Women, men and children's apparel & accessories provider he Bon-Ton Stores Inc announced total and comparable store sales for the five weeks ended October 1, 2005 decreased 7.8 percent to $105.8 million compared to $114.8 million for the same period last year.
Year-to-date total sales decreased 3.0 percent to $727.8 million compared to $750.2 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales decreased 2.7 percent.
James H. Baireuther, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer said that consumer spending was impacted by several issues during September: increased gas prices, hurricanes Katrina and Rita and predictions of higher heating costs. Unseasonably warm weather also deterred shopping for fall merchandise.
The last two weeks of the month brought increased traffic and sales, reflecting positive consumer reaction to our fall assortments and more seasonal weather. That increase, however, could not overcome the sales shortfall realized earlier in the month.
Product categories which performed well during September were women's special size apparel, handbags, shoes, juniors, furniture and men's sportswear. They effectively reduced their spring/summer inventory levels and will continue to manage inventory and flow of receipts. They are well positioned for the upcoming holiday season.
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc operates stores which offer apparel, cosmetics, home furnishings, bedding and furniture, fine jewelry and leased maternity departments. The company is operating 139 department stores and two furniture stores in 16 states from the Northeast to the Midwest under the Bon-Ton and Elder-Beerman names.