comparable sales fell 13% at Abercrombie & Fitch outlets, 4% at Ambercrombie Kids and 16% at the company's Hollister chain of teen clothing stores.