The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced comparable store sales for the five weeks ended July 2, 2011 decreased 0.9%. Total sales decreased 1.5% to $240.8 million for the five weeks compared with $244.4 million for the prior year period.

Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 1.3%. Year-to-date total sales decreased 1.9% to $1.07 billion compared with $1.09 billion for the same period last year.

Sales started out slowly in the first half of June, but finished strong with the arrival of more seasonal weather, which led to the best sales performance of warm weather categories we have experienced all season,” said Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president-merchandising. “Our best performing merchandise categories were home, fine jewelry, ladies better sportswear, shoes and cosmetics. E-commerce sales were ahead of plan and led the company in sales growth. Our weakest performing categories were juniors, mens and furniture. We ended June with inventories fresher than the prior year.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, PA and Milwaukee, operates 275 department stores, which includes 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergners, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herbergers and Younkers nameplates and, in the Detroit, Michigan area, under the Parisian nameplate. The department stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.