Brendan Hoffman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are disappointed with the deceleration in sales during December, particularly given the strong start to the holiday season beginning with Black Friday and extending through the early part of the month.
"Adverse weather and treacherous travel conditions in the majority of our markets resulted in a sharp reduction in traffic and hampered promotional events on key weekend selling dates leading up to and continuing after Christmas."
Mr. Hoffman continued, "Despite the sales shortfall, due to our continued strategic inventory reductions, we ended the month with inventory levels well below that of the prior year, which positions us well as we transition into the spring season. We believe that we are heading in the right direction with our merchandise assortment and will continue to focus on executing our long-term initiatives while managing through a difficult retail environment."
Keith Plowman, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, commented, "Reflecting the disruption caused by the inclement weather during December, we are revising our outlook for our full-year fiscal 2013 comparable store sales to decrease approximately 3.50%. In light of this decrease, we are adjusting our fiscal 2013 guidance for Adjusted EBITDA to a range of $160 million to $170 million and for (loss) earnings per diluted share to a range of $(0.30) to $0.15."
The Company will provide additional details in early March when it reports its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 periods ending February 1, 2014.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 273 department stores, which includes 10 furniture galleries, in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.
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