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Stage Stores reports all round growth in June 2006

Jul '06
Cosmetics and footwear maker Stage Stores Inc reported that total sales for the five-week period ended July 1, 2006 increased 16.0 percent to $133.4 million from $115.0 million in the prior year five-week period ended July 2, 2005.

Comparable store sales increased 3.5 percent on top of an 11.0 percent increase last year. The Company noted that its comparable store sales do not include the sales generated by the acquired B.C. Moore stores.

Jim Scarborough, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to have achieved a 3.5 percent comparable store sales increase in June versus an extremely tough 11.0 percent same store sales increase comparison from June 2005. Our solid sales performance was broad based, with most of our major merchandise categories achieving comparable store sales increases during the month.

Our cosmetics and women's special sizes were our top performing categories, generating comparable sales increases of 9.1 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively. Other top performing categories included children's, which was up 7.8 percent, home decor, which advanced 5.2 percent, and junior sportswear, which rose 4.8 percent."

As planned, during June, the Company closed its Peebles store in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and on July 4th, the Company closed its Peebles store in Cullman, Alabama.

For the entire 2006 fiscal year, the Company continues to anticipate opening a total of 108 new stores, or a net of 106 stores after closures, which includes the conversion of 69 of the acquired B.C. Moore stores to Peebles stores. With regard to its conversion activities, the Company reported that it is on track to open the first two groups of converted Peebles stores, or 23 total stores, during the first week of August.

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