The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. sales for the month ended April 29, 2006 increased 182% to $245.6 million compared to $87.2 million for the same period last year. April sales include $161.5 million from the acquired Northern Department Store Group effective on March 5, 2006. Bon-Ton comparable store sales decreased 1.9%.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2006, total sales increased 114% to $561.6 million compared to $262.5 million for the same period last year. The first quarter of fiscal 2006 sales include $311.1 million from Carson's stores for the period March 5, 2006 through April 29, 2006. Year-to-date Bon-Ton comparable store sales decreased 2.9%.
Carson's sales are not included in the Company's reported comparable store sales, therefore the following comparable store sales are provided for informational purposes only. Carson's comparable store sales increased 3.4% for the four weeks ended April 29, 2006. For the period March 5, 2006 through April 29, 2006, Carson's comparable store sales increased 1.7%. For Carson's and Bon-Ton combined, comparable store sales for the four weeks ended April 29, 2006 increased 1.5%.
James H. Baireuther, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, commented, “Bon-Ton comparable store sales were positively impacted by the Easter shift early in April. However, post Easter business was softer than expected. Our sales trend in markets affected by the recent events in the automobile industry was more difficult, i.e. Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. Categories of business with sales increases were Children's, Shoes, Men's and Women's apparel. The weakest categories were Home, Accessories and Intimate. Accessories and Intimate were negatively impacted by the later shift of Mother's Day, but should improve as the holiday approaches. Inventory levels are well positioned and we anticipate improved receipt flow in the second quarter this year.”
Mr. Baireuther continued, “Carson's comparable store sales were positively impacted by the Easter shift in April, especially in Men's Furnishings, Ladies' apparel and Handbags. Categories of business with sales increases for the month were Shoes, Children's and all ladies' apparel, especially Women's size apparel. Home had strong post-Easter business in textiles and furniture. The weakest categories were Cosmetics, Accessories and Men's Sportswear.”