The Bon-Ton announced sales for month of April increased 92.7% to $104.6 million, including $50.8 million from Elder-Beerman stores, compared to $54.3 million for April last year. Bon-Ton comp store sales decreased 1.7%. Year-to-date sales increased 93.9% to $181.6 million, including $88.0 from Elder-Beerman stores, compared to $93.7 million for the same period last year. Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 0.8% from the prior year period.
Elder-Beerman sales are not included in the Company's reported comparable store sales, therefore the following comparable store sales are provided for informational purposes only. Elder-Beerman comparable store sales for the five weeks ended April 3, 2004 increased 0.9% and for the nine weeks ended April 3, 2004, comparable store sales increased 2.1%. For Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton combined, comparable store sales for the five weeks ended April 3, 2004, decreased 0.4% and comparable store sales for the nine weeks ended April 3, 2004 increased 0.5%.
James H. Baireuther, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, commented, “While March sales did not meet our expectations, we were pleased that some individual categories posted sales increases, namely, coats, home, cosmetics and accessories. We remain focused on finalizing our vendor matrix, product assortment, pricing strategy and promotional calendar for the combined company as we enter the second quarter selling season. We are pleased with the progress of the integration of the two companies and remain confident we will achieve our 2004 planned results.”