The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. reported comparable store sales for fiscal March decreased 5.3% compared to the prior year period. Total sales for the five weeks decreased 4.9 % to $274.0 million compared to $288.0 million for the prior year period.
Year-to-date total sales decreased 6.6% to $491.0 million compared to $525.6 million for the same period last year. Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 6.2%.
Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president merchandising, commented, “Given the overall challenging retail environment, we were pleased with our March results. A strong promotional event in the last two weeks resulted in a positive finish to the month with solid gains in shoes, intimate apparel, accessories and mens furnishings. For the month, categories that performed well were cosmetics, hard home, furniture and missy outerwear. The weakest performing category was apparel womens, mens and childrens.”
Mr. Buccina continued, “We continue to manage our inventory levels; our total inventory, including clearance merchandise, is below the prior year. With more disciplined inventory control, we can better capitalize on new trends, resulting in fresh assortments with strong value for our customers.”
Keith Plowman, EVP and CFO, stated, “Our excess borrowing capacity under our credit facility was in excess of $300 million at the end of March, which is slightly above the March 2007 level.”